Made in Translation: Images from and of the Landscape

  • Location: South African Museum
  • From: November 21, 2010     To: November 30, 2011
Made in Translation: Images from and of the Landscape
Installation view of Made in Translation: Images from and of the Landscape, Iziko South African Museum. Photograph by Iziko Photographer, Carina Beyer

Paintings and engravings are everywhere in the southern African landscape. They are the creative expressions of ideas that were once alive in the conversations around the campfire and in the rites of passage that marked the milestones of human life. Today these paintings and engravings have become sources of great longing, their meanings elusive; the impulses that gave rise to them often hotly debated.

Rock art copies are seen as acts of translation, primarily translating the ‘unboundedness’ of the paintings as they exist in the landscape, into the framed image of the copy. The exhibition showcases a diverse range of translations including the works of copyists from the mid-19th to early 20th centuries. A collection by Leo Frobenius who explored southern Africa with a team of ethnographers and artists between 1928 and 1930 reveals the remarkable large-scale copies his project produced. Included in the exhibition are copies by, amongst others, George Stow, Helen Tongue, Dorothea Bleek, Joseph Orpen and Charles Schunke. It also includes insights of contemporary scholars, historical and contemporary photographs, and translations of San texts and stories.


Pippa Skotnes, Director of the Centre for Curating the Archive
Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town
Petro Keene of the Iziko Social History Collections department.


Sven Ouzman
Tel: +27(0)21 481 3883

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