Strange Cargo by Ashraf Jamal launches 3 March

Thursday, 3 March, 2022 - 17:00

YOU ARE INVITED TO THE LAUNCH OF

STRANGE CARGO: Essays on Art

by Ashraf Jamal

 

 

THURSDAY 3 MARCH 2022 AT 5PM - 7PM

GSA Seminar Room UJ FADA

5PM Q&A Session with: 
 Ashraf Jamal
Hlonipha Mokoena
Bettina Malcomess
Sven Christian


6PM: Book signing

PLEASE NOTE THAT UJ IS A MANDATORY VACCINATION SITE. PLEASE BRING YOUR VACCINATION CERTIFICATE OR PROOF OF A NEGATIVE PCR TEST TAKEN WITHIN THE LAST SEVEN DAYS IN ORDER TO GAIN ENTRY.


RSVP (2 MARCH): visualidentitiesfada@gmail.com

 

Strange Cargo: Essays on Art is a collection of forty essays by Ashraf Jamal, written between 2019 and 2021, and published by Skira. It can be regarded as the twin of Jamal’s previous book, In the World: Essays on Contemporary South African Art (2017), which Afonso Dias Ramos described in the Burlington Contemporary as ‘unlike any publication on the topic ... a masterclass in arts criticism.’ Comprising forty-essays, Strange Cargo is no different. Both form part of a single venture to celebrate and entrench the rich complexity of South African artists in a global imaginary. The artists that Jamal chooses to reflect upon refuse to fit into a predictive algorithm. He has written with equal intensity about artists old and young, dead or alive, famous or relatively unknown, black or white, trending or not. Love and empathy—his indifference to difference—is his engine room, and much like the artists featured, Jamal does not only write for the moment we are in, but for a readership to come. In his synopsis of Strange Cargo, Serubiri Moses, co-curator of the signature perennial survey Greater New York at MoMA PS1 (2021), writes:

"A key to Ashraf Jamal’s writing is his prose, the bricks and mortar of his criticism and theory of art. Jamal pushes and pulls, laying bare the underlying tensions of his country of birth, South Africa, through bright contradiction … He offers a sensorium, forcing us to confront the ‘pathological’ and what it means to be human, to exist as beings that think and feel. Rather than being instructive, the aim is for readers to come to consciousness on their own terms, through a potent psychology and a generative doubt."

Similarly, writer and editor Alexandra Dodd writes:

"Unafraid to provoke the ire of the demigods of currency or cancellation, Ashraf Jamal comes to the artwork with his whole self, as if life depended on it—which, for many of us, it does. His writing asserts the adrenalising power of the art object. From a position of radical unfixity, he moves his dowsing stick across the surfaces of South African contemporary culture to divine the groundwater from the toxic slimes-dams of what he calls this 'phantom democracy'."




Wine is generously sponsored by de Trafford, find out more about their wine at https://www.detrafford.co.za/.