Titus Matiyane, cartographer and transnational flâneur

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Abstract

The urban panoramas of South African artist Titus Matiyane (b. 1964) – a contemporary outsider artist − is a valuable source in the study of the concepts of geomapping and flânerie in contemporary South African art. In this article the artist’s panoramas are problematised in terms of geomapping as an expression of utopia, transcendence and empowerment of the local South African in the light of colonial and apartheid histories. The artist is interpreted as a mapping flâneur, while his artworks are considered both as products of imagined flânerie and, due to its large scale, as physical “places” that evoke surveillance and flânerie. In his panoramas everyday reality becomes transformed into a global simulacrum of utopian exoticism and glamour where the artist as flâneur can virtually visit and stroll through the city. Jeremy Bentham’s panopticon and Michel Foucault’s interpretation of it are further theoretical frameworks that illuminate the artworks. It is concluded that Matiyane creates a model for global, transnational identity by exceeding his own physical and material limitations and by his deconstruction of the power hierarchies of First and Third World cities. Matiyane is finally interpreted as an authentic voice in the decolonial establishment of African modernity.

Keywords: decoloniality; flâneur; geomapping; Matiyane, Titus; outsider artist, panorama; power; solipsis; utopia

Lees die volledige artikel in Afrikaans: Titus Matiyane, kartograaf en transnasionale flâneur

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