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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Violence and the cultural logics of pain: representations of sexuality in the work of Nicholas Hlobo and Zanele Muholi
Author:Makhubu, Nomusa M.ISNI
Periodical:Critical Arts: A Journal of Media Studies (ISSN 0256-0046)
Geographic term:South Africa
About persons:Nicholas Hlobo
Zanele MuholiISNI
Abstract:South African artists Nicholas Hlobo and Zanele Muholi have raised critical issues regarding sexual identity in patriarchal contexts since they premiered at the Michael Stevenson Gallery in 2005. Nicholas Hlobo, a sculptor and performance artist, and Zanele Muholi, a photographer and activist, explore different ways of representing sexuality - in particular, homosexuality. Hlobo investigates notions of masculinity and the practice of circumcision, while Muholi documents the existence of transgender and homosexuality in township spaces. This article focuses on the roles that violence plays in the sexual politics represented in Hlobo and Muholi's work. While numerous South African artists' work deals with these issues, the choice of these practitioners is based on their approaches to the ambivalence of violence with regard to the black homosexual subject in conservative, as well as liberal, spaces. Although it can be argued that Hlobo's work deals mainly with black masculinity rather than homosexuality, his work is chiefly inferential to sexual dynamics between men and gender transformation. Central to the work of these two artists is the ambiguity of sexual identity. Hlobo and Muholi's visual imagery investigates the boundaries set by different social constructs. These set boundaries have also affected crimes against bisexual, transgender and homosexual individuals which are reaching alarming proportions. Hlobo questions the validity of structures that marginalize homosexual individuals through drawing attention to the ambivalence of certain statutes, while Muholi seeks to publicize the injustices asserted on homosexual individuals in order to demonstrate the weight of that crisis. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]