"After the Thrill is Gone" this is a still from "Inzilo," a 2013 video by Mohau Modisakeng that features the artist dressed in a simple black wrap skirt performing rituals in remembrance of colonial and apartheid violence. (image courtesy of the artist and WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town, South Africa)

One of over 40 works in "After the Thrill is Gone," Mohau Modisakeng's 2013 video "Inzilo" features the artist dressed in a simple black wrap skirt performing rituals in remembrance of colonial and apartheid violence. (Image courtesy of the artist and WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town, South Africa)

 

CWAM’s 2017-18 Season-Opening Exhibition Explores Politics of Post-Apartheid South Africa

More than 40 works by 13 artists from South Africa and Zimbabwe on display Sept. 12-Nov. 12

24 July, 2017 by Hugh Howard

WOOSTER, Ohio – “After the Thrill is Gone: Fashion, Politics, and Culture in Contemporary South African Art,” one of the first major exhibits in the U.S. to explore post-apartheid artistic practice, opens the 2017-18 season at The College of Wooster Art Museum (CWAM). The exhibition will run from Sept. 12-Nov. 12 (closed Oct. 6-16) at the CWAM, located in Ebert Art Center (1220 Beall Ave.).

The opening reception take places Thursday, Sept. 14, from 6:30-8 p.m., with a gallery talk at 7 p.m., by the exhibition’s curator, Andrew Hennlich, assistant professor of art at Western Michigan University. According to Hennlich, “Nelson Mandela’s victory in the 1994 elections marked the transition toward a new South Africa. However, South Africa’s continued legacies of dispossession and inequality render the present-day country insubstantially different from its apartheid predecessor. These cycles of repetition expose the reality of South Africa’s social conditions.”

Comprised of more than 40 works in a variety of media, including video, sculpture, installation, photography, works on paper, and textiles, the artists in “After the Thrill is Gone” comment on the social and political landscape in South Africa since 1994 by imagining new alternatives for South Africa’s future. From Mary Sibande’s voluminous gowns to Daniel Halter’s tartan print bags to Mohau Modisakeng’s ritual mourning performance, each artist locates fashion as a political language to give voice to the past, shape the present, and reposition the future. The other featured artists are Kudzanai Chiurai, Julia Rosa Clark, Hasan & Husain Essop, Pierre Fouché, Gabrielle Goliath, Haroon Gunn-Salie, Nicholas Hlobo, Gerald Machona, and Athi-Patra Ruga.

In addition to Hennlich’s gallery talk, another “After the Thrill is Gone” event will be a “Lunch at the Gallery” on Wednesday, Oct. 18, from 12-1 p.m. Students from a first-year seminar class, taught by Alicia Brazeau, director of the writing center at Wooster, will present on their responses to the work in the exhibition. A light lunch will be provided. Reservations are not required.

“After the Thrill is Gone” was organized by the James W. & Lois I. Richmond Center for Visual Arts, Western Michigan University. A digital catalogue can be viewed here.

The CWAM, which supports the College’s goals of teaching, research, and global engagement, is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1-4 p.m. All exhibitions and events are free and open to the public. For additional information, visit the CWAM’s website and/or call (330) 263-2495 or (330) 263-2388.