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DBL: Exhibition Histories

Made in Translation

Made in Translation, curated by Pippa Skotnes and Petra Keene and staged in eth Iziko South African museum in 2010, drew on Iziko’s collections of copies of rock art with a central theme of translation. The exhibition explored ways in which translations from the landscape have been made and in so doing place images of rock art in the context of other forms of translation. All rock art copies are seen as acts of translation, primarily translating the ‘unboundedness’ of the paintings as they exist in the landscape, into the framed image of the copy.

The exhibition showcased a diverse range of translations including the works of copyists from the mid-19th to early 20th centuries. A collection by Leo Frobenius who explored southern Africa during 1928 to 1930 with a team of ethnographers and artists revealed the remarkable large-scale copies his project produced. Included in the exhibition were copies by, amongst others, George Stow, Helen Tongue, Dorothea Bleek, Joseph Orpen and Charles Schunke.

It also included the insights of contemporary scholars, historical and contemporary photographs, and translations of San texts and stories.