Belinda Kholeka Shange – PhD in History of Art

Belinda Kholeka Shange – PhD in History of Art

  Shange is currently pursuing a PhD in History of Art under the supervision of Dr Nicola Cloete. Her research is focused on photography and its representation of 20th century Zulu royal women in King Dinuzulu’s lineage. Belinda Kholeka Shange is a Wits University graduate with a BA (Hons) in Dramatic Arts and a Master’s degree in Film and Television studies. Her Master’s research examined how spoken word poetry served as a vehicle through which young black male poets in Johannesburg reimagined stereotypical representations of black masculinities in mainstream cinema and popular media. As part of this degree, she produced and directed the short film “Rainbow’s...
Gestures of Defamiliarization

Gestures of Defamiliarization

Joni Brenner, Alexander Horsler, Molemo Moiloa, Paula Munsie, Stacey Vorster, Tim Zeelie   Abstract One of the problems with teaching African photography in an urban Johannesburg-based classroom is the tendency to teach the histories and practices of photography in Africa as if they were somehow separate from us. This separation or disjunction is partly because, as Sarah Nuttall and Achille Mbembe point out in their book Johannesburg: The Elusive Metropolis (2008): ‘until very recently, Johannesburg described itself as the largest and most modern European city in Africa’ (p. 18), and consequently South Africans very often fail to see themselves as African. The title of this visual essay — ‘gestures of defamiliarization’ — is taken from their book. To overcome this problem of separation, Joni Brenner introduced an active learning project designed to involve students directly in the thorny realm of subjectivity, identity and representation. This essay was written together with five students who participated, and excelled, in the course. It was developed over a series of weekly supper meetings during which the course project was reflected on, and images made by the students were selected, analysed, debated and written about, sometimes by individual members of the group and sometimes in pairs. In shaping the research into this essay, an effort was made to retain the variety of voices. Brenner, J. et al. 2010. Gestures of Defamiliarization. Visual Communication 9(1): 51-65 Read the full...
Zandri Oosthuysen – MA in History of Art

Zandri Oosthuysen – MA in History of Art

Zandri Oosthuysen is a Masters student at Wits History of Art. Her research report, titled “Looking Closely by Candle Light” is focused on a painting by South Africa artist Johannes Phokela. Oosthuysen is interested in how ‘close looking’ and engaging with a work of art through a very detailed engagement, allows for a profound understanding of individual works. She advocates that close looking is an effective method to read a work of art’s ‘visual argument’. She is particularly interested in the relationship between postcolonial contemporary African art and the Western art historical canon; which also includes considering the role context plays in understanding works of art. In 2014, Oosthuysen completed an Honours research paper on Angela Ferreira’s “Maison Tropicale” (2007) as a ‘double’ using psychoanalysis to demonstrate the relationship between Ferreira’s and Jean Prouve’s “La Maison Tropicale”...

Dr Rory Bester invited to join the Global Nominator panel for the Prix Pictet

Dr Rory Bester has been invited to join the Global Nominator Panel for the Prix Pictet, the world’s leading prize in photography and sustainability. Entry is by nomination only, with each member of the panel of experts – critics, curators, journalists and gallerists – proposing up to five photographers for consideration by the independent jury. Previous winners have included Benoit Aquin, Nadav Kander, Mitch Epstein, Luc Delahaye, Michael Schmidt and Valérie Belin. While no South Africans have won the prize, a number have been shortlisted over the previous six cycles, including Pieter Hugo, Gideon Mendel, Brent Stirton, and Guy Tillim (twice)....
Lindelwa Pepu – MA in Heritage

Lindelwa Pepu – MA in Heritage

Lindelwa Pepu is currently undertaking an MA in Heritage with a focus on the agency of artists. Using a curatorial mode in particular relation to Xhosa beadwork, Pepu is exploring the role of the researcher as curator in returning the voice of makers to their objects. Pepu has a BA degree in Visual Arts and an Honours degree in Drama and Theatrical Studies from the University of Zululand. She has also completed an additional Honours degree in Curatorship from the University of Cape Town.          ...