GENEALOGY

02 May - 21 May 2017
Main and Mezzanine galleries

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The aim of this project is to reappraise historical interpretations of Afrikaner female subjectivity and cultural ideological representations. My work serves as a visual re-storying of the muted voices of three of my female ancestors, giving voice to some of the more hidden aspects of their narratives, and forms part of an attempt to establish a maternal genealogy.   Afrikaner women stand accused of enthusiastic participation in their roles as Volksmoeders. These women’s seeming collusion with an oppressive and prescriptive patriarchy was largely due to internalisation of their own ascribed inferior positions as women in a male-dominated culture.

I attempt to demonstrate how sublimation, for women, occurs within a prescriptive patriarchal cultural and social context, which invalidates the accusation that women might be consciously colluding in the maintenance of a phallocentric world order. Without adequate access to sublimatory expression and due to male control of the Symbolic order of culture and language, an empowered feminine Imaginary has been difficult to conceptualise, and women thus run the risk of remaining trapped within a societal Symbolic not of their making. My intention therefore, is to draw attention to ‘maternal debt’ that has been omitted, due to universal historical patriarchal interpretations, and to afford voices to the mute women who served as silent corporeal foils for men.