Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Call for Intern

The Center for Historical Reenactments (CHR) is looking for a creative, enthusiastic, and innovative individual for the role of Intern. The paid internship will involve a 2-day per week commitment for a six month period - from the beginning of April 2011 – September 2011. Outside of the 2-day week the intern should be willing to work extra time in preparation towards as well as during CHR special events. The candidate must be willing to also help out outside of the stipulated hours should the need arise. Deadline: Monday 19 March 2011. 

The successful candidate should be highly motivated with the following basic skills and capacities:
  • Computer literate (Use of word processing software, spreadsheet software, and slide presentations software)
  • Basic knowledge in the contemporary visual arts in South Africa and beyond.
  • Interest in art, history, politics, literature and writing.
  • Writing skills.
  • Communication skills.
  • A capacity to organize, prioritize and manage their own time effectively.
Applicants with an arts background and research interest will be given preference.
 The key roles of the Intern will include:
  • Organizing the CHR archive
  • Researching for current and future projects
  • Liaising with artists and partners
  • Writing proposals and reports
  • The intern will be responsible for maintaining the CHR social networking pages like facebook, blogging and updating the website.
Applications: Please forward a comprehensive and updated CV with a covering letter to h.reenactments@gmail.com.
Deadline: Monday 19 March 2011.
Shortlisted candidates will be informed of the interview dates at a later stage.
The CHR internship programme is made possible with the support of Africalia and the Visual Arts Network of South Africa (VANSA), and provides an excellent opportunity for on-the-job training and development for people interested in research based contemporary art practices, exhibition making, writing, arts management and building networks. The intern will be exposed to the administrative processes of managing an independent art space, some curatorial skills, as well as research processes involved in performance-based and site-specific art making.
About CHR
The Center for Historical Reenactments (CHR) is a Johannesburg based independent platform founded in 2010 by a group of curators, artists and writers. CHR sets to look at history to investigate how, within a particular historical hegemony, certain values have been created and promoted into a broader universal discourse. CHR is a platform in which artistic productions become central in helping to deconstruct particular readings of history and how historical context informs artistic creation. It is a platform which questions how art can help reinterpret history and its contextual implications and how it can add and suggest different historical readings and help in the formation of new subjectivities. Furthermore CHR sets to investigate and to create dialogues between artistic practices in order to reveal how within their constellation certain histories are formed or formulated, repeated, universalised and preserved. As such, the exhibition becomes a site of artistic historical research.
CHR employs citations, transversal research processes, subversion and mediation. These forms are strategies at revealing how art could perform transformative effects in political spaces that may not yet be recognized as sites of struggle and may thus be allowed to enter a refreshed political sensibility. Historical reenactments as we see them allow for a politicization of history within the art context.
  africalia     vansa gauteng

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Xenoglossia, a research project

Xenoglossy is an alleged or rare condition of speaking or writing in a language entirely unknown to the speaker, a condition that is either disputed or explained through another contested phenomenon of reincarnation.

Xenoglossia is a research project exploring how language has played a central role in some of the gravest historical misunderstandings that have been reincarnated in recent history. It will consider events such as t...he 1976 Soweto student uprisings, a historical protest against Afrikaans as a language of instruction in schools. It will look at the derogatory ‘words’ such as “kwerekwere,” a word which attempts to mimic a sound of an unrecognized language and one in which these misunderstandings can best be located within a South African context. Xenoglossia will also go as far as considering Caliban’s retort to Prospero and Miranda in William Shakespeare’s The Tempest (1610-11): ‘You taught me your language and my profit on’t is I know how to curse,’ a slogan which has come to be used as a tool of cultural resistance and described by Bill Ashcroft as “an evocative model of the post-colonial subject…”

A six-month curatorial research project by the Center for Historical Reenactments (CHR), Xenoglossia comprises of a research team of curators, writers and artists. The research team will work at compiling information on existing historical and contemporary examples in which linguistic proximity and distance has informed attitudes to concepts of strangeness, sameness, difference and otherness.

During the next six months the CHR project space will be activated with more questions than answers. Some of these questions will no doubt be risky and thus need to be mediated creatively and sensitively. Following are some of the questions the research team will consider as they construct an interactive program and a proposal for a future exhibition project based on the research findings:

• How has the manipulation of language historically constructed narrowed concepts of identity, difference and otherness?

• How can Ernestine White’s work and statement I do Not Speak Xhosa (2002) exist alongside Brett Murray’s work, the mantra I Must Learn to Speak Xhosa (2000)? What codes are embedded within these two positions and what do these works reveal about post-apartheid tensions and emotional sites of cultural identities?

• Does Malden Stilinović’s statement and work An Artist Who Cannot Speak English is No Artist (1992) help highlight the fact that the global art world we so often refer to cannot handle a truly multi-cultural world?

• How can Hito Steyerl’s essay and question “Can the Subaltern Speak German?” whose title is rephrased from Gayatri Spivak (Can the Subaltern Speak?) help us trace disparities in postcolonial political positioning pertaining to languages?

• How can context and language construct both memory and meaning, can meaning be constructed without definition?

The project will launch with The Unknowing Grammar of Inhabiting a Text, a performance by Donna Kukama and Kemang Wa Lehulere as well as a display of referential materials from selected artists and writers. Throughout the six-months, CHR will host a series of discussions, screenings, performances, and commission a public artwork to be unveiled in May 2011.