DIS-LOCATION / RE-LOCATION
EXPLORING ALIENATION AND IDENTITY IN SOUTH AFRICA
Exploring issues of alienation and identity in South Africa
Edited by Bronwyn Law-Viljoen 2008
Johannesburg: David Krut Publishing
This 160 page, full-colour volume presents ten scholarly essays by high-profile national and international writers on the artwork comprising the Dis-Location/Re-Location exhibition; an interview between Leora Farber and Prof Sandra Klopper; an introduction by Bronwyn Law-Viljoen, and documentation of artworks on the exhibition.
The Dis-Location/Re-Location exhibition, by Leora Farber in collaboration with Strangelove, began as a public performance at The Premises Gallery, Johannesburg, in August 2006. It travelled to seven national galleries from June 2007 to September 2008, ending its extended run at the Durban Gallery in September 2008. Incorporating stage-sets, video, sound-art, photography and sculpture, the exhibition was brought into being by a number of collaborations and gave rise, over the course of its three-year life span, to a range of public gallery talks, panel discussions, press reviews, discussion groups with Visual Art students from respective tertiary institutions in each city that the exhibition was shown in, a mini-catalogue, an educational supplement, publication of scholarly journal articles by Farber and other academics, numerous presentations by Farber at international conferences, and the Dis-Location/Re-Location volume.
The collection of essays was conceived of as a set of responses to the questions and problems raised by the artwork rather than as a series of commentaries on the artwork. In the commissioning of essays for this book, the editor, Bronwyn Law Viljoen, set out to open the work up to a number of possibilities, to generate debate around a key themes and topics, namely, postcolonial identities; postapartheid identities; debates surrounding the construction
of whiteness(es) in South Africa; the politics of diaspora; cultural assimilation; postfeminist discourses; exile, and alienation. The publication offers a critical space which the voices of the commentators circle around a series of questions without necessarily referring directly to the artwork itself by way of formal analysis. The artwork is however, the organising principle around which the essays are structured; it is both the source of coherence and one of the problematics under scrutiny.
The volume is available for purchase at David Krut Bookstores, Johannesburg.