Family Histories: Contemporary South African Artist Mary Sibande @ the Dishman Art Museum Opens Friday May 31, 2013 6:30-8:30PM
Family Histories: Contemporary South African Artist Mary Sibande
May 24-August 16, 2013
Opening Reception May 31, 2013 from 6:30 - 8:30PM
Hours: M-F 9AM-5:00PM
FREE and Open to the Public
Dishman Art Museum at Lamar University
1030 East Lavaca St.
Beaumont, TX 77705
Mary Sibande is interested in skin, fashion, and shadows. The body, for Sibande, particularly the skin and clothing is the site where history is contested and where fantasies play out. For the past six years Sibande has created various interpretations of a female domestic servant she has named “Sophie.” The name Sophie was popular among white employers who could not pronounce the women’s African names. The fabric used to produce uniforms for domestic workers is an instantly recognizable sight in domestic spaces in South Africa and by applying it to Victorian dress she attempts to make a comment about history of servitude as it relates to the present in terms of domestic relationships. Some of these iterations, as in Sophie-Ntombikayise, are created in direct homage to the artist’s personal familial history of domestic servitude, others branch out to more generalized black, female, Africans. Sophie-Ntombikayise represents the artist herself, the title combining the anglicized Sophie with Sibande’s African name as a gesture of self-actualization and empowerment. Regardless, the body of each sculpture is a cast of the artist herself, making each work simultaneously universal and autobiographical.
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