The Aesthetics and Politics research platform is aimed at renewing a humanities inquiry through encounters with the visual and performing arts, and at critically investigating the intersection of the arts, politics, and publics in post-apartheid South Africa.

Among other engagements, exhibitions curated by the CHR under this platform have provoked a consideration of issues such as agency, empowerment, received categories of hierarchical distinction, exclusions and omissions from the South African art canon, and the desire of the politically subjugated to be human through creativity. As all archives open to the future, they have been designed to stimulates thinking about issues pertaining to notions affecting the human in the postapartheid present, among them the collapse of the community arts movement after 1994, the erosion of a broad-based cultural citizenship, the hyper-professionalism of the art world in which arts and culture function as mega-business (as distinct from the idea of art as a process of humanisation and empowerment), and the decline of creative education in an instrumentalised world weighted towards science and business education.

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New Jerusalem

The CHR is pleased to invite you to the opening of ‘New Jerusalem’, an exhibition of photographic work by the Visual History class of 2017.

Athlone in Mind

Athlone in Mind is a digital platform, book (edited by Heidi Grunebaum), and exhibition of commissioned contemporary art – a group show curated by Kurt Campbell.

Interruptions: Posters from the Community Arts Project Archive

Open Design Festival, Cape Town City Hall, 13 – 23 August 2014
Quarter Gallery, Regis Centre for Art, University of Minnesota, 18 November – 10 December 2014

Uncontained: Opening the Community Arts Project Archive

Art.b Gallery, Bellville, 8 May – 18 June 2012

Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town, 18 August 2012 – 12 April 2013