Coco Fusco

 

Rights of Passage

 1997
Rights of Passage (1997)
Performance
Rights of Passage (1997)
Performance
Rights of Passage (1997)
Performance
Rights of Passage (1997)
Performance
Rights of Passage (1997)
Performance
Rights of Passage (1997)
Performance

About this Series / Project

Coco Fusco's Rights of Passage, is a site-specific performance about race, space, and power in the post-apartheid era. Fusco suggests South Africa’s “past” is currently managed via romantic commodification, and that "this packaging of Blackness, whether it be constructed as a precolonial African identity for tourists, a folkloric preservation of non-hybridized tradition, or a sanitized version of township life, is one of the many socio-cultural mechanisms of repression that characterize con temporary post-apartheid culture."

The Rights of Passage passbooks serve as evidence of payment for entry to the Biennale, an artist’s “multiple”, and a document of the performance. The “passbook” is a souvenir, a reminder of a critical moment in history of demarcation of space in South Africa, of our ambivalent attraction to and repulsion from that past, and of its immanent commodification.

Ultimately, the piece is a comment on contemporary cultural tourism, and the new status of “peripherally” situated biennials as marketplaces for all sort of exotica. Even the most horrifying historical circumstances can function as a point of attraction, and ultimately, a lure for global capital investment.

Artist Info