Matter, metaphor and meaning : the precariousness of the reality value of the representational status of Zwelethu Mthethwa's photography

 

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dc.contributor.advisor Salley, Rael en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Mputing, Abel en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2016-06-22T09:00:23Z
dc.date.available 2016-06-22T09:00:23Z
dc.date.issued 2015 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Mputing, A. 2015. Matter, metaphor and meaning : the precariousness of the reality value of the representational status of Zwelethu Mthethwa's photography. University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/20096
dc.description.abstract This study is divided into five sections. The introductory section briefly examines how South African black photography acquired its "history-telling" status and how the agitation against its rigidity came about and was achieved. The following chapter explores the norms and traditions that foreground the material elements and formal principles of Mthethwa's photographs within art criticism. The third chapter considers Mthethwa's betrayal of the viewer's strong attachment to the objective recognition of the depicted in portraiture. The fourth chapter nudges the viewer to consider disembodiment as an alternative discourse of Mthethwa's portraiture practice. The fifth chapter reflects on how the photographic abstractionism of the Wall Paper, 1995-2005 (Fig. 12) inverts the specificity of photography as a medium and promotes an aesthetic inclination rather than the viewer's emotional attachment to it. The last chapter closely explores the reception and criticism of Mthethwa's photography as "photography after the end of documentary realism" and the impact that it has (had) on the reception of his photographic practice and the hypothesis of this study (Enwezor 2010: 100). The overarching motive of this study is to demonstrate the fact that, methodologically, it is the reception of Mthethwa's practice as that which constitutes "photography after the end of documentary realism" that enables the viewer to look at his photographs as visual representations that subscribe to formalism and formal analysis: that dissolve the considerations of content to those of form. It is this viewing experience that, on one hand, encourages the viewer to locate Mthethwa's photographs within art criticism: that enables the viewer to uphold their cultural worth or their status as aesthetic objects that draw the viewer's sensory contemplation or appreciation to their beauty or sublimity. Also, it is this signification that, on the other hand, encourages the viewer to comprehend them as "sites of ambivalence" or as images that cannot be "read mimetically as the appearance of a reality", but as artefacts that are capable of narrating a fiction. (Bhabha 1994: 51). en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.subject.other Fine Art en_ZA
dc.title Matter, metaphor and meaning : the precariousness of the reality value of the representational status of Zwelethu Mthethwa's photography en_ZA
dc.type Thesis / Dissertation en_ZA
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Humanities en_ZA
dc.publisher.department Michaelis School of Fine Art en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Masters en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationname MFA en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image


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