Contemporary Female Identities In the Global South

Joburg Contemporary Art Foundation, Johannesburg, South Africa
16 Sep 2020 - 30 Jan 2021

[1] Entrance to JCAF. Photo: Graham De Lacy. [2] View of Bharti Kher, Warrior with cloak and shield, 2008; Shirin Neshat, Nida (Patriots), Sheida Jafari (Masses), and Sheida Dayani (Masses), from "The Book of Kings" series, 2012; Berni Searle, Lament I, IV, VI, 2011; and Nandipha Mntambo, What Remains, 2019. Photo: Graham De Lacy.

The Joburg Contemporary Art Foundation (JCAF) is pleased to present Contemporary Female Identities in the Global South, an exhibition that explores multiple constructions of female identities by five women artists, Bharti Kher (India/UK), Nandipha Mntambo (South Africa), Wangechi Mutu (Kenya/USA), Shirin Neshat (Iran/USA) and Berni Searle (South Africa). This exhibition proposes a realm in which these subjects explore worlds of their own choosing, in which they might be mother, martyr, warrior or hybrid.

The exhibition is divided into three areas or worlds. The first is configured around the Fall which evokes the biblical story of the Garden of Eden, a realm where the natural and human worlds meet. The animal-human hybrid figures represent the second world of the exhibition. Hybridity refers to the mingling of species, races or cultures, a crossing of one thing with another. In the third world of the exhibition, the viewer is reminded that the body is real and embedded in race, religion and identity. The exhibition design presents three other-worldly or dream-like spaces, connected by metaphorical bridges.

Contemporary Female Identities in the Global South forms part of JCAF’s first research theme: Female identities in the Global South. JCAF collaborates with scholars and institutions globally to curate research programmes and exhibitions that explore the imbalance between ourselves and the Global North. Particularly in relation to who produces knowledge about the Global South, who writes its histories, who generates new knowledge about its artists and who curates its content. At the culmination of the first theme, JCAF will publish a journal that will contribute to the creation of knowledge from the Global South.

A virtual tour of the exhibition is available on the JCAF website.



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