A Proposition by Center for Historical Reenactments: After-after Tears

  • Cover Image:  View out of Center for Historical Reenactments’s west window, 2010. Courtesy Center for Historical Reenactments, JohannesburgCover Image: View out of Center for Historical Reenactments’s west window, 2010. Courtesy Center for Historical Reenactments, Johannesburg

“After-after Tears” explores the political dimensions of institutional suicide through reconsideration of temporality, duration, and history. Reflecting on the platform’s recent death, Gabi Ngcobo (Center for Historical Reenactments [CHR] member and faculty at Wits School of Arts in Johannesburg), in collaboration with artist Kader Attia, will contemplate how staging an institutional suicide can not only be a form of refusal but also a means to desire a different existence, one that enables the platform to haunt obsolete systems and ideologies that continue to condition contemporary life. A two-part response will expand upon various logics underpinning creative acts of refusal. Khwezi Gule, Chief Curator at the Soweto Museums, will delve into the crisis of meaning around ritual, sacrifice, and transcendence in addition to notions of self and collective preservation. Sohrab Mohebbi, writer and Curatorial Assistant of Public Engagement at the Hammer Museum, will consider measures of time in music that produce shared frames of reference in order to imagine ways institutions could also be synched to a different time signature.

“After-after Tears” is organized as part of CHR’s Museum as Hub residency and gallery presentation by the same title (on view from May 22–July 7, 2013). The title references recent terminology related to after-burial gatherings that have become popular within township youth culture in postapartheid South Africa. CHR’s Museum as Hub project follows “We are absolutely ending this,” a twelve-hour event in Johannesburg on December 12, 2012, that staged the performance of the platform’s death. This act ended the collective’s previous activity—a decision to not simply conclude a single phase but rather to question the way institutions (in the art world, political arena, or otherwise) ossify around methodology, purpose, funding structure, and form.

Propositions is a public forum that explores ideas in development. Each two-part seminar introduces a topic of current investigation in an invited speaker’s own artistic or intellectual practice. Over the course of a seminar session, these developing ideas are responded to, researched, and discussed to propel them forward in unique ways.

Profiles

Khwezi Gule is a curator and writer based in Johannesburg. He is currently Chief Curator at the Soweto Museums, which includes, the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum and the Kliptown Open Air Museum. Prior to this position, Gule was Curator of Contemporary Collections at the Johannesburg Art Gallery, where he organized a number of significant exhibitions including: Meschac Gaba’s “Tresses and Other Projects” (2007), Kay Hassan’s “Urbanation” (2008), and Tracey Rose’s “Waiting for God” (at Johannesburg Art Gallery [2011] and the Bildmuseet, Umeå, Sweden [2011–12]). Gule has also co-curated and consulted on exhibitions and projects, including “Olvida Quien Soy” (at CAAM, Las Palmas, Spain, 2005), “Beauty and Pleasure” (at Stenersen Museum, Oslo, 2009), and the “Multipistes Project” (multipistes.org, 2008–09). Gule has lectured internationally and has written for numerous publications. Most recently, he contributed to the Artists’ Congress (convened by Chus Martinez) for Documenta 13 and to the catalogue for “The Rise and Fall of Apartheid” (curated by Okwui Enwezor and Rory Bester).Gule is also a founding member of a collective of creative intellectuals called the Dead Revolutionaries Club (deadrevolutionariesclub.co.za).

Sohrab Mohebbi is a critic living in Los Angeles. He is a cofounder of Bureau des Services sans Spécificité, Geneva, and Curatorial Assistant at the Hammer Museum.

Sponsors

Museum as Hub is made possible by

Museum as Hub and public programs are made possible, in part, by

Endowment support is provided by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Skadden, Arps Education Programs Fund, and the William Randolph Hearst Endowed Fund for Education Programs at the New Museum.

Education and public programs are made possible by a generous grant from Goldman Sachs Gives at the recommendation of David B. Heller & Hermine Riegerl Heller.

Museum as Hub Residency Program is made possible through the lead support of

Additional funding is provided by Laurie Wolfert.

A Proposition by Center for Historical Reenactments: After-after Tears

“After-after Tears” explores the political dimensions of institutional suicide through reconsideration of temporality, duration, and history.