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Paul Emmanuel's exhibition "Remnants"

Paul Emmanuel's exhibition "Remnants"
Freedom Park Museum, Pretoria 
Thurs 25 June - Tues 30 July 2015

Paul Emmanuel 1 remnants copy


In the Battle of Delville Wood, during the World War One, white South African servicemen fell alongside the Allies fighting against the Germans. Their black comrades, who were not allowed to carry weapons, died as labourers in camps located on the English Channel at Le Havre and Dieppe. The names of black servicemen who died were left off memorials, while those who survived were denied medals to honour their risk and suffering.

South African artist Paul Emmanuel’s counter-memorial The Lost Men France , was the only international artist's project selected by the French government for the official World War One Centenary Commemorations Programme. It was installed in July 2014 adjacent to the Franco-British Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, in Northern France.

Photographs of Emmanuel’s body, printed onto silk, bore the names of servicemen from all nations who fell on the Western Front during World War One. Their names were pressed into Emmanuel’s skin with no reference to rank, nationality or ethnicity. By including black South African servicemen’s names, The Lost Men France  also questioned their exclusion from the walls of Thiepval Memorial.

After three months of exposure to the harsh Somme elements, only remnants of these silk banners remained, hanging from the steel supports in frayed tatters. The Lost Men France  was not a vast monolith of stone and mortar, but rather presented a male body as something fragile and vulnerable. It was a non-partisan, ‘antimemorial’ that talked to impermanence and forgetting.


The exhibition opens on Thursday 25 June at 18h30 with opening speaker André Croucamp

RSVP:
Sipho Mdanda |  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  | 076 150 6561




The exhibition is presented with the support of Art Source South Africa and the French Institute of South Africa.

 

 

 

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