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Saturday, April 29, 2017


Opening at the KZNSA Gallery on May 2 is the thought-provoking exhibition Marlene De Beer: Genealogy.

This project reappraises historical interpretations of Afrikaner female subjectivity and cultural ideological representations.

De Beer explains her body of work:

“My work serves as a visual re-storying of the muted voices of three of my female ancestors, giving voice to some of the more hidden aspects of their narratives, and forms part of an attempt to establish a maternal genealogy. Afrikaner women stand accused of enthusiastic participation in their roles as Volksmoeders. These women’s seeming collusion with an oppressive and prescriptive patriarchy was largely due to internalisation of their own ascribed inferior positions as women in a male-dominated culture.

“I attempt to demonstrate how sublimation, for women, occurs within a prescriptive patriarchal cultural and social context, which invalidates the accusation that women might be consciously colluding in the maintenance of a phallocentric world order. Without adequate access to sublimatory expression and due to male control of the Symbolic order of culture and language, an empowered feminine Imaginary has been difficult to conceptualise, and women thus run the risk of remaining trapped within a societal Symbolic not of their making. My intention therefore, is to draw attention to ‘maternal debt’ that has been omitted, due to universal historical patriarchal interpretations, and to afford voices to the mute women who served as silent corporeal foils for men.”

Marlene de Beer is a lecturer in Jewellery Design at the Durban University of Technology. The exhibition forms part of her PhD degree in Visual Arts at Stellenbosch University and contributes to the conceptualisation of a feminine Imaginary.

The exhibition will be opened on May 2at 17h30 for 18h00 by Marí Peté, a poet with numerous published solo collections. She is Senior Lecturer (e-Learning Innovation & Research) in the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching of the Durban University of Technology. Her poetry is available at

Marlene De Beer: Genealogy will run until May 21. The KZNSA Gallery is situated at 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood, in Durban. More information on 031 277 1705, fax 031 201 8051 or cell 082 220 0368 or visit