The concept for this project was born with Durban artists Deborah van Niekerk and Caroline Birch, and has its roots in the interest of contemporary South African cultural identities.

  • 17 August 2010 - 05 September 2010

Being white, female, South African and artists, Birch and van Niekerk are interested in the visual language of symbols and symbolism. More specifically, this extends into an interest in South African symbols, and how people react to them according to their inner identities.

In Masuga, the artists don maids uniforms as a symbol of the inner uniform people adopt (for example housewives, businessmen, school teachers, clergy, artists, etc.) and also as a symbol of change. With this project the artists conclude that boundaries that once seemed clear cut are no longer so: social, residential, financial and gender boundaries all seem to be in constant flux. Working with photographer Rogan Ward, the two artists chose the medium of photography as a way of documenting this transient calling of circumstance.


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