Writers of History
a group exhibition curated by
November,2020 - March, 2021
theCOart prides itself on exhibiting “Writers of History”, works in a range of media, seeking to provoke cross-disciplinary debate on South Africa's multicultural challenges. Although practices, processes and personal philosophies may differ, all the artists have a common goal: to create relevant and technically proficient art.
Our past is the inspiration of many historical encyclopaedias, relaying information to our future selves from which we can hopefully learn and grow, these accounts have often been manipulated in the past.
Since 1994, most of the South African galleries and art museums have undergone dramatic changes in order to more accurately represent the multiracial reality of South Africa's population. As a result, they have opened up to include a more diverse range of artists and curators and in keeping with the nation-building objectives of South Africa's transition to democracy, they have reoriented themselves to tell an altogether different story about the past. We are now attempting to forge a new understanding of South Africa's history, built on themes of acknowledgment, commemoration and reconciliation.
South African artists have played a significant role in the overall social transformation of the country, undertaking projects which continue to negotiate the legacies of the country. Artists supported with artistic freedom interpret various angles of such historical events often through the eyes by those most affected. Preserving these views, opinions along with those historical dates and briefs form together a much more realistic reflection of the past.
Perhaps this is the true value of investing in art, ensuring the importance of preserving messages for future generations. These works are no longer something for the walls, these works hold historical and archival importance, these images and messages have to be safeguarded for the sake of a more enlightened, evolved future.