There Are Mechanisms in Place: A creative Publication in response to the work of Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum
There are Mechanisms in Place is a creative publication compiled by Nkule Mabaso, curator at Michaelis Galleries (University of Cape Town); and Nomusa Makhubu, associate professor at the Michaelis School of Fine Art. The book centers around the work of Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum; more particularly on a solo exhibition by the artist, held at Michaelis Galleries in 2018. The book is consciously comprised of contributions from Black women cultural producers and their responses to Sunstrum’s work.
“The title—There Are Mechanisms In Place—refers to a speech that South Africa’s former Minister of Higher Education and Training gave in October 2015 in response to student protests. In it, he stated: “It is a challenge, but I wouldn’t call it a crisis. A crisis implies that the situation is so bad that there are no mechanisms to deal with it. There are mechanisms in place.” From this speech, Sunstrum became interested in how this ominously delivered threat served to confirm that the historical mechanisms that were once in place to “deal with” student uprising are still, indeed, “in place” now.
The hand-crafted creative book provides a full view of the artist’s approach, exploring the artist futurist and coded works on paper.”
The book features poetic contributions from Mkhosazana Xaba, Toni Stuart and Refilwe Nkomo; essays from interdisciplinary artists Thulile Gamedze, Amie Soudien and Philiswa Lila; and an A2 fold out poster from artist Bonolo Kavula. Many of these would appear to be conscious of their form in paper and print – making the hand binding process a conversational and equally conscious one.
Original Artwork: Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum
Book design: Simnikiwe Buhlungu
Publisher: Michaelis Galleries
Printer: Pulp Paperworks, Johannesburg
Content management and liaison: Amogelang Maledu
ISBN: 978-0-6399226-2-1 (print) / Publication date: 2019 / Format: hard cover / Number of pages: 99 / Run: 100 signed copies