18:00 SAST

18:00  SAST

The Ongoing Public Auction

A Re(member)ing of the Spatially Erased Black Woman

The Tale of the Tree. Bandora, P. Unit 19. 2021.

Patricia Bandora

BArch Hons 2021

Unit Leader: Tuliza Sindi
Unit Tutor: Muhammad Dawjee
Unit Assistant: Lynette Breed

UNIT 19︎︎︎
The Act of Service: The Myth of Violence
Architecture is a practice that is able to reflect the historically and socially constructed spatial practices that have informed the way the Black Female Body is perceived in South Africa. These spatial conditionings include those that are rooted in the slave auctioning practices that took place under a Fir Tree during Cape Slavery (1658-1834), now a memorialised space. Slave women’s bodies (and particularly their sexual reproductive organs) were displayed, dehumanised, and made economic property.   

Even in the absence of the Fir Tree, the soul of the profound act of public auctioning lives on, as its figurative roots remain embedded within the substrata of South Africa. The Black Female Body remains scrutinised and continually rendered hyper-visible[1], complicating the black women’s agency to her own body in various public and private spatialities.

The work posits that architecture, as a physical marker of meaning and practice, and with its overriding and rescripting capacity, must render these spatial manifestations transparent[2], as a form of testimonial, through interrupting these spatial practices.   

The Ongoing Public Auction proposes an installation at the Old Slave Auction Tree memorial, to correct the politically orchestrated condition of the objectified and commodified Black Female Body as hyper-visible while rendered invisible. This mispackaged and curated collective memory, curated both literally and figuratively, lives on in the country’s collective consciousness.   

The project makes use of reflective surfaces, light, and shadow as sensory devices to redefine the meaning of black women in space and offer a re(member)ing of the Black Female Body.

Hypervisible, Transparent, Testimonial, Auction, Black, Woman, Female, Body, Interrupt, Slave Tree, Memorial

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