The paper engages with the politics inherent in the exhibition of artworks in post-apartheid South Africa, an environment tainted by socio-political conflict, xenophobia and survival strategies. Art exhibition in South Africa is complex due to several factors: Ongoing sociopolitical turmoil, lingering political stigma around certain cities, raging violence and crime, unemployment, rapidly rising living costs and financial instabilities. On one hand, being in a developing third-world country, South African artists have relatively few choices when it comes to the exhibition of their work, since it is mostly in the major cities that museums and contemporary art galleries are found. These artists also tend to go where the cultural and fiscal contexts are more conducive to art production, exhibition and reception, since South Africans have become nomadic and tend to move to where it is perceived to be safer and where there are more job opportunities. On the other hand South African galleries and museums are crippled by continual increasing costs, fewer visitors due to urban violence and more politically and financially induced decision-making. They are thus faced with the ongoing task to devise ways in which to speak to artists and audiences alike and to entice them into their spaces.
|Keywords:||Post-Apartheid South Africa, Nomadic, Stigma, Urban Violence and Crime, Xenophobia, Rising Cost of Living|
Senior lecturer, Department of Visual Arts, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
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