“After-after Tears” explores the political dimensions of institutional suicide through reconsideration of temporality, duration, and history. Reflecting on the platform’s recent death, Gabi Ngcobo (Center for Historical Reenactments [CHR] member and faculty at Wits School of Arts in Johannesburg), in collaboration with artist Kader Attia, will contemplate how staging an institutional suicide can not only be a form of refusal but also a means to desire a different existence, one that enables the platform to haunt obsolete systems and ideologies that continue to condition contemporary life. A two-part response will expand upon various logics underpinning creative acts of refusal. Khwezi Gule, Chief Curator at the Soweto Museums, will delve into the crisis of meaning around ritual, sacrifice, and transcendence in addition to notions of self and collective preservation. Sohrab Mohebbi, writer and Curatorial Assistant of Public Engagement at the Hammer Museum, will consider measures of time in music that produce shared frames of reference in order to imagine ways institutions could also be synched to a different time signature.
“After-after Tears” is organized as part of CHR’s Museum as Hub residency and gallery presentation by the same title (on view from May 22–July 7, 2013). The title references recent terminology related to after-burial gatherings that have become popular within township youth culture in postapartheid South Africa. CHR’s Museum as Hub project follows “We are absolutely ending this,” a twelve-hour event in Johannesburg on December 12, 2012, that staged the performance of the platform’s death. This act ended the collective’s previous activity—a decision to not simply conclude a single phase but rather to question the way institutions (in the art world, political arena, or otherwise) ossify around methodology, purpose, funding structure, and form.
Propositions is a public forum that explores ideas in development. Each two-part seminar introduces a topic of current investigation in an invited speaker’s own artistic or intellectual practice. Over the course of a seminar session, these developing ideas are responded to, researched, and discussed to propel them forward in unique ways.