Life Less Ordinary: Performance and Display in South African Art
Life Less Ordinary brings together photography, performance, video and installation work by a young generation of South African artists wishing to break away from epic narratives of race and instead play with, celebrate, stage and transcend more complex notions of difference and identity.
The exhibition features an eclectic range of work by artists Tracey Rose, Nandipha Mntambo, Zanele Muholi, Brett Murray, Pieter Hugo, Dineo Bopape, Brett Bailey, Athi-Patra Ruga, Steve Cohen, Araminta de Clermont and Berni Searle, including work selected for Artes Mundi 1 and acquired by the Museum of Wales for the national collection.
The contemporary works are presented alongside the rarely seen photographs of early 20th century amateur photographer Alfred Duggan-Cronin – whose semi-staged works convey as much of the photographer’s own ‘native fantasies’ as any anthropological actuality – and selected archive material from the Apartheid era. Duggan-Cronin travelled extensively throughout Southern Africa and his images capture the cultural diversity of the rural population before the far-reaching effects of industrialisation, urbanisation and the imposition of Apartheid policy were felt. The contemporary work brings the story up to date, reflecting a new freedom of expression and the creative preoccupations of artists working in a post-Apartheid South Africa.
Life Less Ordinary has been curated by Anna Douglas and is a touring exhibition from the Djanogly Art Gallery, Lakeside Arts Centre at the University of Nottingham, supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.