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Tag "New Museum"

Re: view – Center for Historical Reenactments: After-after Tears

Museum as Hub – New Museum, New York City, 22.5. – 7.7.2013

The South African artist collective Center for Historical Reenactments (CHR) went back to being an entity they never were. After “staging” an “institutional suicide” in December 2012, they were able to hauntingly reconsider their previous two years of existence and venture into an unknown future as well. “Death” was not an end but an afterlife that quickly resulted in a reincarnation in the shape of an exhibition in New York City. “After-after Tears”, in reference to after-funeral gatherings in South Africa’s post-apartheid townships, is modelled after these events in an open sense. By going beyond the after-after, the post-event constitutes a repetition for a potential next kamikaze. Then there is the twofold meaning of the hyphenated afters: being late (in time) and as (free) adaptation from an original form, or modelling after. CHR spirals like a double helix into open pasts, while their actions and performances are like rehearsals for future historical events. Its attitude is one of re-questioning questions that, in Gabi Ngcobo’s words, “perhaps have been asked before, but we repose them to see if the current situation produces new answers, or new ways to pose [these] questions”.

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