A Performance by Kemang Wa Lehulere
June 27 2013 at 17:30
To accompany the presentation by Johannesburg-based platform Center for Historical Reenactments (CHR) currently at the New Museum, CHR member Kemang Wa Lehulere presents a lecture performance that considers the metaphor of falling, and how this connects with the institutional suicide CHR committed in 2012. For the artist, to fall not only signals a physical or ideological ending (to fall to one’s death or the fall of a regime) but also an intensification of desire (to fall in love), bringing to bear the entangled conditions of life, death, love, and resistance. Wa Lehulere structures the performance around instances of falling drawn from CHR’s two years of activity in addition to art historical precedents and events key to rethinking South Africa’s past. Staged in CHR’s “After-after Tears” installation for a small number of guests, the performance recasts this space of public viewing as one of intimate observance that resonates with other works in the gallery. In this moment after CHR’s death, Wa Lehulere contemplates what it means for an institutional body that cannot live yet never dies.