MVA: The Department of Art History, Visual Arts and Musicology from the University of South Africa (Unisa) presents the Masters in Visual Arts Student Exhibition 2015 and is hosted by the Unisa Art Gallery. The exhibition introduces various discourses through exciting and diverse mediums presented on postgraduate level.
Zingisa Nkosinkulu explores how certain Xhosa people experience the condition of feeling dislocated and confused when having to merge spiritual beliefs of Christianity and Xhosa ancestral traditions. The concept of diaspora is presented to describe the mental dislocation experienced when culture changes. In the body of work, Nkosinkulu seeks to understand how identity is constructed within a particular geographical and ideological culture and how self-identity can be constituted through the construction, deconstruction and reconstruction of cultural histories.
Megan Erasmus explores the relationship between biotechnology and art by producing a series of portraits of simulacra, specious imitations of possibilities in the form of images and animations in dialogue. The subject matter includes a selection of chimpanzees used in research experiments. Portraiture is historically and tradtionally reserved for human beings to signal social prominence, record events and preserve individual and collective memory. However, these portraits are rather the conveyers of disempowerment and vulnerability of nonhuman persons whom we made dependant on our experimental resources and technological might. Unorthodox experiments and unfinished projects are portrayed through absence instead of quitessence. The aim is not to portray the embodiment of human ethical behaviour, but to expose the sadness and suffering of animals in research experiments.
Bongani Ntombela’s exhibition is entitled Awuthunyelwa gundane, which means you cannot predict what the future holds for you as a bride and the entire married life. The exhibition reflects on the ritual practices that take place during the wedding preparation throug hthe wedding day until the bride is accepted as a married woman. His body of artwork is composed of an installation and a video that presents marriage ritual performances to showcase the complexities that Nguni women go through in order to be recognised as a married woman.
Balasubramanian Kanni explores the Tamil community Hindu wedding ritual performances and its commercialism. Tamil Hindu wedding celebrations are sacred affairs. They are very unique, with a variety of sanctifying performances that includes solemn acts. “Marriage is the union of two souls,” says Kanni. His textures and forms in his artworks emphasise the ritual connection between tradition and modernisation in Tamil Hindu arranged marriages. His artworks are more than the refelctions of socio-cultural structures and it represents artists’ views which embrace evolving forms of nature and ritual artefacts.