The exhibition is a set of ongoing responses to the question ‘sex?’ which was offered to artists as a curatorial proposition. Taking place in the gallery’s Johannesburg space, SEX is a kaleidoscope of positions unearthing sexual narratives from Johannesburg, South Africa and the continent. The exhibition examines the sexual timeline found in the South African media and the oral history of memorable spaces and moments in the past decade.
Sexually speaking, the start of this decade was marked by Jacob Zuma’s statement during his rape trial that he had showered after sex with an HIV-positive woman. Another milestone for South Africa was a wave of nationalism with the hosting of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. In this time of jubilation and hedonistic indulgence, sex seemed to be on many minds. 2010 was the year that Mapona Vol 1 was produced, the first all-black South African porn film. The film, which was discussed in the media and went semi-viral, according to its producer, ‘sought to promote safe sex and combat HIV’. In the same year, a nationwide debate around the temporary legalisation of prostitution ahead of the hosting of the World Cup ensued. AWB leader Eugene Terreblanche was murdered and the circumstances surrounding his death were allegedly said to have homoerotic undertones.
The exhibition seeks to cast a light on the subject in multiple forms including literature, archived online articles, sound and film. There will be a reading and screening room in the gallery’s fifth floor space which will include some African fiction works with a focus on sex and other texts including Sextme, a selection of short stories from African writer’s collective Jalada; a text by Lesotho-born writer Lineo Segoete titled Basotho Women Love Sex Too; and This Summer, an audio poem by Pamella Dlungwana.
A collection of video works will be screened as part of a special set of screenings during the run of the show. These include Of Good Report by South African director Jahmil XT Qubeka which was the first South African film to be banned since 1994; the iconic 1972 American porn film Deep Throat; and the inaugural all-black South African porn film Mapona Vol 1.
The exhibition boasts the work of Simon Gush, Themba Siwela, Mame-Diarra Niang, Zanele Muholi, Joburg-based collective FAKA, Steven Cohen, Sabelo Mlangeni, Nandipha Mntambo, Moshekwa Langa, Artu Peatoo, Dineo Seshee Bopape, Nástio Mosquito, Mitchell Gilbert Messina, Marianne Thesen Law, Lineo Segoete and Pamella Dlungwana.
The exhibition will run until the 21st of June.
Sat 4 Jun 2016
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