The Art of Being A Part: Clifford Charles and AntHony KEy in Dialogue

Saturday, 9 November 2013

15.30 - 17.30 (note time), Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre

Speaker(s): Clifford Charles (artist), Anthony Key (artist), Professor Tamar Garb (UCL), Professor Sarat Maharaj (Lund University)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission with advance booking required. BOOK ONLINE: . For further information, email

Organised by: Dr Wenny Teo and Zehra Jumabhoy

Apartheid, a policy of racial segregation formerly practiced in the Republic of South Africa, literally refers to the ‘state of being apart.’ While much critical debate has focused on the violent struggle between the black South African majority and the white supremacy of the ruling Afrikaner National Party government, this symposium centres on the work of two ethnic minority artists, Clifford Charles and Anthony Key, of Indian and Chinese descent respectively, who spent their formative years in South Africa under apartheid. The two artists will discuss their different experiences of being ‘a/part’, focusing on questions of agency and invisibility, national and cultural identity, migration and belonging, in relation to their recent artistic practice. They will be joined in conversation by the eminent cultural theorists and art historians Sarat Maharaj and Tamar Garb, both of whom have written extensively on South African art and cultural politics.

Clifford Charles spent his formative years within the 'Engaged Art' practice of Southern Africa. Initially he started out with South Africa's first Black Theatre company, The Dhlomo Theatre organization. He historically graduated from Witwatersrand University in Fine Arts and subsequently worked with the Afrika Cultural Centre, an art activist group working during the struggle against Apartheid. Subsequently he has researched, written and exhibited locally and internationally. His most recent painting-installation, 5 Rooms of Clouds was exhibited at India’s first Biennale in Kochi in 2012/13. See also

Anthony Key was born to Chinese parents in South Africa, where he spent his early years before relocating to the UK, where he now lives and works. He gained a PhD from Winchester School of Art and a MA in Fine Art from Brighton University. Recent exhibitions include Pot Luck, PM Gallery, London, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Wales and The New Art Gallery, Walsall (2009); English Lounge, Tang Contemporary, Beijing (2009); Boutique, Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester (2007) and Entanglement: the Ambivalence of Identity, INIVA, London (2011). See also

Tamar Garb is Durning Lawrence Professor in the History of Art at University College London. She graduated from the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town with a BA (Art) in 1978. She completed her PhD at The Courtauld Institute of Art which was awarded in 1991.Her research interests have focused on questions of gender and sexuality, the woman artist and the body in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century French art and she has published extensively in this field. Her interests have turned recently to post-apartheid culture and art as well as the history of photographic practices in Southern Africa. In 2008 she curated an exhibition on Landscape and Language in South African Art entitled Land Marks/Home Lands; Contemporary Art from South Africa at Haunch of Venison Gallery in London. In April 2011, her exhibition Figures and Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography opened at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. She is currently curating a series of exhibitions for the Walther Foundation, New York and Germany, entitled ‘Distance and Desire: Encounters with the African Archive’ and is a Leverhulme Research Fellow for 2012-2014.

Sarat Maharaj was born and educated in South Africa during the Apartheid years. He did his PhD in Britain on ‘The Dialectic of Modernism and Mass Culture: Studies in Post War British Art’. Professor of History & Theory of Art at Goldsmiths, London 1980 -2005, he is currently Professor of Visual Art & Knowledge Systems, Lund University & the Malmo Art Academies, Sweden. He was the first Rudolf Arnheim Professor at Humboldt University, Berlin, and Research Fellow at Jan Van Eyck Akademie, Maastricht. His art historical work centres on Richard Hamilton, Marcel Duchamp, and James Joyce. His research covers cultural translation and difference, textiles, sonics, and visual art as knowledge production. He was co-curator of Documenta X1, 2002. With Ecke Bonk and Richard Hamilton, he curated retinal.optical.visual.conceptual… at the Boijmanns, Rotterdam, 2002. He is curator of the Knowledge Lab (Haus der Kulturen der Welt), 2005 and Berlin/Munich 2006, as well as sound.image.movement experiments with Liu Sola (Beijing/NY) and Kofi Koko (Benin/Paris).

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