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‘Captivating, powerful’ exhibition debuts at UFS
2016-08-29

Description: Sue Williamson exibition Tags: Sue Williamson exibition

Sue Williamson, What is this thing called freedom?, 2016 (two-channel video, 19min 25s)

A new exhibition by internationally-recognised artist, Sue Williamson, entitled No More Fairytales, was launched in the Johannes Stegmann Gallery on the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS) on 18 August 2016. The exhibition takes the audience on an exploration into the long-term effects of South Africa’s violent past.

No More Fairytales features two new video works. In It’s a pleasure to meet you, Candice Mama and Siyah Mgoduka—whose fathers were killed by Eugene de Kock—talk about living with loss, holding, on, and letting go. The other video, What is this thing called freedom?, draws the audience into a conversation between three generations of women in the Siwani family, who talk about the humiliations of apartheid, student unrest in the 1980s, and the recent #FeesMustFall protests.

“It’s all about opening up conversations.”

Both of these works have already been invited to participate in international exhibitions, the first of which, Un Autre Continent, opens in Le Havre, France, in September 2016. The videos will appear in 2017 in Without Drums and Trumpets—100 Years of War, also in France. The exhibition will run until 16 September 2016 at the UFS.

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Sue Williamson, It's a pleasure to meet you, 2016 (two-channel video, 25min)

“There is such an energy to this large piece of work; there is something captivating, something powerful about its vibrancy,” said Prof Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, Senior Research Professor in Trauma, Forgiveness and Reconciliation Studies at the UFS. The series was commissioned by Prof Gobodo-Madikizela as part of the project, ‘Trauma, Memory and Representations of the Past: Transforming Scholarship in the Humanities and the Arts’. The five-year research project is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation through a grant of R10 million.

The launch of the exhibition was followed the next morning by an insightful dialogue session between Prof Gobodo-Madikizela, Mama, Mgoduka, Williamson, and the audience. “It’s all about opening up conversations and trying to bring out things that have been so painful and so hurtful in this country,” Williamson said.

 

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