LIFESTYLE

Cape Party Defaces 'F**kWhitePeople' Exhibition In The National Gallery

Freedom of expression is not so free, it seems.

18/01/2017 18:01 SAST | Updated 18/01/2017 19:28 SAST
Dean Hutton

South African multi-disciplinary and genderqueer artist Dean Hutton's "F**kWhitePeople" exhibition in the South African National Gallery in Cape Town was defaced by the Cape Party — a party which "stands for greater economic and political independence for the Cape" — on Tuesday. In a video posted on the party's YouTube page, party members can be seen pasting a large sticker that reads "Love Thy Neighbour" over Hutton's "F**kWhitePeople" print hanging in the gallery.

Comments on the video posted on the party's Facebook page rang with support for the defacing.

And this commenter, who didn't seem to know that the National Gallery is a South African government institution:

Hutton says the controversial exhibition was meant to shock white people, describing it as a "provocation" to make them "feel that 'white pain'".

On January 13 Hutton responded to the Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) leader Dr. Pieter Groenewald's statement that the installation was "racist and spurred racial tension", according to News24. The FF Plus called for the removal of the exhibition calling it an example of "reverse racism", to which Hutton said: "I would like to remind the good doctor that the reverse of racism is love, and celebration of difference". Hutton started the "F**kWhitePeople" project last year by walking around wearing a custom-made suit with the words printed on it.

In a post on the Cape Party's Facebook page simply captioned "Art?", the party shared photos of Hutton wearing the suit posed next to the print in the gallery. Comments on the post included racist remarks, death threats, threats of violence, homophobia, body shaming and misgendering of Hutton.

But there was one commenter who engaged with the piece and understood the point that Hutton is trying to make about white supremacy.

It is reported that after the defacing, representatives of the Cape Party went to the Cape Town Magistrate's Court to "institute proceedings against the National Art Gallery in terms of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act".

Read here what Dean Hutton has to say about the incident and the exhibition.