New Museum as Hub Exhibition Opens Center for Historical Reenactments Project

. May 22, 2013

The Museum as Hub will presents “After-after Tears,” a project exploring the operational strategies of Center for Historical Reenactments (CHR), a Johannesburg-based platform founded in 2010, currently in residence at the New Museum, on view May 22–July 7, 2013.

Center for Historical Reenactments, “Na Ku Randza,” 2011. Public intervention in Center for Historical Reenactments’ neighborhood, Doornfontein, Johannesburg. Courtesy Center for Historical Reenactments, Johannesburg. Photo: Sanele Manqele

Center for Historical Reenactments, “Na Ku Randza,” 2011. Public intervention in Center for Historical Reenactments’ neighborhood, Doornfontein, Johannesburg. Courtesy Center for Historical Reenactments, Johannesburg. Photo: Sanele Manqele


Over the course of two years, CHR gained local and international recognition through diverse projects that mobilized around historical events and sites in order to explore how officially obsolete systems and ideologies continue to condition contemporary life.

“After-after Tears”—a reference to “after tears” parties held in the wake of funerals in black South African townships—is a fitting frame for a project that follows CHR’s decision to commit an institutional “death” in December 2012. This act ended the collective’s previous activity—a decision to not simply conclude a single phase but rather to challenge the way institutions ossify around methodology, purpose, funding structure, and form. The exhibition encompasses commissioned installation, video, and performance work developed during CHR’s residency at the New Museum. The project makes reference to significant sites, events, and source materials from their previous two years of activity, which present architectural anchors and historical sightlines that examine the collective’s working philosophy and probe key questions that shaped its formation. “After-after Tears” considers how acts of refusals haunt spaces after they are staged.

“After-after Tears” is conceived for the New Museum by CHR members, Donna Kukama, Gabi Ngcobo, and Kemang Wa Lehulere, and organized by Ryan Inouye, Assistant Curator, Museum as Hub. www.newmuseum.org

Category: Museum News

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