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YBCA in collaboration with SFMOMA presents

Public Intimacy

Art and Other Ordinary Acts in South Africa
February 21, 2014 to June 29, 2014
Athi-Patra Ruga, The Future White Women of Azania, 2012; performed as part of Performa Obscura in collaboration with Mikhael Subotzky; commissioned for the exhibition Making Way, Grahamstown, South Africa; photo: Ruth Simboa, courtesy Athi-Patra Ruga and

Disrupting expected images of South Africa, the 25 contemporary artists and collectives featured in Public Intimacy eloquently explore the poetics and politics of the everyday. This collaboration with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art presents pictures from SFMOMA’s collection of South African photography alongside works in a broad range of media, including video, painting, sculpture, performance, and publications—most made in the last five years, and many on view for the first time on the West Coast. Coinciding with the 20th anniversary of democracy in South Africa, Public Intimacy reveals the nuances of human interaction in a country still undergoing significant change, vividly showing public life there in a more complex light.

Public Intimacy includes works by Ian Berry, Ernest Cole, David Goldblatt, Handspring Puppet Company, Nicholas Hlobo, ijusi (Garth Walker), Anton Kannemeyer, William Kentridge, Donna Kukama, Terry Kurgan, Sabelo Mlangeni, Santu Mofokeng, Billy Monk, Zanele Muholi, Sello Pesa and Vaughn Sadie with Ntsoana Contemporary Dance Theatre, Cameron Platter, Lindeka Qampi, Jo Ractliffe, Athi-Patra Ruga, Berni Searle, Penny Siopis, Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse, and Kemang Wa Lehulere.

Public Intimacy also includes a publication and a symposium on “visual activism” affiliated with the third biennial conference of the International Association for Visual Culture.

Public Intimacy is co-curated by Betti-Sue Hertz, Director of Visual Arts at YBCA; Dominic Willsdon, Leanne and George Roberts Curator of Education and Public Programs at SFMOMA; and Frank Smigiel, Associate Curator of Public Programs at SFMOMA.