Anthea Pokroy has been collecting gingers since 2010. 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 CIRCA on Jellicoe in Rosebank, Johannesburg.
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.
Please join us for the exhibition opening on 17 January 2013 at CIRCA on Jellicoe. The show will run until 2 March 2013.
Special thanks to sponsors Primi Piatti, Tudortech (Sigma and SanDisk) and Business and Arts South Africa for their support.
Anthea Pokroy was born in 1986 in Johannesburg and, apart from spending time in London from 2008 until 2010, continues to live and work there. She obtained her BA Fine Arts from the University of the Witwatersrand in 2007 and graduated cum laude.
She has taken part in many group exhibitions since 2005, including shows at The Bag Factory Artists’ Studios, Museum Africa, Gordart Gallery, the Alliance Francaise and many independent group shows until 2012. She has participated in the Martienssen Prize in 2005, 2006 and 2007, Absa L’Atelier Awards in 2007 and 2008, and Sasol New Signatures in 2010.
At present she is working as a freelance photographer and as an artist. In 2010 she co-founded, and continues to run, a non-profit visual artist organisation, Assemblage, which provides support and opportunities for emerging Johannesburg-based visual artists (www.assemblage.co.za).
I collect gingers is her debut solo exhibition at CIRCA on Jellicoe.