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unsettling voices

with Georges Mahashe

'Interlucutor/halfie/artist––being a Molobedu, artist and academic in the #fall era–– opacity? ––or doing other things…'

This talk looks to my trajectory as a photographer through a problematic relationship with cultural institutions (e.g. state galleries and the academy) towards insisting on being contemporaneous (living in time––not being a subject of history and euro-american time). This narrative, which is a story of questing for some form of archive, culminates in considerations of the role of artistic practice in maintaining a semblance of self within an environment where the self is only tolerated as far as it can unsettle coloniality––this is not to be mistaken for an opportunity for imagining new constellations, but an expectation to simply trouble old ones so that they are forced to reinvent themselves in the guise of new arrangements. Does it mean this (unsettling) is not necessary? No, just that there are other things to do."

George Mahashe is a Johannesburg-based artist currently working with scientists of the Astronomy Department/University of Geneva in the Autumn of 2018, focusing on research on exoplanets. George operates within the wider field of photography, particularly at the intersection of anthropology, Balobedu archives, artistic practice and astronomy. He is a PhD Fine Art candidate at the University of Cape Town, regularly contributes to academic conferences and is convener of the "Defunct Context", a curatorial proposition at the Department of Social Anthropology's ethnographic museum at Wits University in Johannesburg.