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KILLING THE (M)OTHER (article first published : 2002-05-20)

Running in the NSA’s Mezzanine Gallery from May 21 at 18h00 until June 9, is an exhibition titled Killing the (M)other by Gail Iris Neke, a Johannesburg-based artist.

This exhibition was shown at the Bell-Roberts Art Gallery in Cape Town last year and the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg earlier this year. After conducting research at rape clinics and referencing contemporary psychoanalytical texts, Neke has interpreted this research using mixed media installation. She interrogates why men rape, rather than examining the effects of rape on the survivor, thereby examining the processes through which male vulnerability is represented by and projected onto women who are objects of both desire and fear.

Although the work often elicits an intense response from the viewer, Neke has attempted to keep the works 'cool', rather than emotional. She states that "for the sake of their insecure identity, many men continue to demonstrate their 'masculinity' to other men and to themselves, through the bodies of women and children. Rape breaches most obviously the body but also assaults the psyche, not only of the victim but also of all women. My visual work is not easy to confront. However, neither is the reality of violence against women and children."

Neke has exhibited widely and her work is represented in numerous public collections. She has been involved as an activist in many organisations.

A public walkabout will be conducted by Gail Iris Neke on May 22 at 12h30.




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