Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-2016

Publication Title

Kronos: Southern African Histories

Volume

42

Abstract

This article analyses the bed installation in Simon Gush’s Red exhibit to draw attention to the ‘sleep-in’ aspect of the 1990 East London Mercedes-Benz strike. It shows how the strike narrative’s emphasis on the shop workers and Nelson Mandela’s flawless red Mercedes-Benz automatically insulates the strike’s central sleep-in component from the topic of queer desire. By revealing Red’s beds and the acts thereon as the strike narrative’s ‘queer limit’, the article uses Gush and Emma Sulkowicz’s techniques to reinvent the sleep-in as a complex space of homosociality and queer self-discovery. Doing so builds on Gush’s installations and uses performance to deliberately ‘pervert’ the strike’s collective memory and offer up strategies for queer critique in (South) African historiography.

Issue

1

First Page

56

Last Page

70

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2309-9585/2016/v42a4

ISSN

2309-9585

Comments

Originally published in Kronos: Southern African Histories vol. 42, no. 1 (2016). Available from publisher at http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2309-9585/2016/v42a4

Rights

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution–ShareAlike 4.0 International license (CC BY–SA 4.0)

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