A new exhibition by artist Anton Kannemeyer presented by Michael Stevenson takes the quote “Fear of a Black Planet” from The Devils by Fyodor Dostoevsky and runs rampant with it.
Kannemeyer is unflinchingly committed to using the polemics of race to explore the vigorous debates about racism that still enliven and shadow daily life in South Africa. As the shimmer of the rainbow nation has faded, issues around race continue to underlie the most contested issues in the country. Each day the newspapers abound with stories provoked by inequalities linked to race, from instant wealth as a result of Black Economic Empowerment to impoverished whites affected by affirmative employment policies. Yet the subject of race is rarely addressed directly, remaining the most sensitive issue in the country – and the continent – due to the long history of exploitation of Africans by Europeans.
Kannemeyer confronts us with the fears that underlie these debates about race, his works possessing a frankness and humour that often leave us awkward and uncertain of our own position.
You figure it out!