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2019 SPE Annual Conference: The Myths of Photography and the American Dream / Major support by The Joy Family Legacy Foundation

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Saturday Keynote Speaker - Zwelethu Mthethwa

"Who is Watching?"

Saturday, March 09 - 5:30PM to 7:30PM
Grand Ballroom

The work covers two photographic series; one titled 'Hope Chest' and the other 'Gentlemen's Club' (working title).

'Hope Chest' deals with women that are married. This series focuses on the relationship between the married women and their prized possession ... the Hope Chest. The Hope Chest is the last gift which a woman receives from her parents before she gets married. It is a highly significant item as it houses all the bride's personal, prized possessions and is seen as a transient object in that it connects her past with the future and aligns with cultural heritage. The viewers here are both exposed to the tensions between the private and the collective.

The second series titled 'Gentlemen's Club' focuses on the relationship between or amongst the men and their audience. This explores the camaraderie that is established in these Gentlemen's Clubs, highlighting their residential backgrounds. The basis of these Clubs is music, performance (which is both vocal and theatrical) and dressing up. Unlike with the Hope Chest, this series focuses on the performative act which has a specific audience in mind. However, there is a congruent relationship between the Hope Chest and The Gentlemen's Club in the way in which both the men and the women dress up to display and define themselves.


Zwelethu Mthethwa
Zwelethu Mthethwa

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