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 Anger over Mandela 'corpse' painting

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PosOnderwerp: Anger over Mandela 'corpse' painting   Fri Jul 09, 2010 2:37 pm


2010-07-09 08:51


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Johannesburg - A painting depicting Nelson Mandela as a corpse undergoing an autopsy is causing a stir in a Johannesburg shopping centre, the Mail & Guardian reported on Friday.

The painting is a modern take of a 17th century Rembrandt painting called The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tripp which depicts an autopsy being undertaken in front of a group of doctors.

In artist Yiull Damaso's version, former president Mandela is the cadaver with late Aids orphan Nkosi Johnson performing the autopsy. Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and politicians FW de Klerk, Jacob Zuma, Cyril Ramaphosa, Trevor Manuel, Thabo Mbeki and Helen Zille look on.

This week the Hyde Park shopping centre, where the painting is being housed, received complaints about the work.

Damaso said he was called into the shop because a person wanted to speak to him on the phone.

Freedom of expression and art

"The person on the phone told me that she was a friend of one of Mandela's daughters and that the daughter was very upset about the painting. I was told that they had recently had a death in the family and that they are still very bereaved".

The Hyde Park shopping centre's marketing manager Nicola van Kan told the newspaper: "We feel it is a controversial piece... but we support freedom of expression and art."

She said the centre had spoken to Damaso after the complaints.

"He explained the piece and we were happy with that."

Talking about the controversy, Damaso told the Mail & Guardian: "The eventual passing of Mr Mandela is something that we will have to face, as individuals, as a nation."

Nelson Mandela turns 92 on July 18.

In 2000 Damaso produced a series of paintings depicting Mandela with dreadlocks and as elderly and wearing boxing gloves and a tiny belt.

At the time the Nelson Mandela Foundation apparently took issue with the paintings.

"They told me that his image was copyrighted. But how can you copyright the image of a public figure," he told the newspaper.
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PosOnderwerp: Re: Anger over Mandela 'corpse' painting   Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:37 pm

ANC outraged over Mandela painting
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA Jul 09 2010 15:52

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A painting on the cover of the Mail & Guardian depicting former president Nelson Mandela as a corpse undergoing an autopsy is an insult to South Africans, the African National Congress (ANC) said on Friday.

"The ANC is appalled and strongly condemns in the strongest possible terms the dead Mandela painting by Yiull Damaso," senior party spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said.

"It is in bad taste, disrespectful and it is an insult and an affront to values of our society."

The painting, which is on display in the Orpheo Twins store in Hyde Park shopping centre, is a modern take of a 17th century Rembrandt canvas called The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp, which depicts doctors watching an autopsy.

In Damaso's version, late Aids orphan Nkosi Johnson performs an autopsy on Mandela while Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, President Jacob Zuma, his predecessors Thabo Mbeki and FW de Klerk and fellow politicians Cyril Ramaphosa, Trevor Manuel, and Helen Zille look on.

Mthembu said the front-page use of the picture had strengthened the ruling party's resolve to establish a media tribunal, a proposal which has been strongly criticised by the opposition.

"We strongly condemn the practice and promotion of the freedom of expression and freedom of the arts which knows no bounds and only sees itself as the most supreme freedom that supersedes and tramples other people's constitutional rights to dignity and privacy, and undermines our values," Mthembu said.

"We therefore remain resolute and unmoved in our call for an independent arbiter in the form of a media appeals tribunal to monitor, regulate and chastise the kind of gutter, soulless and disrespectful journalism of Mail & Guardian."

Mthembu said the fact that a story about the painting only appeared on page ten showed that it was of little news value.


CONTINUES BELOW



"It is [the] kind of gutter journalism and soulless sensationalism which knows no limit and will exploit anything to increase its bottom line," he said.

"It goes further by violating Tat' uMandela's dignity by stripping him naked in the glare of curious onlookers some of whom have seen their apartheid ideals die before them," he said.

"Mandela is our international icon, respected and celebrated the world over as the source of wisdom and the humanity well from which to drink. He is a man whose ideals would live forever and whom we should cherish and respect and forever hold dear."

"That is why we are more shocked and disgusted [by] this so called art that depicts a dead Madiba," Mthembu said.

Cosatu called for it to be removed from public view.

The painting was "deeply offensive" to all South Africans and caused distressed to Mandela's family and his admirers across the globe.

Several people called the Hyde Park shopping centre this week to complain about Damaso's work, including a woman who claimed to be close to the Mandela family and chastised him for upsetting the family while it grieves the death of Mandela's great-granddaughter Zenani last month.

"The person on the phone told me that she was a friend of one of Mandela's daughters and that the daughter was very upset about the painting," Damaso said.

"I was told that they had recently had a death in the family and that they are still very bereaved."

The mall's marketing manager Nicola van Kan told the M&G: "We feel it is a controversial piece... but we support freedom of expression and art.

"He explained the piece and we were happy with that."

Damaso told the M&G: "The eventual passing of Mr Mandela is something that we will have to face, as individuals, as a nation."

In 2000 Damaso produced a series of paintings depicting Mandela, who turns 92 next week, with dreadlocks and wearing boxing gloves.

He said the Nelson Mandela Foundation complained about these.

"They told me that his image was copyrighted. But how can you copyright the image of a public figure," Damaso told the newspaper. --Sapa
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PosOnderwerp: ANC skree blou moord oor skildery   Sun Jul 11, 2010 8:22 am


2010-07-10 23:34


Celinda Groenewald in Johannesburg

’n Politieke storm het losgebars oor ’n skildery waarin Suid-Afrika en die wêreld se grootste lewende ikoon, oudpres. Nelson Mandela, uitgebeeld word as ’n lyk wat oopgesny word asof vir ’n nadoodse ondersoek.

Die omstrede werk deur die kuns­tenaar Yiull Damaso is gegrond op Rembrandt se bekende Die anatomieles van dr. Nicolaes Tulp.

In Damaso se weergawe omring bekende Suid-Afrikaanse politici die lyk van Mandela.

Suid-Afrika se regerende alliansie het met ongekende woede ge­reageer en die uitbeelding as walglik, oneerbiedig en rassisties beskryf. Die ANC het ook die skildery aangegryp om opnuut voorbrand te maak vir ’n “onafhanklike media­tribunaal”, wat in kringe buite die regering beskou word as ’n verskuilde poging tot ’n heksejag op die vrye media.

Teen druktyd het die Mandela-gesin hulle nog van kommentaar weerhou. Die skildery hang sedert Dinsdag in die Hyde Park-winkelsentrum in Johannesburg.

Mnr. Jackson Mthembu, ANC-woordvoerder, sê die party keur die skildery ten sterkste af. Hy het gal gebraak teen die Mail & Guardian, wat die skildery eergister op hul voorblad gepubliseer het.

“Dit is in swak smaak, oneerbiedig en ’n belediging vir die waardes van ons samelewing,” sê Mthembu.

Die ANC veroordeel voorts “die bevoordeling van die vryheid van spraak en die kunste wat geen grense ken nie en op ander se reg op waardigheid en privaatheid trap”.

“Hierdie onbeteuelde vryheid van die media bewys die selfregulerende drukmedia is ’n rampspoe­dige resep… Ons gaan dus voort met ons poging om ’n onafhanklike mediatribunaal op die been te bring om dié siellose, agterstraat-joernalistiek te takel.”

Volgens hom is dit ’n daad van “ubuthakathi” (toordery) om ’n lewende persoon as dood uit te beeld en boonop is die skildery rassisties.

Mnr. Patrick Craven, Cosatu-woordvoerder, sê dit is veragtelik dat die ikoon Mandela uitgebuit word vir winsbejag.

“Cosatu eis dat dit uit die openbare oog verwyder en nooit weer vertoon word nie.”

Damaso sê egter die skildery het nog net positiewe reaksie van die publiek uitgelok. Hy sê hy sal graag met Mandela se familie wil praat.

“Hulle moet weet dit is uit die grootste liefde en bewonde- ring gedoen. Hy (Mandela) bly die man wat ons land en volk gered het.”

Maar Damaso gee toe: “Dit is ’n skokkende beeld en mense sal ongelukkig wees, maar dit is geskep om mense te laat kyk en dink.”

In die skildery lig Nkosi Johnson, die bekende vigswesie wat aan dié siekte oorlede is, die spiere in Mandela se voorarm om vir die omstanders te wys dat hy net menslik is.

“Mnr. Mandela se lewensbesluite het mense toegelaat om hom in ’n bepaalde lig te sien,” sê Damaso. “Dít is wat die omstanders van die bekende leier moet leer.”

Pres. Jacob Zuma word uitgebeeld waar hy na Nkosi kyk vir leiding. “Hy (Zuma) is ons president en in ’n magsposisie. Ons wag om sy besluite te sien,” meen Damaso.

Me. Nicola van Kan, bemarkingsbestuurder van Hyde Park, sê die kunstenaar beoefen sy reg op vryheid van uitdrukking en die sentrum ondersteun dit.

- Met Rapport se besoek aan Hyde Park het besoekers slegs lof uitgespreek vir die kunswerk.

Mnr. Samuel Lekalakala (28), ’n klerk in die sentrum, sê hy het dit op sy Facebook-profiel gelaai.

“Net die manier waarop Yiull die skildery verduidelik… Al was ek blind sou ek presies geweet het waaroor dit gaan.”

- Damaso het nie op ’n verkoopprys besluit nie. Sy ander Madiba-werke verkoop teen R120 000 elk.
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PosOnderwerp: Re: Anger over Mandela 'corpse' painting   Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:30 am

Nelson Mandela autopsy painting sparks South Africa row
Page last updated at 17:21 GMT, Friday, 9 July 2010 18:21 UK
E-mail this to a friend Printable version The painting is a modern take on a famous Rembrandt piece A painting that depicts the body of Nelson Mandela undergoing an autopsy has been condemned by South Africa's ruling party.

The African National Congress (ANC) said the artwork, which is being completed at a Johannesburg shopping centre, violated Mr Mandela's dignity.

The piece shows Mr Mandela's body being cut open, while prominent leaders crowd around.

But artist Yiull Damaso says his aim is to make people confront death.

"Nelson Mandela is a great man, but he's just a man... The eventual passing of Mr Mandela is something that we will have to face, as individuals, as a nation," he told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme.

The BBC's Pumza Fihlani in Johannesburg says that speaking of Mr Mandela's death is taboo and seen as disrespectful in South Africa because of his iconic stature.

Our correspondent says that South Africans do not speak publicly of Mr Mandela dying, out of reverence for him, and perhaps out of a fear of accepting the reality that they would someday be without him.

'Stripped naked'

The painting is seen as a take on The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp, a 17th Century masterpiece by Rembrandt which portrays an autopsy undertaken in front of a small group of people, mostly doctors.

In Mr Damaso's picture, Mr Mandela is lying on a table, while the late Nkosi Johnson, an Aids activist who died at the age of 12, performs the autopsy.

A group of spectators, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former presidents FW de Klerk and Thabo Mbeki, and politicians Helen Zille and Trevor Manuel, look on.

The ANC also criticised the Mail and Guardian newspaper for publishing a picture of the painting, describing it as "gutter journalism and soul-less sensationalism".

The party's statement said the piece violated Mr Mandela's dignity by "stripping him naked in the glare of curious onlookers, some of whom have seen their apartheid ideals die before them".

The management of the Hyde Park Mall, where the painting is on display, have received complaints, including from some of Mandela's relatives.

"We feel it is a controversial piece... but we support freedom of expression and art," said Marketing Manager Nicola van Kan.
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