Megan and myself are ginger #97 and #98 of Anthea Pokroy's I Collect Gingers art exhibition.
Anthea has been photographing gingers since 2010 and now, two and a half years and 500+ gingers
later, the red-headed Johannesburg-based artist and photographer will be
presenting her debut solo exhibition at Speke Photographic / CIRCA on Jellicoe in Rosebank, Johannesburg tonight.
Pokroy explains, “It was
only after my first photography session with seven ‘gingers’ that I
began exploring the innate sense of community and collective experience
that emerged from the otherness of the ‘gingers’ ”. Through her
photographs Pokroy begins to construct a
narrative, history/future and system of classification around this
self-identified ‘race’. Pokroy uses this minority (2% of the world
population) and mythical (historically considered witches and demons)
group of red-headed people to highlight the obscurities of racial
classification and discrimination which remain prevalent in South
Africa. In a context that has historically been obsessed and oppressed
by skin colour, Pokroy suggests an ironic alternative to genetic and
pigment-based racial profiling. She begins to imagine what a ginger
utopia might look like and what its implications would be.
Pokroy has documented gingers from all over South Africa, as well as
internationally when she attended the Redhead Day in the Netherlands
where thousands of gingers from all over the world congregated. ‘I
collect gingers’, has received a plausible amount of interest in the
media, including 5fm, 702 Talk Radio, The Star, Wanted Magazine, and
Fair Lady amongst others. The artwork also has an impressive local and
international social media following.
The exhibition opens on 17 January 2013 at CIRCA on Jellicoe.
The show will run until 2 March 2013.