Hypersampling Identities, Jozi Style

Curated by The Visual Identities in Art and Design Research Centre (VIAD) in association with Life-style and Trend Analyst, Nicola Cooper and VIAD Post-Doctoral Fellow Daniela Goeller
October 2015
FADA Gallery, Bunting Road, University of Johannesburg, Bunting Road Campus


Hypersampling Identities, Jozi Style features work by contemporary sartorial groups such as the Sbhujwas and Izikothane; young, street-savvy design collectives including the Sartists, the Smarteez, Dear Ribane II3 and Khumbula; and individuals such as Dr Pachanga and Jamal Nxedlana, working in the urban Afropolitan environs of Jozi. Many of these cultural practitioners draw on or reference fashion styles of more established South African subcultural groups, specifically the Pantsulas and Swenkas. As sub-cultures originating in the 1970s, Pantsula and Swenking have contemporary relevance, not only as they are currently active, but also because both have created particular images of male black identities in apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa, two prominent ones being the ‘streetwise gangster-with-a-heart’ (the Pantsulas) and the ‘perfect gentleman’ (the Swenkas).

Ways in which these two images of black masculine identities inform the work of the Jozi-based cultural practitioners are highlighted in the exhibition. Following the multidimensional, interdisciplinary nature of their diverse practices, the work on Hypersampling Identities, Jozi Style is represented through a range of genres and media, and includes vernacular-, fashion- and documentary- photography; archival materials; imagery from popular visual culture; installations; artefacts; visual art; advertisements; films; and music videos.

Operating within, and moving between, Jozi’s seams (the inner-city, Daveyton, Soweto, Alex, Tembisa), young cultural practitioners manifest the diverse means of leveraging fashion style and movement culture that characterises Generation Z. An underpinning thread of connectivity in this digital creative network of production, dissemination, promotion and consumption, is the strategy of ‘hypersampling’: the remixing, re-appropriating, reintegrating, fusing, conjoining, and mashing-up of elements gleaned from a multiplicity of sources to produce new fashion styles. Working within the urban context of an ever-changing Jozi cityscape, scaffolded by consumerist, marketing and digital technologies, and fed on soundbytes of apartheid and colonial Southern and South African histories, they hypersample freely, even playfully, from a range of transhistorical, transcultural, visual, and material sources to express a range of ever-emergent and ever-changing transnational, transhistorical, transcultural, Afro-urban and Afrofuturist black masculine identities.

Click here to view the exhibition


Public Programme

Public Lecture | Dr Christine Checinska

Wednesday 30 September 2015, 18h00 for 18h30, FADA Gallery

FADAFILM Premiere | Black Dandy

Thursday 1 October 2015 at 19:00, FADA Auditorium


For further information on the exhibitions and related public programming, please contact:
James Macdonald, Curatorial Project Manager, Visual Identities in Art & Design Research Centre
Office: +27 (0)11 559 1249, Email: jmacdonald@uj.ac.za
VIAD Social media: Facebook || Twitter || Instagram

Eugene Hon, Director FADA Art Gallery
Office: +27 (0)11 559 1386, Email: eugeneh@uj.ac.za
Gallery hours: Monday to Friday 09h00 – 16h00

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