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Georgia Papageorge, South African, b. 1941
Africa Rifting: Lines of Fire, Namibia/Brazil, 2001

Digital video
15 minutes, 30 seconds

Gift of the artist, 2007.28.1

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Location: Not on view

Georgia Papageorge’s Africa Rifting: Lines of Fire, Namibia/Brazil is a video of her large-scale, two-part environmental installation in Namibia, Africa and Brazil. The video, together with both installations constitute the work of art. The artist uses swaths of red fabric 15 meters long, which are hung to blow in the wind, or laid along the seashore to form a ribbon of brilliant color. This work was inspired by the geological rift called Gondwanaland, the 135 million-year-old fault between the formerly connected continents, Africa and South America. The artist uses the geological rift of what was formerly connected as a metaphor for division between peoples, especially relating to apartheid. Papageorge’s work is deeply spiritual. She calls her ribbons of red cloth “arterial lines,” and hopes that her installations, which are actually ceremonies, will heal rifts between peoples.

Unseen in the artist’s video are the actual processional ceremonies involving hundreds of people, in which the swaths of red fabric are displayed along both coastlines. The first installation of Africa Rifting took place in June 2001, in Namibia. The second installation, in Brazil, occurred on September 15, 2001, and was dedicated to victims of the September 11 World Trade Center attacks.

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