June 15, 2020
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Alison Kearney will discuss "New Identities in Contemporary South African Art."
In the years following the end of apartheid, many South African artists were focused on grappling with the legacy and trauma of violent, systematic, institutionalized racism. There was new found interest in contemporary South African art after cultural sanctions were lifted, and artists felt the need to establish a distinct “South African” style. The need to create a recognizable South African identity was palpable in art works that explored personal histories, and the legacies of racial oppression.
25 years in to democracy, a new generation of contemporary artists is moving away from a focus on Apartheid identity politics, to exploring diverse forms of making and engaging more critically with discourses of art. Artists like Tony Gum situate themselves within a global visual culture through experimenting with different identities, and challenge the exclusionary gallery system by making use of social media, as a means to make their art making practice visible. Dr. Kearney will unpack some of the key themes and issues in contemporary South African art.
Alison Kearney is an artist and scholar of South African art. She obtained her Ph.D., titled "Beyond the Readymade: Found Objects in Contemporary South African Art" in 2016. She completed her master’s degree in fine art from the University of the Witwatersrand in 2004 with distinction.
Kearney has participated in numerous group exhibitions in South Africa, Switzerland and Australia. She was a finalist in the 2003 MTN New contemporaries Awardand has participated in artist’s residencies in Basel and Melbourne. She has published scholarly work on contemporary South African art and developed education materials for engaging with art for Wits Art Museum. She is a recipient of an NRF Thuthuka Grant (2012-2014) that enabled her Ph.D. research.
Tuesday, February 4 at 7:00pm to 8:00pm
Horvitz Hall, 220
106 College Drive, Gambier, OH 43022