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I, JOBURG P H OTO G R A P H Y B Y N A D I N E H U T TO N


I, JOBURG B Y N A D I N E H U T TO N

I, JOBURG presents but a fragment of Nadine Hutton’s photographic and video work. It was a conscious decision by both curator and artist to showcase a selection of Nadine’s previous and ongoing projects, by presenting work which makes reference to the contexts in which she works, lives, loves and creates. Although on the surface it may appear that the exhibition takes on a linear approach, the selection of works presented mirror the thematics and approach which inform Nadine’s direct, quiet, yet schizophrenic and queer visual sensibility.


Prosaic at first glance … Yet how often do you see a man carrying an oversized bear … would you go inside a makeshift cardboard home under a staircase and ask for directions or ask the man with the wig if he can break your R50 note so you can play Batota? It is all about the odd moment in as much as about the pause before the moment and its ultimate capture of it. The documentary style, as seen in the first images the viewer encounters, speak of the parallel contexts Nadine occupies and what transpires in each. Be it the city, which she menacingly documents and captures fragments of, or the more staged settings in which she allows the opportune moment and improvisation to guide her carefully crafted compositions, to the more private use of portraiture and colour. The trajectory of the exhibition is also about the transitions in Nadine’s work – a move from the public into the private and from the private by making it public. It is about the passage from the documentary sensibility, which informs her style, to the realms of the intimate, theatrical and/or display of the queer elements. She also refers to her work as “mediated” – as a shift from being the observer to becoming a participant, no longer hiding behind a lens in the use of her tool – the iPhone. Shooting becomes more about the composition and the image than the technicalities involved, and immediacy is also translated in her capacity to instantaneously share. I, JOBURG is an amalgamation of cacophony, spirituality, melancholy, sexuality, absurdity, silence, friends and lovers, aspirations - in essence the poetry of her social and personal commentary, through the use of the still and moving image. Maria Fidel Regueros


Bear


Friday


Zoo city


Under the M1


Under the M1


Mojak


Laundromat


Shelter


Coming. Going.


Skumbuso’s Joburg dream


Self-portrait


In a life full of Wednesdays with a heart made of gold there’s always tomorrow and you’ll never grow old darling you’re the sweetest thing that I’ve ever known In a life full of Wednesdays you’re never alone out there waiting out there waiting out there waiting for me In a life full of Wednesdays with a heart made of stone there’s no need for tomorrow and you’re always alone out there waiting out there waiting out there waiting to come home In a life full of Wednesdays with a heart made of gold there’s always tomorrow and you’re never alone 88 Kilos of Sunshine


From God’s Land


Airbrush


The Man. The City.


It’s a shame Mr Mayor


Power


Gito’s corner


Hostel


Little Richard


Inkukhu


Father


Wiseman’s photo studio


Zion


Mai Mai


The chicken that got away


Frankie, God’s Land


Unicorns


Skop


Memoirs of a Killarney Houseboy, film still


Memoirs of a Killarney Houseboy, film still


This is a photograph that Nadine Hutton did not take of me. Sure, that might be thematically problematic since this reflection is not about me, but that’s what I do: when I am asked to do something about someone else, I say it’s really about me and that’s never going to be easy …


I choose this photograph to interrogate, to perplex. It’s my own homage to Nadine. This image, from an ongoing project called ‘Self photo,’ says something of someone who intends to look homosexually glamorous, aspirant and desirable; someone who wants to perform beyond the deranged, the bloody, or the compassionate – something I suspect might be written in Hutton’s disarming yet deliciously ingenious portraitures (…of me) – and in reality, I am naught nor neither of any. Because the photograph I took of myself is shite. It’s self-conscious, mediocre, and maybe out of focus. I sigh competitively and realise I am just like many others: a figurine, dancing alongside the Turkish puppet’s dance of history that has been strung along by a hidden hunchback who is puppet master. This is Walter Benjamin’s metaphor. Benjamin, whom I often turn to when perplexed, assists with my own neurotic wrangling of ego, politic and desire. Benjamin presents history as a puppet manipulated by a hunchback: a tortuous and playful construction of the automaton that beats a drum from a machine that suggests continuum. But in reality, reality itself is manipulated by the freak who is backstage or underneath the stage, suggesting a menacing Wizard of Oz scenario in the interplay of constructed time, body, and space within history. Nadine’s work is neither that nor this, but is also all of that and this; and that is the paradox, of course. Her work disarms the pretence of the hunchback and instead brings the grotesque right into view. And in these lenses, the grotesque dissipates into an absence of suggested longing for the grotesque. Sounds all bloody beautiful. But that’s just it: sounds it. And, is it? There is something else. Disarming this beauty is the freak playing the camera. Playing as in a delicate choreographic


activity, fingering-like psychology, played from a perspective that is the mechanics of technology. And this is Nadine Hutton. Nadine is a freak and that makes her a sublime example of evolution. She is different. She operates differently counter to dominant discourse. That in itself is freaky and a celebration. I first heard of Nadine Hutton through Brian Webber who had then just performed as Brittney Spears in Hutton’s freakshow (sic) at The Bag Factory. He spoke of a spontaneity and genius. I was jealous that “the genius” had not found me yet. When I moved back to Johannesburg, the answer to Nadine Hutton’s name when I asked around suggested a Gertrude Stein recluse who was not to be disturbed. So I never knocked. Luckily I then received a residency at The Bag Factory where Nadine had a studio. I was not stalking her. Let me just make that clear here. I was not … In fact, I forgot all about her, since I never knocked. And then, we met. We did somehow, and danced around each other for a while like potential lovers – flirting coquettishly until … (I scurry for a metaphor that will circumvent passages of experience and time. And then refuse to do this, suggesting both mystery and GLAMOUR. Time passes, history, blah, blah …) I am now doing this, writing this with a respite of critical clarity because this is a catalogue and I am an academic and, secondly, Narcissus. I can’t be critical. And yet I am … I can’t be critical because my own reading of Nadine’s work celebrates both the inside and the outside that is also the very part of me. I can only say:“Now, I am in the journey of Nadine Hutton.” And in parts, as reader of this text and the work you see ahead, and in front of you, it is also you: you become part of that history that is also an invitation into the eyes of a dancer of a dance that is a dance of history. Myer Taub


Kafka/Hemingway. Taub


42, Rand Club


Eibie


Skabenga


Felix


It was a hot, wet highveld afternoon. She was hot. I was wet. I lit another cigarette and put my lighter back in my pocket, adjusting my package, deliciously, as I did so. She told me to hold it there. Just there. Frisson. She squinted, measuring me. Then took a sudden step forward. Leaned in. My breath caught in my throat, along with my heartbeat. Her hand between my neck and my breast for a charged second, smoothing out the crease in my shirt beneath my suspenders. She studied me appraisingly. I felt it in my pants. She knew it. She moved more deliberately, but slower, all the while commanding my movements – the angle of my head, the posture of my hands, the focus of my eyes – leaving no doubt that she was in charge. I slipped a finger, then two, beneath my Fedora, providing relief to the shaved, sweaty skin beneath it. Yes. Just there. Her voice was calm and assured. Confident. Inviting my own confidence. I returned her appraising stare. Looked straight at her. She didn’t flinch. Instead, without looking up from her camera, she smiled. Yes. That’s it. Just there. Just like that. Germaine de Larch


Germaine


Lose the dreads


Defy


Johannes


#classifythis


1) Chow 2) Shit have I got an idea 3) Thumb types 4) Ignore each other 5) Facebook surprisingly interesting this last week 6) Fleas 7) Scratches 8) You can do anything you like 9) Not that you need me to tell you 10) Silence 11) Fuck. Look at the sky. 12) Listen you wanted to come to this meeting 13) I know 14) That does not mean I wanted to meet 15) I’m making up for the time I left my phone 16) At home 17) Silence 18) Twitter 19) God this is delicious, thank you Martha 20) Thank you Martha 21) You can say that again 22) Thank you Martha 23) Silence 24) I had to go to Sandton 25) Suffering fools and moustaches 26) I am sorry that happened to you 27) We will discuss speaking hyperbole to bitumen 28) Another time 29) Chuck

#lesfolies


Lesley


Toni & Jack


Myer & John


Housewarming


Toni


I said to my muse: you never do anything around this place. She was lying in bed reading poetry. I said other muses carry water from over two kilometres away. She asked me to make her a cup of tea. From the kitchen I shouted: Do you want a biscuit with that? She said no. She’s not greedy or excessive and she tells me at least twice a day that she loves me. But I can’t help feeling that she’s taking advantage somehow. It’s hard to get good help these days. In the middle of the night I find her pacing the house and I say to her, why don’t you come back to bed and she says: shhh … can’t you hear the leaves making love the heavy heartbeat of the buildings? There’s a crane with its fingers in the mountain’s purse … And I pause but all I can hear is her breathing and all I can see is the city surging surprised in the reflection of her headlamp eyes. Phillippa Yaa De Villiers


The poetry award


Winter is coming


Transitions


Daylights?


Queer


First Edition, 2012. This exhibition would not be possible without the support of: Maria Fidel Regueros, Curator Amichai Tahor and Lightfarm Andrew Wessels, Co-Founder ROOM Special thanks for putting their money where their mouths are: 88 Kilos of Sunshine @umlungux and my muses, without you I am just another creepy peeping tom: Myer Taub Lesley Perkes Germaine de Larch Phillippa Yaa De Villiers Toni Morkel John Trengove and the people of Johannesburg.


One day the Hillbrow Tower started to cry. Real tears poured down its sides collected in the gutters, and ran down Banket Street, and when the other buildings saw the tower’s sadness they started to weep in sympathy. Soon the whole city was sobbing, the tears joined other tears and filled the depressions and valleys. They covered the koppies,and collected in City Deep, cascading over Gold Reef City flooding Fordsburg and soaking Soweto. They flowed until they became a river that carried us into the night, where our dreams grew taller than buildings taller than buildings. phillippa yaa de villiers NADINE HUTTON does not love JOBURG. She craves it.

She is obsessed with JOBURG. She treats its streets and its people much like a stalker would. She is a menace. JOBURG is not just home, she is a muse.

with text by Maria F idel Regueros, Myer Taub, Lesley Per kes, Ger maine de Larch and Phillippa Yaa de V illier s. www.2point8.co.za

Profile for ROOM Gallery & Projects

I,JOBURG by Nadine/Dean Hutton : Exhibition catalogue  

I, JOBURG presents a selection of Nadine/Dean Hutton’s photographic and video work. The exhibition showcases the artist’s previous and ongoi...

I,JOBURG by Nadine/Dean Hutton : Exhibition catalogue  

I, JOBURG presents a selection of Nadine/Dean Hutton’s photographic and video work. The exhibition showcases the artist’s previous and ongoi...