In memory of Joan Mackenzie (1941 – 2004)
“By presenting this retrospective collection of my late wife’s art, I am proudly demonstrating, once more, the enduring quality of her work and its timeless relevance to today’s, recurrent, land and entitlement issues.”
James Mackenzie, 2019
“Concepts underlying my work are interwoven. I have looked at the historical context of the origins of the panorama as a mass medium, specifically in relation to the contentious issue of ownership of land. A parallel can be drawn between the history of the panorama and colonialism, specifically with regard to the contentious issue of land. Issues with regard to ownership of land stem from the very first ‘fences’ and ‘hedges’ that Van Riebeeck erected, the various Occupations of the Cape, through to the 1913 Land Act and more recent Forced Removals – the consequences of which are currently being negotiated through the Land Claims Court…” Read More
Joan Mackenzie, 1999
In the 1990’s, Joan Mackenzie unearthed a 1950’s, railway worker’s, “free” ticket, coupled with a “white”, political pamphlet, that the worker had penciled over with a sum that he just could not add up.
These three elements encapsulated a time in a land, where “culturally conditioned” people possessed a mindset that would never “add up”.
For the artist, finding that railway ticket initiated a chiasm*, through a series of metaphorical journeys, that encompassed crossing the “fenced” boundaries of time and memory, along with textually traversing and depicting the physical panoramas of a “fenced”, colonised land; excavation of that land would reveal, not only irresistible, pyroclastic forces at work on the strata, but historical evidence of equally overwhelming political forces on the surface, inciting the pogroms and removals of “un(en)titlement”.
*Chiasm: intersections of personal memory, myth and historical fact.
James Mackenzie, 2019
Articles and Press Release
On Friday 01 March, we opened ‘un(en)titled’ with a good turnout of friends, colleagues and fellow artists, who came to honour the memory of Joan Mackenzie. The conceptual nature of this emotive exhibition earmarks yet another first for The Studio Art Gallery.
Photography by A Photographic Affair