About the part that art plays in a globalising society

Framer Framed

Installation photo Mary Sibande - Conversations with Madam CJ Walker (2009), photo (c) Eva Broekema, Framer Framed

28 Aug –
27 Nov 2016

Exhibition: Re(as)sisting Narratives

Framer Framed presents a unique collaborative exhibition titled Re(as)sisting Narratives, curated by Chandra Frank. The exhibition explores lingering legacies of colonialism between South Africa and the Netherlands through engaging with contemporary artists from both countries.

Re(as)sisting Narratives is a result of a two-year project with South African based partners: District Six Museum and Centre for Curating the Archive. Participating artists explore broader themes such as race, gender, memory, trauma and spatiality in their work. This multi-media group exhibition features work by artists who are connected by a shared interest in evoking and readdressing that what is left behind, that what is (in)visible, and a visual fusion of reality and fantasy to create new ways of being.

The exhibition is on view at Framer Framed in Amsterdam from 28 August – 27 November 2016 and at District Six Museum Homecoming Centre in Cape Town from November 23 – December 13 2016. More on the exhibition at District Six Museum.

Participating artists

Mary Sibande,
Sethembile Msezane,
Mohau Modisakeng,
Athi-Patra Ruga,
Burning Museum Collective,
Toni Stuart & Kurt Orderson, and
Judith Westerveld.

Similarly, Athi-Patra Ruga’s, The Night of the Long Knives I, from the ongoing performance series The Future White Women of Azania, centers the body and comments on a pre-and post-apartheid state, but through evoking fantastical characters adorned with colorful balloons. The tapestry UnoZuko reflects embroidered narratives of future imaginings and inhabitants of Azania.

Athi-Patra Ruga - Night of the Long Knives I (2013) LR Athi-Patra Ruga – The Night of the Long Knives I (2013)

Mohau Modisakeng’s video art pieces Ga Bose Gangwe and Inzilo – an isiZulu word for ‘mourning’ – speak to the enactment of ritual and healing, simultaneously alternating between inward and outward gestures, with the Ditoala Series (VII and XIII) offering a commentary on the Black body within the South African post-colonial context.

Sethembile Msezane - Chapunga-The Day Rhodes FellSethembile Msezane – Chapungu – The Day Rhodes Fell (2015)

Both the work of Mary Sibande and Sethembile Msezane speak to Black womanhood. Sibande’s installation Conversations with Madam CJ Walker evokes speculative fiction in which transnational connections are addressed, whereas Sethembile Msezane uses performance to address the absence of Black women’s bodies in memorialized public spaces. Both Chapungu – The Day Rhodes Fell and Untitled (Freedom Day) reflect Msezane’s performance art,  illuminating the failures of the New South Africa and the transformative potential of current student protests.

Commissioned works

Several new works where commissioned for the exhibition. The exhibitions, both in Amsterdam and Cape Town, include work made on site by the artist collective Burning Museum Collective, which consists of wheat pasted edited archive photo’s. The collective uses music, language and space to interrupt the grammatical structure of city architecture.Presented in the exhibition space of Framer Framed and outdoor on the Steve Biko Square in Amsterdam are onsite-made wheat pastes and enlarged photocopies coming forth out of their project Straatpraatjies, that questions, ‘What would historical transcriptions in the present landscape look like’?

Poet, Toni Stuart, and filmmaker, Kurt Orderson’s installation: Krotoa-Eva’s Suite: a cape jazz poem in three movements, challenges the dominant male colonial narration of history through centering on Krotoa-Eva’s historical rol. She was an early mediator between cultures and instrumental in working out terms for ending the First Dutch-Khoi-khoi War.

Artist Judith Westerveld also realized new commissioned works with The Remnant. In the video installation she examines historical remains of constructed (racial) boundaries such as walls and hedges in the South African landscape, created during the time of Dutch colonialism.

Re(as)sisting Narratives is conceived as an ongoing project and dialogue that engages and incorporates ideas of queerness, decoloniality as well as the futurity of the archive.

Opening performance

Sunday August 28th, 17:00
The exhibition will be opened with a performance by artist Toni Stuart. In presence of curator Chandra Frank, artist Judith Westerveld and artists of the Burning Museum Collective. In addition to the opening performance, an extensive public program will take place throughout the duration of the exhibition among which a performance by dancer, choreographer and LGBTQI activist from Cape Town, Kirvan Fortuin.

Re(as)sisting Narratives on show at the District Six Museum, Cape Town, South Africa. Parallel to the exhibition in Amsterdam, Re(as)sisting Narratives will be on show in an adapted version in South Africa, at District Six Museum in Cape Town. You can view the exhibition here from 23 November – 13 December 2016.

Educational program

For the educational program surrounding the exhibition, Framer Framed collaborated with ‘Face to Face’. Face to Face develops a new teaching method based on digital communication technology that is used to enable exchange between students in different countries. In the run-up to the exhibition Re(as)sisting Narratives, two schools in the Netherlands and South Africa were linked. Pupils simultaneously worked together in online workshops: ‘international peer education’. One of the outcomes of the project was a pop-up exhibition that was shown alongside the exhibition Re(as)sisting Narratives at Framer Framed and the District Six Museum in Cape Town. More information can be found here.


Framer Framed and Re(as)sisting Narratives are supported by the Mondriaan Fund, Tolhuistuin, Dutch Culture / Shared Cultural Heritage, Stichting Democratie & Media and Amsterdam Fund for the Arts

Colonial history / Shared Heritage / Contested Heritage / South Africa /


Exhibition: Re(as)sisting Narratives in South Africa

Exploring lingering legacies of colonialism between South Africa and the Netherlands through engaging with contemporary artists from both countries


In Memoriam: Kirvan Fortuin
Memorial Celebration to commemorate the life of Kirvan Fortuin
Museumnacht Amsterdam 2016
Framer Framed programme during Museumnacht 2016.
24H Noord: exhibition tours Re(as)sisting Narratives
Exhibition visit and tours by artist Judith Westerveld during the 24H Noord event.
Performance: My Tongue Softens On The Other Name
Interactive performance reflecting on the exhibition Re(as)sisting Narratives, through taking inspiration from a poem by Gabeba Baderoon.
Unseen: tours Re(as)sisting Narratives, door Judith Westerveld
Unseen Photography Photo Fair & Festival tours by artist Judith Westerveld.
Re(as)sisting Narratives in context
A conversation in the context of exhibition 'Re(as)sisting Narratives' with curator Chandra Frank, participating artist Judith Westerveld, and moderator Jennifer Tosch.
The Story Might Not Be Complete
A discussion on erasure and the archive.
Straatpraatj(i)es: Onthoud jy nog
An intervention by Burning Museum in the Transvaalquarter, Amsterdam.
Burning Museum: Addressing the headquarters
Cut, paste, snip, plak, sak, pap, plat, bek!


Kirvan Fortuin

Dancer, Choreographer

Dorothy Blokland


Yahmani Blackman


Sethembile Msezane


Mohau Modisakeng


Kurt Orderson


Mary Sibande


Athi-Patra Ruga


Judith Westerveld

Toni Stuart, photo (c) Amaal Said

Toni Stuart

Poet, performer, educator

Chandra Frank

Curator and PhD Candidate