Image & Text : a Journal for Design - Volume 21, Issue 1, 2013
Volumes & issues
Volume 21, Issue 1, 2013
Author Jeanne Van EedenSource: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 21, pp 4 –5 (2013)More Less
This issue of Image & Text consists of articles that explore diverse examples of visual culture, including fine art, photography, film, and design. Moreover, it is noteworthy that five of the seven articles hone in on South African visual culture in particular. Two of the articles engage with the influence of apartheid politics on the creative production of Peter Clarke and Billy Monk (Hobbs and Rankin, Jamal), and three others take the post-apartheid landscape as point of departure: A short film by Teboho Mahlatsi (Watson-Seoighe), a community mural painting project (Le Roux and Costandius), and an article on Cape Town as World Design Capital 2014 (Cassim). The other two articles in this issue deal with the notorious Pirelli Calendar from 2011 (Karam) and an exploration of existentialism in selected films by Michael Haneke (Gouws).
Source: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 21, pp 6 –28 (2013)More Less
Both a writer and an artist, Peter Clarke (born 1929) tended to follow his chosen careers separately, but he has, since the end of the 1970s, begun introducing texts systematically into his artworks. Initially words appeared as seemingly randomly placed, usually collaged elements in paintings, often taking the form of graffiti on the surface of increasingly abstract images of walls. These works provide insight into Clarke's interaction with the pictorial tropes of Modernism and also reveal a political content in his works, which were previously considered chiefly as unmediated, naturalistic renderings of Cape people. More recently, in Clarke's Fan series, the words make up authored texts which are equal partners with images created on semi-circular fan-shaped formats, now exceeding 150 independent works. Each represents an individual from history, literature or Clarke's South African environment, and the texts are written as monologues, or dialogues between the author-artist and the subject, who is also referenced visually in the imagery of the fan. This article documents the diverse range of subjects and global scope of his references, whether textual or pictorial, which not only provide an enlightening glimpse into the versatile imagination of the artist, but challenge stereotyped views of the contributions of black artists of his generation.
Subverting the gaze : the voyeuristic, fetishised spectacle of Karl Lagerfeld's Pirelli Calendar (2011)Author Beschara KaramSource: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 21, pp 30 –53 (2013)More Less
The highly prized and rarefied Pirelli Calendar 2011 was released in Moscow in December 2010. Simply titled Mythology, it was conceptualised, developed and photographed by internationally renowned fashion designer and artiste Karl Lagerfeld. It comprises 36 black and white photographs of models and one actress (Julianne Moore) representing mythical characters (including gods, demigods, heroes and muses) from the ancient Graeco-Roman world. Among these, figures such as Apollo, Achilles, Echo and even Zeus are to be found. In this article I elucidate how Karl Lagerfeld has sexually objectified these numinous deities, epic heroes and heroines and thrust them into the domain of highbrow erotica. Furthermore, I aim to analyse the re-representation and re-articulation of these characters both in terms of gender and sex. Described by Lagerfeld as his 'visual version of Homer' (Malpas 2010), I will critique his photographs through the use of Laura Mulvey's (1975/2000) seminal concept of the 'male gaze'. The argument will also claim that through his camera lens, Lagerfeld has interrogated the status quo of masculinity and femininity. In doing so, he has challenged heteronormative ideologies and instead presented a Calendar of many gazes: heterosexual; bisexual; homosexual; masculine; and feminine: intimating that sex is always a contested norm and a continuous negotiation.
Author Ashraf JamalSource: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 21, pp 54 –72 (2013)More Less
The story of Billy Monk is in parts inspiring, tragic, chastening, and challenging. Achieving posthumous fame and international provenance, Monk's photographs reveal a striking lacuna in the image repertoire of South African photography. All too human, Monk's life is the stuff of legend. However, it is Monk's photographic eye which is the primary focus of this first sustained critical study of the artist's oeuvre. My thesis is that Monk's work embodies a prosaic tenderness and honesty that is rare in a society - overdetermined by the legacies of colonialism and apartheid - in which human life has largely been re-presented through a pathological and spectacularised optic. His work captures love in a time of lovelessness.
Author Mary Watson-SeoigheSource: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 21, pp 74 –89 (2013)More Less
This paper considers narrative disruption in Teboho Mahlatsi's 1999 film, Portrait of a Young Man Drowning, particularly as it relates to memory, trauma and violence. The disruption that marks this eleven-minute film indicates a violent and impoverished past intruding into the present, in terms of both the broader political context of apartheid South Africa and the more recent social instability caused by crime. The film communicates an underlying trauma through the disruption; the narrative intrusions can be read as symptomatic, but they are weighted down with memory. Post-apartheid South African film has been haunted by the past, particularly through the compulsion to rehearse reconciliation, even if not explicitly political, through film narratives. While the trend in recent South African fiction film has been towards seamlessness in editing and the contained structure of the three act narrative, Mahlatsi's film begins to address concerns which mainstream narratives find difficult to articulate. The underlying violence of the film is communicated textually, through its almost aggressive editing. Discontinuous editing becomes a way of representing interior experience. Narrative disruption creates a disturbed text and this is symptomatic of subterranean social trauma caused by a troubled past and violent present.
Being-in-the-world and Being-with-others : Heideggerian ontology in Michael Haneke's Vergletscherung-trilogieAuthor Anjo-mari GouwsSource: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 21, pp 90 –105 (2013)More Less
In this paper I explore certain existential elements found in the work of Austrian director Michael Haneke by coupling Haneke's first three films, his Vergletscherung-trilogie (comprising Der Siebente Kontinent, Benny's Video and 71 Fragmente einer Chronologie des Zufalls), with the philosophy of Martin Heidegger, focussing specifically on his delineation of Dasein (Being). This analysis is configured around two elements of Heidegger's philosophy of Being - Being as Being-in-the-world, and Being as Being-with-others. These delineations of Being are further analysed on three fronts. The first examines the role of the postmodern milieu in which Haneke's work is situated, a world of hyper-technology and rampant consumerism. The second and third fronts of analysis elucidate two delineations of space (Being-in-the-world), and people (Being-with-others). The discussion thus centres on the way in which Heidegger's ontology of Being is found in Haneke's sketching of the public space and of greater society. The paper concludes with an analysis of Haneke's treatment of the private space and the family unit.
The viability of social design as an agent for positive change in a South African context : mural painting in Enkanini, Western CapeSource: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 21, pp 106 –120 (2013)More Less
The aim of this article is to highlight some of the issues that handicap the success and viability of community-based design projects that aim to negotiate positive social change in South Africa through social and inclusive design processes. Using a case study methodology, we focus on a community mural project recently executed in Enkanini, a township outside Stellenbosch in the Western Cape. The project, implemented by Andrew Breitenberg, an American artist currently living in South Africa, together with a group of Dutch volunteers, was called These three remain. By investigating how the project negotiates, or fails to negotiate, sustainable social change in practice, we construe possible reasons for the project's outcomes with the aim of improving the viability of social design practice as a change agent in social design projects throughout South Africa. In this case study, aspects of South African social design practice are discussed, without skirting around issues that may be hard for designers to deal with when confronted with the reality of social politics in South Africa. We argue that there is a need for a critical consideration of the unquestioned optimism and often romanticised prospects that are linked to such projects.
Author Fatima CassimSource: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 21, pp 122 –139 (2013)More Less
The current macro-trend of unprecedented population growth in developing countries, specifically in the global South, calls for an increased focus on urban planning and development. To this end, many discussions in urban planning and design acknowledge the need for cities to be managed creatively in a way that empowers their inhabitants and creates better living conditions for them. In its successful bid to be the World Design Capital in 2014, Cape Town, South Africa's mother city, has embraced the idea of being a creative city, with a specific mission to improve community cohesion to rebuild the city, to reconnect communities by means of infrastructural enhancement and to reposition the city for the knowledge economy. By drawing specifically on the writings of Henri Lefebvre, this paper aligns the Cape Town World Design Capital bid and subsequent designation with the concept of the right to the city. One characteristic of Lefebvre's notion of the right to the city is not about being nostalgic for the past but rather, like the theme of Cape Town's bid, to Live Design. Transform Life, is anticipatory of a better urban situation. Following from this, the article explores the way in which design may serve as a driver to facilitate Lefebvre's notion of the right to the city in Cape Town and it also considers the implications of a design capital city within the context of an African creative economy.
Author Amanda Du PreezSource: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 21, pp 140 –149 (2013)More Less
The Mandela Poster Project Collective, in partnership with the University of Pretoria, presented an international exhibition of 95 posters celebrating the life of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela between 17 and 26 July 2013. The exhibition was the first public display of the poster collection, which at the time of writing is also going to travel to various venues in Johannesburg and Cape Town. The exhibition is also going to travel internationally, including to Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Japan, Mexico, the UK, and the USA.