Sue Williamson. For Thirty Years Next to His Heart. 1990

Sue Williamson For Thirty Years Next to His Heart 1990

  • MoMA, Floor 2, 206 The David Geffen Wing

Under apartheid, Black South Africans were required to carry a passbook—identification documents necessary for movement within the country’s major cities and for obtaining formal employment. In For Thirty Years Next to His Heart, made four years before the end of the apartheid system, Williamson has repurposed the passbook that Ngithando John Ngesi, a dockworker, carried for three decades. The artist photocopied its incrusted pages, stamped by bureaucrats of the oppressive system, and recomposed them into the forty-nine panels of this gridded work.

Gallery label from 2020
Forty-nine photocopies in artist-designed frames
overall (approx.): 72 x 103" (182.9 x 261.6 cm)
Sue Williamson, Cape Town
Sue Williamson, Cape Town
Gift of Barbara Jakobson
Object number
© 2021 Sue Williamson
Drawings and Prints

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