75 and apathy

a note.

We, in 75, call ourselves creatives, we get involved in long discussions that revolve around themes as diverse as watermarks, tags or stereotypes and hangberg.

 I believe that we are all well informed, intelligent and mostly from South Africa. I believe that we care about this country, that we care about our constitution and that freedom of expression should be something that we would like to defend. So should be our culture heritage and  our integrity.

 Why then this apathy and absolute vacuum around a subject of such controversy as Brett Murray's painting called The Spear, its defacing, the court case, Zuma and the ANC, The Goodman Gallery and City Press?

 Are we not concerned about such an event that exposes such a clash between two articles in our bill of rights?

 Are we not concerned about what precedent this court ruling might set?

 Are we not interested in picking each others brains and understand all the different points of view on this?

 Is 75 the same space that was considered one of the 9 essential websites for SA creatives?

For any of you that don't know what I'm talking about, that might live in a different country or planet, here's the painting that gave rise to such controversy:

 

 4 the spear jpg - jpg

17 Comments
 
  1. Diaan

    I've been quite unhappy about the ANC's handling of the situation, especially their self-serving rhetoric. I think the work is valid criticism of a president that's seen by many to care more for fucking than for governing.

    I hate that in this issue as most others our public discourse is not driven by our intellectuals, but by a lowest common denominator.

    That off my chest... I've been staying out of the debate because of a fear of being made a target because I am, to use the rhetoric of the ANC, merely a "privileged white liberal" and as such a prime target for the hate that has been thrown around. Since I don't like feeling the hate, I shut up. (And so the self-censorship starts.)

  2. Thato Koketso Mohuba

    Diaan, this shiiii is deep and real. for every right we have a responsibility. flip. we can go on and on. but you know, our circumstances as nation create the blur lines of our every existence and being. I'm an artist. I'm not a politician. I'm human, therefore understand everyones views and plays devils advocate to do so. so many over whelming things go on.
    God bless South Africa, thats all

    and so we read the following deep pieces that make one wonder.


    http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/I-am-a-racist-20120522

    http://www.timeslive.co.za/politics/2012/05/27/why-malindi-cried

    saddening things

  3. Uno

    @ Thato: why did you remove your previous comment? I really enjoyed it.

  4. lebogang nkoane

    I'll come back to this, once my thoughts are coherent.

    I am not rational, when my thoughts make me angry.

  5. Thato Koketso Mohuba

    Well, its quite an intense topic to handle and everyone has their views. yesterday i copied and emailed my girlfriend an article from NEWS24 titled 'I AM RACIST'. I was truly in favour of the article, whilst my lady wrote me an email expressing her views on the topic and how inconsiderate and narrow minded some people are. Now, I've set the grounds on which i will express my view, it starts with the changing of street names, the passing through of odd bills that censor us, and now the deep debate on how this picture here is derogatory and disrespectful. i believe, history is what makes us who we are, whether it was formed on brutal and bad things, it happened, why are we to erase it like it never happened? why do we want to change street names of generals and people who ruled the earths ages and ages ago. what reference of history will we have to point back at them, money spent change doing these things could easily be put into the lives of poverty stricken BLACK people that make up the majority of their votes. but yes, the ANC, has eventually brainwashed our people. We stick to the fact that they won us our freedom and we are who we are because of fallen warriors and respectful dignitaries, holding onto that is what they use to run things.
    We will not let THEM take over us again, silly things like that. How does that make us a rainbow nation and democracy if we still regard our fellow white, indian, colored brothers and sisters as THEM, an supposed threat to the democracy we live. now what has become scary is how this one streamlined way of thinking is what they use to remain in power, we speak of change, but if we heading the ways of zimbabwe where government won't accept competition and people won't open their eyes to what is really happening then this is sad. I will honestly walk around with a tshirt saying I AM RACIST because it seems as though if any one other than a black person did something wrong, they are racist, then i too, a black man should fall under the same criteria. Im sick of how this nation is being divided by the government because of their silly moves. An artist to fellow artists, i will seriously rock tshirts that say I'm a racist just to save our freedom of expression coz guess what? If Brett Murray gets away with this, they'll try change the bill, and if he doesn't, they'll probably do it anyway. I'm not angry about the painting, what angers me is the amp they use against him. That coz he is white, his intentions are to harm the presidents image. whatever, they should throw away their rhetorical tactic of racism. That word will no longer have meaning, if they dnt even know what it means. I hope I'm understood.


    @numero uno. this topic is so huge heyyy. ones views are like a can of worms. u know. u can't believe in the devil and not believe theres a God. I understand zumas rage and the disrespect of his rights as a human, even more so as the head of state, but i too believe that we are entitled to the freedom of expression and artist work without being judged by the very constitution that put it into place. We are in need of a revolt that will change the democratic constitution that is killing us. thieves roam the streets wit more rights than there victims, officials are living extravagantly with the very money they don't need but should put into building the country, i too am against the fact that are rainbow nation and we sought change but we are still divided when we can use statements like THEM referring to fellow bro's and sisters that know nothing about Europe and they are purely african, like our bro diaan over here. but we are A RAINBOW NATION. emotions run wild in everyone when topics like this come up but its unfortunate that the less fortunate and less educated never understand that its not the faults of anyone else that we are in this state but out government's. yes, apartheid lived but when it ended, we were meant to start a fresh and build on new grounds. like when u fail a paper, and are given the chance to rewrite, u can't blame the paper u failed for the mistakes you made in this one. its all just so disheartening. ye.

  6. Uno

    Thank you Thato. I know the topic is huge and I'm also divided in my views but events like these open up a space where these discussions become public and involve the whole country, it's almost like a referendum. There are so many different discussions that can take shape from the painting and the reactions to it but I feel that at the moment the debate is too narrow.
    Thank you for the links, I enjoyed the second one more though, better written and less angry.

  7. Uno

    http://www.brettmurray.co.za/
    http://blog.frieze.com/censorship-in-south-africa/
    http://www.artsouthafrica.com/blog/?post=111
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-18241925

  8. Diaan

    Also on Wikipedia. Copy and paste, the automatic link maker isn't happy with the last bracket.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Spear_(painting)

  9. lebogang nkoane

    *eish, another thing to work on.

  10. novocaine

    I think the article on africasacountry.com sums the situation up nicely. http://africasacountry.com/2012/05/25/this-is-not-about-art/

    As for that "I am a racist", I agree with the writer, she is a racist, nothing more - I can't believe so many people responded positively to that article.

  11. Diaan

    I agree, that "I am a racist" article was one of the worst pieces of tripe I've had the displeasure of reading in years. See what I mean when I say that our public discourse is no longer driven by intellectuals, but by the lowest common denominator? That's a prime example.

  12. lebogang nkoane

    I with Diaan. I had a similar discourse with a friend yesterday and we agreed on that: "our public discourse is no longer driven by intellectuals"

  13. Diaan

    Oh man! And now the media is trying to keep momentum going by picking on Vusi.

    http://www.sowetanlive.co.za/news/2012/06/01/et-painting-has-humour---vlismas

    On his Facebook Vusi said:
    "the sowetan wants to write about my new painting E.T. FRAMED, i hope i wont be lynched by the people. i think it will be joint venture,the right wing,the anc,the drunk next door,the post man, the domestic worker and the taxi driver, wink wink"

    His next update was:
    "jurnalist turning me words around, but dats the nature of the beast!"

  14. novocaine

    @Diaan, totally.

  15. sweetoof

    the art that all of this pivots on is as unoriginal as the turmoil it has propagated.

  16. Diaan

    http://thefalsifiabilityprinciple.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/the-spear-and-the-sickle-are-zuma-and-the-anc-appropriating-the-actions-of-lenin/

    @Sweetoof, I take it you are simply referring to the unoriginality of what it *looks* like, because the symbolism is frightfully original my man.

  17. sweetoof

    the imagery yes. i guess if you want people to get it, you just have to give it to them... straight. the rest of his Hali to the Thief series is interesting

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