Erica De Greef, Lisof lecturer, will be travelling to LA to present a paper at the ACASA 15th triennial symposium on African Art
Erica de Greef, Head of Department (Contextual Studies) and Senior Lecturer at LISOF has been invited to present a paper at the Arts Council of the African Studies Association's 15th Triennial Symposium of African Art, to be held at the University of California, Los Angeles, March 23 to 26, 2011.
The symposium, titled Africa and its Diaspora in the Market Place: Cultural Resources and the Global Economy, aims to examine the current status of Africa's cultural and creative resources, the influence of market forces both inside and outside the continent, and the intellectual and cultural debates that surround these developments.
The paper, titled 'Unknotting Place and Space': Considering the Signs of Africa in the works of Yinka Shonibare, Junya Watanabe, Black Coffee and Nicholas Hlobo, was selected to be part of a panel titled The Show Goes On: African Fashion on the Global Stage. This focus panel will aim to raise debate on the new visibilities of Africa and African fashion in the global arena, with attention paid to notions of authorship, cultural property and creative expressions in contemporary African fashion and its surrounding discourse.
De Greef says: “My paper aims to explore and investigate the 'signs' or visual codes of Africa referenced and applied in the work of fine artist Nicholas Hlobo, designers Black Coffee, fine artist Yinka Shonibare MBE and designer Junya Watanabe, in an attempt to locate Baudrillard's 'vanishing point of meaning', where signs from any place in the world have become open to even further combinations, variations and subversions, the moment they are interceded. The reading of these 'signs of Africa' in the fashioned body, is further complicated by the complexity of colonial pasts encoded in cloth, by politically situated definitions of fashion, and by the fluidity of post-modern identity constructs in Africa.”
De Greef has been teaching at LISOF for 15 years, recently focussing on Fashion Theory, and is currently Head of Department of Contextual Studies. She is also completing a Masters in Fine Arts at The University of the Witwatersrand, with a case study research project on the work of South African designer Clive Rundle.