IPCNY Summer Exhibition 2020

Give me space:New Prints 2020/Summer, curated by Chitra Ganesh. International Print Centre, New York, USA

27 June 2020



The title of this exhibition, Give Me Space, reflects the radical and unprecedented shifts in space, both physical and psychic, that are emerging as a result of the current political moment as we confront simultaneously spiraling crises of public health and systemic racism. Give Me Space speaks to these conditions—of a global pandemic and the stark inequalities it has laid bare, which are giving way to a radical restructuring of how bodies exist in public space and can access intimacy. In the process, the works offer re-imagined geographies and a new way of thinking about everyday environment, intimacy, and official record.


This jurying process was thus informed by our COVID-19 context—in which for the first time, IPCNY's New Prints exhibition, due to current social distancing guidelines, will only ever be viewed online. For a set of forms and practices that are as deeply imbued with materiality as the printmaking process, this presented an unexpected challenge. The result is a selection of works whose formal qualities I hope could be translated, preserved, or opened up further for inquiry as best as possible in a digital realm.


This year’s submissions by more than 1,000 artists encompassed a broad range of approaches to form, including portraiture, architectural drawing, collage, abstraction, animation, the inclusion of text, books, textiles, and archives. In the process a few categories emerged as frames for viewing the selection of prints. As you navigate the site you can explore these overlapping categories and their meanings: PsychoGeographies, Points of Contact, New Cosmologies, Environment and Justice, and A Story in Fragments.

In some cases, the formal language employed sheds light on these conditions, drawing on printmaking technologies to bring attention to the economic precarity, policing and racial profiling, non-consensual family separations, and authoritarian power that have been part of our moment and the past several years. As I write this statement in the context of experiencing a curfew in New York City for the first time in almost 70 years, and certainly never in my lifetime as a New Yorker born and raised, I hope that the works that you see here aim to provoke meaningful consideration of and necessary breathing room from the task at hand: of seeing the world as it is with our eyes open, and transforming the complex and contradictory structures that frame our exceptionally fraught political moment.



JUNE 2, 2020

The Bride Stripped Bare....(even) series of print constructions

17 June 2020
During the initial period of lockdown in South Africa, we experienced a "hard" lockdown, where a number of our civil liberties were removed. We were for the first time in my life, under a curfew (from 5 am - 7 pm) with no travel permitted, even in the event of an emergency, no exercise was permitted and we were only allowed to leave our homes to purchase food. We had a deployment of an additional 73 000 military personnel to enforce these lockdown conditions and police brutality and unwarrented vigilence led to many arrests of ordinary citizens and the death of Colin Khosa, brutally assaulted by military officers while on a shopping trip. The debacle of the ban on the sale of tabacco and alcohol is another decision that has no medical basis and the NCCC is ignoring the recent call for disclosing evidence during current court case to have the ban on tabacco sales lifted. In this extended lockdown period, many small and medium businesses have had to close, people have lost their income and the increase of depression, family and gender violence and suicides has increased exponentially. Current decisions taken by government and the proposed political agenda to use this pandemic disaster to implement social restructuring (RET - rapid economic transformation) is of grave concern. My response to all of the above is my series of 3 works "The Bride Stripped Bare....(even)", with subtitled "Hear No Evil", "See No Evil", "Speak No Evil". Each work is 30 X 40 cm unframed and is mounted on pages of our constitution which have been redacted with gold leaf.