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Unisa Press

Scratches on the face

Editor: Hayden Proud
Published by Unisa Press and Iziko Museums
Format : 303 mm x 250 mm (softcover)
Pages:  64 pp, with over 70 full colour illustrations in a coffee table format
Item :  8027
Publish year: 2008
ISBN 13: 978 1 874 81739 0
SA price: R200,00(VAT incl)
Africa: R215,00 / US $35.00 / £ 20.00 / €27.00
Scratches on the Face

south africa politics / history / human rights
Antiquity and contemporaneity in South African works of art from Iziko Museums of Cape Town

This book was published in conjunction with the exhibition
Scratches on the Face: Antiquity and Contemporaneity in South African Art, curated by Hayden Proud, Curator of Historical Paintings and Sculpture, Iziko Museums of Cape Town.

The marking of the ‘face of the country’ is so much a part of the human project in southern Africa. In pre-colonial times it took the form of ancient rock engravings; at another it articulated boundaries where people could or could not live because of their skin colour; it resulted in the deepest and most invasive scars in the earth ever made in the rapacious extraction of mineral wealth. In a metaphorical sense too, it has resulted in the marking and scarring of the psyche of its inhabitants. While in certain respects these aspects may be common to the faces of all countries everywhere, in South Africa they assume a powerful role in shaping human lives and culture.

The earliest creative scratchings made by the human hand, it is now believed, were made in South Africa about 70,000 years ago. These startling archaeological discoveries were made  from 1993 onwards in the Blombos cave in limestone cliffs overlooking the Indian Ocean on the Southern Cape coast.

They are now rewriting the history of human development in terms of intelligent mark-making and symbolic behaviour which predate discoveries made elsewhere in the world by over 40,000 years.

Director: Marilyn Martin (retired August 2008)
Collections Manager: Robyn Leigh Cedras
Collections Assistant: Nigel Scholtz
Conservators: Angela Zehnder, June Hosford, Lindsay Hoope
Intern Researcher: Florence Gaechter
Photographer: Cecil Kortje
Curator of Prints and Drawings: Joe Dolby
Curator of Photography and New Media: Pam Warne
Curator of African Arts: Carol Kaufmann
Design and Layout: Faye Frizlar

Drawings on the title page copied from cat. no. 23 (Zulu Horn) by Dr. Tim Maggs

This exhibition is the result of a cultural exchange agreement between the Governments of the Republic of India and the Republic of South Africa. The Indian tour was organised by Professor Rajeev Lochan of the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of India and the High Commission of South Africa in India.

The exhibition was mounted at the following venues:

National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, 8 December 2007– 3 January 2008
National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai, 10 January – 3 February 2008
Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town, 15 November 2008 – 31 July 2009
Published by the Art Collections Department, Iziko Museums of Cape Town
Printed in New Delhi, India, December 2007. Reprinted in Cape Town, South Africa, November 2008


Ministerial Message from Dr. Z. Pallo Jordan, Minister of Arts and Culture, Republic of South Africa 5
Ministerial Message from Ambika Soni, Minister of Tourism and Culture, Republic of India 5
Foreword by Marilyn Martin, Director of Art Collections, Iziko Museums of Cape Town 5
‘Scratches on the Face of the Country’ – an introduction to the exhibition
Hayden Proud, Curator of Historical Collections of Painting and Sculpture, Iziko Museums of Cape Town 6
Across the Indian Ocean: a little South Asia in Africa
Nasan Pather, Senior Lecturer in Theory and Discourse of Art, Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town 8
Scratches on the Face: works of art on the exhibition
Texts by Hayden Proud, Curator of Historical Collections of Painting and Sculpture and Carol Kaufmann, Curator of African Arts, Iziko Museums of Cape Town 13-64

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