The exhibition Re-membering: Memory, Intimacy, Archive features works by South African artists Sharlene Khan and Jordache A. Ellapen from their projects titled When the Moon Waxes Red (2016) and Queering the Archive: Brown Bodies in Ecstasy (2016 - ) respectively. In these projects, through the lens of the ‘Indian’ experience, these artists explore and unsettle notions of memory, race, class, gender, and sexuality in post-apartheid South Africa and comment on the nuances and complexities of everyday life in South Africa. For her series, Khan works with different visual media like video-art, digital photography, and needle-lace to produce “visual textured narratives”, which narrate the difficult circumstances experienced by migratory women. Ellapen engages archival studio photographs and digital photographs to produce digital “visual assemblages” that disrupts the heteronormative logics of family, community, and nation. Their works jointly speak to everyday experiences and performativities of identities shaped through the tensions of cultural migrations, familial love, loss and mythologies that are too often simplistically and sentimentally rendered. These entanglements add richness to a segment of South African history that is still lacking.
Sharlene Khan is a South African visual artist and scholar whose work often incorporates a range of media which generate installations and performances that focus on the socio-political realities of a post-apartheid society and the intersectionality of race-gender-class. She uses masquerading (i.e. the donning of costumes and enacting of characters in photography and video) as a postcolonial strategy to interrogate her South African heritage, as well as the constructedness of identity via rote education, art discourses, historical narratives and popular culture. She holds a PhD (Arts) from Goldsmiths, University of London. She has exhibited widely locally and internationally. In 2015 she was awarded second prize in the Bremen Videokunst Prize for the production of her video When the moon waxes red. She is currently a Senior Lecturer in Art History and Visual Culture at Rhodes University.
Dan Ojwang started off his career at Wits as a senior tutor and is currently Associate Professor of African Literature. His research interests include contemporary African fiction, literary cultures of the Indian Ocean world, and African intellectual & literary histories. His most recent work is on the intersection of literary and ethnographic imagination in East Africa. He has an amateur interest in black popular music worldwide. An editor with the journal Postcolonial Text, he has also served as Head of African Literature (2005-2008) and Deputy Head of the School of Literature and Language Studies (2010-2012).
Tiffany Kagure Mugo is the intoxicatingly scary gatekeeper of HOLAAfrica, a Pan African queer womanist community dealing with sexuality and all things woman. She is also a writer, media consultant and freelance journalist who tackles sex, politics and other less interesting topics. Once upon a time she was a Ted Speaker and an Open Society Youth Fellow and now has dreams of studying some new things. During weekends she is a wine bar philosopher and polymath for no pay.
Keval Harie is the director of GALA ( Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action) located in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.