Michaelis Gallery

Between Subject and Object: human remains at the interface of art and science

Various Artists
Between Subject and Object: human remains at the interface of art and science, Exhibition Invitation ,

SEE LISTING Michaelis School of Fine Art Graduate Exhibition

Various Artists
Michaelis School of Fine Art Graduate Exhibition, Invitation ,


Roger Ballen
Playpen, Exhibition Invitation ,

SEE LISTING An Unknown Country

Peter Jenks
An Unknown Country, Invitation Image ,

SEE LISTING Between the Lines

Various Artists
Between the Lines, Exhibition Invitation ,


Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town Hiddingh Campus, 31 -37 Orange Street, Gardens, 8001 (Josephine Higgins)

Hours: By appointment only


Various Artists at Michaelis Gallery

Michaelis Galleries is proud to present 'Between Subject and Object', to accompany the Medical Humanities in Africa Conference, from 28-29 August 2014. The first of its nature in South Africa, this group exhibition, including the work of both South African and international artists, explores the depiction of human remains at the interface of art and science.

In the representation of the dead, there seems to be a continuum, or sliding scale, between an emphasis on the subject-ness of the deceased individual and the object-ness of the corpse. In this exhibition, the curators wish to draw attention to this continuum as an analytical tool to explore and deepen discussion regarding the depiction of human remains, drawing out similarities and differences between photographs, illustrations, films, performances and objects of scientific and cultural interest.
Whilst the exhibition began with a consideration of contemporary postmortem photography, the focus grew to incorporate a set of concerns around the idea of the ‘real’, whether articulated through objects, performance or modes of representation that are perceived to a particular kind of visual ‘truth-telling’. Photography functions as a key reference then, emphasizing the acts of looking, thinking and questioning.

The curatorial process has been openly dialogical, with the three curators bringing their particular interests, experiences, institutional affiliations and personal concerns to bear on the selection of artworks and objects. In so doing, the ethical imperatives of working with human remains and the representations thereof, have been a primary consideration, and have actively informed the artworks and objects that form part of this temporary collection.

Death is a universal topic, yet is often inhibited by controversy and sensation, or taboo and nostalgia. In addition to the exhibition itself, panel discussions, a film screening and a catalogue will seek to further explore the difficult subject of representations of the dead/fragmented human body. The project as a whole thus serves as an exploratory gesture, an attempt to approach and perhaps even challenge the ‘fixed’ frameworks we have about dead bodies.

Featured artists: Igshaan Adams (ZA), Jordan Baseman (UK), Maeve Berry (UK), Jack Burman (CND), Jillian Edelstein (ZA), Sue Fox (UK), Paul Greenway (ZA), Pieter Hugo (ZA), Gerhard Marx (ZA), Nelson Mukhuba (ZA), Colin Richards (ZA), Walter Schels and Beate Lakotta (DE), Jeffrey Silverthorne (US), Buhlebezwe Siwani (ZA) and Kathryn Smith (ZA).

The exhibition also includes selected items from the Collection of Medical Morphology Museum (Stellenbosch University) and Pathology Learning Centre (University of Cape Town).

The curators wish to thank the artists, collections, galleries, companies and institutions that have contributed to this project and made it possible.

08 August 2014 - 30 August 2014

Group Show at Michaelis Gallery

The countdown begins to the eagerly anticipated annual Michaelis School of Fine Art Graduate Exhibition, opening on the 4th December 2013 at 18h00. 

The exhibition showcases the diverse work of 45 students in the culmination of both the Bachelor Degree in Fine Art and Post Graduate Diploma programs. Celebrating the end of another year and the start of summer, the festive event draws a crowd of over 800 art lovers to the University of Cape Town’s historic Hiddingh Campus. 

This year promises to delight its viewers with variety, innovation and fresh perspectives. Exhibited in over 30 spaces, there is an exciting engagement with various media including Painting, Sculpture, Photography and Print Media. Along with the launch of an extensive accompanying catalogue, a map will also be available to ensure that nothing is missed.

Please join us at the opening for refreshments, and the chance to snap up the work of upcoming artists, on the cusp of their promising careers. 


For further information, please contact Josephine Higgins 

021 480 7170 or


OPENING: Wednesday 4 December 2013 at 18h00

HOURS: 5 - 18 December, Tuesday to Saturday 11h00 to 16h00


05 December 2013 - 18 December 2013

Roger Ballen at Michaelis Gallery

Michaelis Galleries hosts 'Playpen', an exhibition of photographs by Roger Ballen. Original concept by Christine Naurattel; curated by Josephine Higgins.

05 September 2013 - 02 October 2013

Peter Jenks at Michaelis Gallery

New Talent NO. 2 : the second in a series of recent Michaelis Masters of Fine Art students graduation exhibitions opens with Peter Jenks' 'An Unknown Country – a personal exploration of aging'.

03 April 2013 - 13 April 2013

Various Artists at Michaelis Gallery

In the exhibition 'Between the Lines' - German and South African artists meet - forging a dialogue in exploration of the radial mediating potential of art. The exhibition is a collaboration between the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig, Germany and Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town, South Africa.

02 March 2013 - 20 March 2013