Image & Text : a Journal for Design - Volume 22, Issue 1, 2013
Volumes & issues
Volume 22, Issue 1, 2013
Author Amanda Du PreezSource: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 22, pp 4 –5 (2013)More Less
In this issue of Image & Text the topics range from zombie-like spectatorship to the asylum. The media covered includes magazines, film, photography, art installation and digital interfaces. The South African cultural landscape is particularly framed with contributions on the local film industry and women's magazines, the archive and remembrance. In an attempt to make the transition from a print-based journal to an exclusively online version, readers may notice a slight change in the layout and look of this issue of Image & Text. The new appearance, which will be finalised in the next issue, enhances the topics and themes covered by the journal. The six articles presented, although varying in tone and approach, confirm the quality of contemporary and local research in visual cultures.
Author Chris BroodrykSource: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 22, pp 6 –26 (2013)More Less
In this article I critically discuss how Willie Esterhuizen's films explicitly present an affirmative heteronormative hegemonic masculinity despite numerous queer, destabilising possibilities that threaten such dominant masculinity. I read Esterhuizen's films in terms of their consistent safe-making of homoerotic possibilities. To show how hegemonic heteronormative masculinity features across Esterhuizen's film oeuvre, his comedies Lipstiek Dipstiek (1994), Poena is Koning (2007), Vaatjie Sien Sy Gat (2008) and Stoute Boudjies (2010) will be investigated in this regard. In this investigation, I will discuss how Esterhuizen's films:
- present a narrative foregrounding a quest for sexual intercourse as an integral part of post-apartheid white masculinity;
- utilise notions of anality (as mostly based in farting and verbal references to defecation) in relation to masculinity;
- point to a masculinity of (bodily) control;
- present various moments of homosociality and even homoeroticism in the relationships between male characters that threaten heteronormative masculinity but are, in the end, consistently trumped by hegemonic masculinity.
Author Landi RaubenheimerSource: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 22, pp 27 –44 (2013)More Less
This article investigates spectatorship of screen media. Early screen media is often thought to necessitate passive spectatorship, with thinkers such as Siegfried Kracauer (1987) and Walter Benjamin (2004) focusing on film. Such theories are later supported by critiques such as those by Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer (2003) on the mass media, and Laura Mulvey's (2004) text on the gaze in film, along with ideas around the flaws of the Cartesian position as spectatorship formulated in aesthetics. More recently, with the advent of digital media, spectatorship has been re-formulated as more active in terms of meaning making. Following earlier theorists, I argue here that screen spectatorship is not in fact as active as it now appears to be, and that spectators are often performing dialectical zombie-like spectatorship; appearing active when spectatorship is more distracted than before. Overwhelming spectacle catering to the 'eye lust' (Gunning 2004:871) and interactive elements convince spectators that they are acting with agency, but as I aim to show, also lead to an exacerbated collapse of contemplative distance, which paradoxically often renders spectatorship uncannily zombie-like. When spectatorship reveals itself as a strangely passive activity, it may be understood as uncanny in the manner that Freud (1955) formulated it.
Source: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 22, pp 45 –64 (2013)More Less
In this article we explore the nature of a particular kind of femininity, which we term 'Christian-Afrikaans femininity'. It is our contention that the rise of glossy magazines over the last two decades, and specifically since the fall of apartheid in 1994, aimed particularly at Christian-Afrikaans women in South Africa, is linked to a so-called crisis of cultural identity facing (white) Afrikaans speaking people at this time. The aim of the semiotic and iconographical analysis undertaken here is to explore the nature of contemporary Christian-Afrikaans femininity as it is constructed in two South African, glossy, women's magazines, namely, Finesse and Lééf. The construction of an ideal Christian-Afrikaans woman is considered here in terms of two closely related issues. On the one hand, we argue that the contemporary version of Christian-Afrikaans femininity is rooted in the social-political context of Afrikaner nationalism. On the other, we show that such myths are also rooted in the ideological construction of the 'ideal' woman in a Christian context, where patriarchal notions of gender continue to be perpetuated and maintained. It is, therefore, our aim to explore and expose the ways in which these two magazines naturalise a specifically white and normative construction of Christian-Afrikaans femininity thereby regulating and restricting the gender identities of modern Christian-Afrikaans women. This research is derived from H Mans' MA in Visual Studies, completed in 2013 under the supervision of J Lauwrens.
Author James SeySource: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 22, pp 65 –78 (2013)More Less
The first medical X-ray photograph was taken in 1895 by Wilhelm Röntgen. This was a time when such technological devices to measure and record previously unrecordable and little understood physical processes were proliferating. These technologies focused, with the notable exception of the work of EJ Marey, on visualisation, culminating in the dominance of cinema technologies in twentieth century culture. The use of X-rays in art has been largely limited to revealing layers of paint and other materials underneath the ostensible work, in order to aid the process of the restoration of paintings in gallery collections. In some cases the X-ray process reveals a different image to the one apparent in an exhibited work, for example the painting Lake Garda (1921) by Maggie Laubser, obscures a self-portrait by the artist. The ability of the technology to reveal thus also raises the spectre of obfuscation - that is, of the aesthetic meaning of the work. The X-ray also thus reveals a temporal dimension to the works which perforce becomes part of their meaning. However, this temporality is not sequential and does not move inevitably forward. Is what we see when we look at the works the primary image, or can the obscured image recaptured by the machine come to replace the 'finished' work in terms of time, space and meaning? This technology of vision, in its palimpsestuous character and propensity to manipulate the sequential nature of time, problematises the link between vision and aesthetic meaning itself.
Author Rita SwanepoelSource: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 22, pp 79 –98 (2013)More Less
Ten spyte van 'n demokrasie van bykans twintig jaar sit Suid-Afrikaners steeds opgesaal met die komplekse nalatenskap van 'n verlede gekenmerk deur rassespanning. Direk na die eerste demokratiese verkiesing in die land in 1994 was Suid-Afrikaners vir 'n kort rukkie saamgesnoer in 'n euforie van 'n sogenaamde reënboognasie onder die vaandel van neo-patriotisme en die Afrika-renaissance. Sedert President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela in 1999 die leisels aan Thabo Mbeki oorgegee het, is daar 'n teleurstellende agteruitgang in rasseverhoudings. Om antwoorde te probeer kry op die vraag hoe en watter rol kuns kan speel om met die verlede vrede te maak, interpreteer ek twee werke van Willem Boshoff, naamlik Panifice (2001) en Writing in the Sand (2000). Die teoretiese raamwerk vir hierdie artikel vind aansluiting by Paul Ricoeur se voorstelle vir 'n nuwe kyk op geskiedenis deur 'n verbeeldingryke omgang daarmee. Daar word ook aangesluit by Giorgi Verbeeck se insigte ten opsigte van 'n terugkyk op die verlede vanuit 'n eietydse perspektief en omgewing.
Despite living in a democracy for nearly twenty years, South Africans are still burdened with the complex heritage of a past characterised by racial tension. Directly after the first democratic election in the country in 1994, South Africans were for a short period united by the euphoria of a so-called 'rainbow nation' under the banner of neo-patriotism and the African Renaissance. After Thabo Mbeki succeeded President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela in 1999 there has been a disappointing deterioration in race relations. In order to get answers to the question how and which role art could play in order to make peace with the past, I interpret two works of Willem Boshoff, namely Panifice (2001) and Writing in the Sand (2000). The theoretical framework for this article draws on Paul Ricoeur's proposals for a new perspective through an imaginative engagement with history, as well as on Giorgi Verbeeck's insights on looking at the past from a contemporary perspective and milieu.
Promoting and popularising the asylum : photography and asylum image-making at the Grahamstown Lunatic Asylum, 1890-1907Author Rory Du PlessisSource: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 22, pp 99 –132 (2013)More Less
Studying the history of the Grahamstown Lunatic Asylum under the medical superintendency of Dr Thomas Duncan Greenlees (1890-1907), the nature of imaging the institution emerged as a point of interest. This article specifically explores how Greenlees promoted and popularised the asylum in order to gain custom from private patients. I argue that one way in which Greenlees created patronage was through the cultivation of a public image of the asylum as ideally suited to the care of middle class patients, as well as promising restoration and recuperation from insanity. In this manner, the image-making of the asylum provided a vital tool to counter public fears and stigma. Furthermore, Greenlees's image-making acted as a form of public relations with the broader community to initiate public confidence in the establishment.
Picturing change : curating visual culture at post-apartheid universities, Brenda Schmahmann : book reviewAuthor Lize KrielSource: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 22, pp 133 –134 (2013)More Less
Brenda Schmahmann's own involvement in changing the visual image of Rhodes University coincided with the writing of this book, in which she takes a look at the way South African universities reconfigured their visual representation in the era of transition from the 1990s to the present.