So my current fascination is with the South African artist Mary Sibande. It started when I discovered her sculpture "Wish You Were Here." (below)
In lieu of the protests and riots in Charlotte, NC, which is about an hour from where I live now, among other reactions and thoughts, I started thinking about art and protest. I wondered how artists have addressed the act of protest, in the past and present. At a recent lecture I attended the professor said "art creates a collective memory," which really resonated with me and made me very curious to look at art made by many different artists during a specific time. I wanted to see what kind of narrative disparate artworks may tell us about a movement, or even whether or not art could simply capture the zeitgeist. I thought specifically about looking at the civil rights movement, and then began to look at apartheid as well. I was curious how different national artists, through their unique vision and cultures, addressed these two monumental race struggles.
In my internet searching, I have derailed on Mary Sibande and her character "Sophie" who is the woman depicted in her sculptures. Sophie is this kind of alter ego character who, while dressed in this garish, prohibitive Victorian style maid's uniform, embarks on these epic fantasies. Through Sophie, Sibande is exploring female identity by examining the role of women in contemporary society, notions of beauty, power struggles, and race.
Sibande doesn't appear to have a website, so I just googled her. There are lots of articles, like this one.