Theses and Dissertations (Curatorial, Public and Visual Cultures)

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    About memory in fashion: a study of the work of Clive Rundle
    (2012-08-14) De Greef, Erica
    In this research project I propose to investigate the notion of memory and its trace in the work of fashion designer Clive Rundle (b. 1959). This positioning of the work in the context of memory offers an approach to the reading of the fashion processes and products; one of various research options that could be used to analyse the creative approach, the fashioned objects and the complex displays of Clive Rundle’s fashion within the broader creative and social context of a post-­‐Apartheid South Africa. The inquiry for this research is concerned with the palimpsest, as witness to the past in the form of traces, memories and histories. The evidence or renegotiation of the past in the present in fashion, which I will reference in this research is what Walter Benjamin identified as the ‘tigersprung’, and which is surfacing in the construction of new contemporary fashion narratives of a number of contemporary South African fashion designers, who together with other visual artists are currently exploring notions of memory and history as catalysts for remembrance, social commentary and healing. By exploring the role of memory and its trace in Clive Rundle’s work, I hope to investigate the layers in the palimpsest that informs the work. In this research I aim to explore how Rundle’s work could offer an opportunity to investigate whether notions of loss and mourning can be expressed through fashion, how the past resurfaces in fashion, andthis can help locate a current understanding of transformation in a post-­‐modern South Africa. whether
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    Challenges facing artists and institutions when showcasing and collecting internet art: a comparative study
    (2011-11-02) Vezi, Mazwi
    Internet Art is an art form that uses the Internet as its primary medium from its production to presentation. Internet Art characteristics and attributes bring about presentation, preservation and colleting challenges to the curatorial practice; especially if presented in a museum or gallery structure. Strategies used by early Internet Artists were influenced by the characteristics of this medium; these are variability and technological obsolescence. Internet Art is inherently process based, ubiquitous, ephemeral and dynamic in nature. This challenges the traditional role of the curator in a gallery and museum structure. The curator is increasingly expected to create platforms of exchange of ideas between the viewer of the artwork and the project itself. Additional the curator also has to provide some insight in the decision making process regarding maintenance, support, contracts and documentation. Internet Art questions the principles in which galleries and museum structures are based; these include objectification, not touching objects and authorship of Internet Art projects. These projects are collaborative in nature and created by more than one artist, normally geographically dispersed. Internet Art demand for new modes of presentation, documentation and preservation that are more suited for online art. These new modes of presentation fundamentally change the role of the curator. If galleries and museums want to start or continue growing their Internet Art collections, they need to start understanding challenges facing the Internet as a medium, develop appropriate presentation and preservation strategies that seek to address identified challenges.
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    A monkey's wedding: carnival impulses in the work of emerging South African artists: Michael MacGarry, Nandipha Mntambo, Themba Shibase, Nina Barnett and Robyn Nesbitt
    (2010-09-03) Rayner, Lucy
    Abstract by Lucy Rayner This research relates directly to a practical component that takes the form of a curated exhibition of works by a selected group of emerging South African artists. The New Spell, held at David Krut Projects, New York from 5 June to 30 July 2008 explores, as its main premise, the appearance of a carnival impulse identifiable within works by participating artists, Nandipha Mntambo (b. 1982), Michael MacGarry (b. 1978), Themba Shibase (b. 1980), Nina Barnett (b. 1983) and Robyn Nesbitt (b. 1984). I contend that these artists deploy the carnivalesque as a critical strategy to problematise the construction of social and political identities in South Africa. In response to Achille Mbembe’s contentious redeployment of Mikhail Bakhtin’s conception of a critical carnivalesque, my intention is to explore the various ways in which their works, ranging from painting and photography to sculpture and video, can be understood in terms of contemplating this subject of contemporary cultural identity in South Africa and also reflect on it as a contested arena for negotiation. I explore the various ways in which these artists employ the carnival’s subversive and transgressive features in order to satirize and parody notions of cultural idealism contained in the homogenizing concept of a ‘Rainbow Nation’ (a term commonly applied to the miracle of post-apartheid South Africa and its reinvention as a multicultural, multiracial society), effectively replacing it with the more ambiguous idea of ‘A Monkey’s Wedding’. Notions of subversive agency are brought to bear here, with the implications for critique of the kind of catharsis and reinvention often implied by carnivalesque theory. A critical analysis of my curatorial selection and the resultant installation is extended beyond the works chosen or commissioned for the exhibition, to include other works by each artist. My intention is not to define their often multidisciplinary practices exclusively in terms of the carnivalesque, but more accurately to operationalise its theory as a useful and relevant means to better articulate and examine their work.
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    Balancing act: An investigation of the in-between space used by selected contemporary artists in South Africa
    (2006-11-17T10:46:41Z) Watson, Deirdre
    After endless contemplation on the idea of ‘word and image’, the following expression of J.W.T Mitchell in Word and Image (1996: 56) brought insight: ‘[W]ord and image’… a pair of terms whose relations open a space of intellectual struggle, historical investigation, and artistic/critical practice. Our only choice is to explore this space (own emphasis). I shifted my position from the forlorn act of peeling to one of creative exploration. Not necessarily exploring the specific space between word and image, but rummaging ‘the space between’; always hovering amid opposites. This space provides an opportunity to confront and debate the many issues that stem from the relations formed in its fluidity. It is a space that informs my thinking. It is a space of conversation. I see not only my writing, but also the art that I scrutinize as conversation. My conversation is captured in the linear structure of this thesis, but the conversation of art is dynamic. It is informal and flexible – following not one path, offering no answer, giving the potential at each moment for surprises and transformation. The idea is to ponder contemporary art’s dialogue, the manipulators thereof and the indispensable factors constituting this notion: space, grammar, medium, criticism. The notion of dialogue assumes a listener, a participant, an audience. But who is this audience with whom ideas are conversed, and what language do you (presumably) use to communicate the necessary? I have chosen to investigate these questions, the purpose and plan of art, with relation to a selected group of artists: an individual, Terry Kurgan and a collective – Stephen Hobbs, Marcus Neustetter and Kathryn Smith, known as The Trinity Session.
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    Confronting The Museum: The Function Of Parody In The Work Of Illya Kabakov and Marcel Broodthaers.
    (2006-11-02T11:02:24Z) Kearney, Alison
    This study investigates the ways in which museums are understood as texts, and how artists challenge those assumptions within their work. The extent to which parody, a central tenet of post- modern art, can be used as an effective means to challenge the hegemony of the art museum, is investigated through an analyses of artworks by Illya Kabakov and Marcel Broodthaers. The first part of the study interrogates the hegemonic function of museums, through a discussion of the central tenets of museological discourse, in order to contextualise the discussion of the artworks in question. The second part of this study includes an analysis of specific artworks by Illya Kabakov and Marcel Broodthaers, detailing the ways in which these artists parody aspects of museum practice. The concluding chapter interrogates my own artistic production in relation to this research.