queer is still understood by many South Africans in a derogatory manner. Hutton attempts to reframe the word, rerouting perceptions towards awareness of the ‘Outsider’ existing very much ‘inside’ the sphere of the ‘norm’. Hutton’s personal stance embraces the liminal, and her work reflects this in its ability to blur boundaries. Having situated herself as Queer, Hutton also attempts to alter the somewhat narrow visions that define what it means to be African. She rejects the idea that white South African’s are not African. An unorthodox view of the marginalised and disenfranchised forms a large part of Hutton’s approach to the liminal, including abused women and the white underclass. Three exhibitions form the bulk of Hutton’s work, including I, Joburg (2012), I Have Fallen (2006 – 2009), and Written on Her Face, My Mother’s Story (2008). In I, Joburg particularly, Hutton uses the uncompromising city
of Johannesburg as her muse. Hutton dismantles the perception of Johannesburg as a place where people fear to tread, affirming herself as a legitimate and rightful resident. She erases the idea that she must be the fearful white woman not willing to leave the confines of her security fencing and surveilled home in the Southern suburbs. Johannesburg is as much a part of Hutton’s identity as her Queerness. Never willing to succumb to the image of the victim, Hutton tells the story of individuals that form the heart of Johannesburg. Negating any dogmatic emphasis on difference, Hutton highlights the humanity of the diverse people that live in the city, whilst negotiating issues of representation, oppression, marginalization, and classification. Through a kind of visual metonymy, Hutton delivers her subjects to the viewer. She does so boldly in the face of symbolic castration, transforming the term ‘Queer’ into an expression of collective pride and dignity. 3
A catalogue detailing the works and artists included in the third iJusi portfolio, curated by Pieter Hugo.