Out of curiosity, we asked the Michaelis and CCA staff to tell us which books are currently perched on their bed-side tables, and/or their five all time favourite reads. We received an interesting array of responses.
Nomusa Makhubu‘s top ten reads:
Nomusa Makhubu is an art historian, artist and lecturer of Art History and Visual Culture at Michaelis. She has exhibited works nationally and internationally and has conducted research on politics of identity and sexuality; examining visual politics in contemporary South African art; and West African video-film.
Svea Josephy (a particularly honest response):
Svea, a senior lecturer on photography at Michaelis, is a photographer whose work has been exhibited widely, both nationally and internationally. Her research is concerned with the politics of post apartheid photography, particularly as it connects to the politics of the land and its representation in relation to identity. We were thus very grateful to find out her top South African photography books:
Nancy Dantas – who studied Contemporary Art, Theory and Criticism (MA from the University of Essex) as well as Curatorial Studies and Exhibition Organisation (Faculdade de Belas Artes de Lisboa) – has worked as a curator, independent collections manager, project manager, freelance press liaison and editorial assistant. She has organised a number of exhibitions including Thin Air, Quantos Queres, and MARZlive.
“Some of my all-time favourites”:
“Currently on my beside table (new acquisitions)”:
As a lecturer in new media and curatorship at the Michaelis School of Fine Art and the Centre for Curating the Archive, Carine has a particular interest in hybrid practices, the moving image and the book as a site of artistic production. Carine holds a particular interest in the notion of the anarchive, a term developed through her doctoral studies, which envisages the past as unbounded. This notion further suggests an openness to imaginative interpretation through artistic practices – the main focus of her work and teaching.
The following reply from Nina was hardly a surprise – if you’re at Michaelis and you’re trying to borrow a book from one of the staff members, you might just have to wait for Nina to finish up with it first. Nina: “My list of all time favourite/essential books has changed every time I thought about writing them down this last week. This is the list as it stands now. When you see me again – it will definitely have changed.”
Favourite/essential books (“You choose 5. I just can’t” – we included both #5s):
1) The Secret Place – Tana French
2) Orfeo – Richard Powers
3) The Giver – Lois Lowry
4) Six Walks in the Fictional Woods – Umberto Eco
5) The Way the World Works – Nicholson Baker
Beside being an extremely avid reader, Nina, who is currently working on her PHD, is a practicing artist and has exhibited in a variety of shows. Drawing on the expertise of individuals from a myriad of disciplines ranging from chemistry, medical imaging, physics, engineering and botany, she seeks to portray the intersection between the quantifiable and the poetic – using these scientific vocabularies to evoke feelings of ‘what might have been’, ‘if only’ and other yearnings of the heart.
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