Wednesday, 29 April 2015
“Pre-code Forecast 1931” by Andreas Chasomeris Opening on Monday, 4 May at 6/6:30p.m.
Pre-code Forecast 1931 is an engaging new exhibition of paintings, photography and film by Durban queer artist Andreas Chasomeris. The title encapsulates the major themes that Chasomeris has been exploring in relation to History, Censorship and Cinema. The date of 1931 is significant because this period of time was fascinating as the Great Depression (1929-1935) was being felt around the world, Cinema in both Europe and specifically Hollywood was embracing the progressive nature of society, however the stark realities of the era gave rise to what is now considered Pre-code Hollywood (1930-1934), technological innovation of sound (1927) heralded a new dawn of talking pictures and films like Josef von Sternberg The Blue Angel (1929) and Shanghai Express (1931); Reinhold Schünzel’s Viktor und Viktoria (1933). These films are but a few of the examples that became evidence later by the Production code of the fear of the screen in corrupting and destroying the public, these films were labelled as Vice pictures and by 1934 with the Catholic League of Decency promised to eradicate any disgusting, immoral and vice ridden representations off the screens.
Chasomeris personal response from a critical evaluation based on the past documented histories and the present lived experience of being a queer artist in post-Apartheid South African context.
As an educator with a passion for film, art and history, he firmly believes in order to understand the possibility that our potential future holds is deeply entrenched in the narratives of the past.
The exhibition includes influences of Art Deco, Marlene Dietrich, Weimar Republic, Jean Harlow, Busby Berkeley musical numbers, Cole Porter and a touch of Agatha Christie.