Symons said the theme of the exhibition is the “racially specific militarisation and conscription of white males into the former South African Defence Force during the apartheid era”. Symons further stated, “The exhibition presents a series of creative engagements, including installations, framed photographs and artworks exploring and disrupting the militarised pasts of ex-SADF conscripts. Essentially, the exhibition acts as an alternative articulation in terms of knowledge production within the framework of masculinity and memory, encouraging epistemological shifts relating to the discourses and visual representation of whiteness and masculinity within South Africa.”
The exhibition includes life-size casts of weapons, uniforms, documents and other prints and military material. Also on display are framed artworks and photographic prints.
Dr. Siona O’Connell from the Department of History said, “The foyer is an exceptional and interesting curatorial space. It has significant foot traffic from across UP constituencies. The space offers a great opportunity to draw attention to the creative endeavour and to ask difficult questions that speak to the heart of knowledge production in an academic institution. The foyer messes with the idea of a conventional gallery space being a sanitised space, separate from the sounds, textures and realities of life beyond its walls.” Dr. O’Connell continued, “Following on the heels of the previous exhibition, Promises and Lies, it is my wish and intention to continue to curate exhibitions that vigorously work along themes of history-in-the-present and how we live after racial oppression. Once again, South Africa is at a crossroads, and the creative project is crucial if we are to square up to our past and live up to the promise of 1994 and a second chance of 2018.” The exhibition will run until 20 March.
Image: Michael Ridge