Internet artist Tiger Maremela centres LGBT+ voices in new work

Founder of online zine Spectrum.za, the writer behind the newsletter Internet Treatz, producer of 6LMAFUTHA and digital editor, Tiger Maremela uses the internet as a tool to make sense of the world by endlessly scrolling through the internet.

Their (Tiger goes by the their/them pronoun) work ranges photography, video, writing, music, and collage.

Locating source material from their own lived experiences, the artist is interested in the centering of black, queer and trans South African voices in the imagination of the post-apartheid state.

By exploring the often binary approaches to sexuality, gender identity, class, race, ability and the ways in which power intersect, the artist seeks to reimagine the realities of black, queer and trans youth in South Africa.

In their latest work called Where some things are beautiful and everything hurts, Maremela explores the possibilities of black, queer and trans South African youths taking up space and making more (inclusive) spaces. Through imagining the possibilities that exist when we complicate our binary approaches, the artist seeks to interrogate the constellation of complicated ways of viewing, being viewed, questioning, being questioned, subjectivity and objectivity.

The browser-based project invites the audience to engage in the dialogue of whether black, queer and trans youth are able to take up space and go about making space for others despite the post-apartheid state’s resistance.

Based in Joburg, their early body of work called roygbiv was about examining the hypocrisy of the 'Rainbow Nation' - laying bare the inequality, racism, sexism, and homophobia that still exists post-1994. Maremela’s digital collages juxtaposed familiar local brands – like Ultra Mel custard and Castle beer – with images we rarely see, such as female anti-apartheid protest leaders, to raise questions about visibility and capitalism. Maremela is very aware of how memes can be tools of representation in South Africa – making the things black South Africans care about visible in a digital world – but can also perpetuate sexism and stereotypical beliefs.

“The weird thing with being represented on the internet is that the visibility hardly ever translates into safety, justice or access,” Maremela previously said in an article in the Mail & Guardian.

Click to view the work


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