George Mahashe

Research Associate, Honours Programme in Curatorship)

Born 1982 in Bolobedu, South Africa, Mahashe operates within the wider field of photography, particularly at the intersection of anthropology, archives and artistic practice. He is currently working on ‘––defunct context’, which is a series of timber pavilion interventions emanating from his contemplations on the Anthropology Museum at the University of Witwatersrand. Mahashe holds a PhD in Fine Art from the University of Cape Town where he lectures as part of the Michaelis School of Fine Art. At Michaelis he expands on ‘––defunct context as an experimental prototype exhibition pavilion thinking about what kind of expression space is appropriate for a subjectivity with many conflicting accountabilities extending beyond the arts.  He convenes the Honours in Curatorship programme and Michaelis’ 1st year fine art foundation course. His research interest focusses on Limpopo province’s Balobedu people (and their constitutionally neglected language), whose use of mythology and rumour evaded colonial manipulation and representation practices in innovative way. He is particularly drawn to the idea of a camera obscura as a relief from photography’s difficulty to escape from European representation practices.

His current projects include Camera Obscura #0, Thabana Ya Dafida an installation at a remote hill at Ga-Sekgopo in Limpopo; Mufhiri in collaboration with Waza art Centre in Lubumbashi; as well as Modjadji le Dikolobjana in collaboration with the Zurich University school of the Arts’ and researchers of the University of Geneva’s Astronomy Department as part of the Artist in Labs Residency program. He recently contributed to Episōdo 02, Deliberations on Discursive Justice - Scenography for Suspended Time’ presented as part of After Glows 2020 Yokohama Triennale. Museum projects include, ––defunct context: Ejaradini (2019), by MADEYOULOOK at Anthropology Museum, in Johannesburg. Group exhibitions include participation in Lifescapes-Six Object Biographies at Wits Art Museum (2017), ‘The Jerusalem Show VIII: Before and After Origins’, Qalandiya International Biennale (2016) and the 10th and 11th Bamako Encounters African Biennale of Photography (2015/7). Mahashe recently contributed as faculty member for the Lagos Biennale’s Curatorial intensive hosted by the 2nd Lagos Biennale. Publications include the journal article ‘Walking towards a camera obscura’ published by Critical African Studies.

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