Amandla (Power)– The Punch and Jury Show 1989
Mixed media: Car tyre fragment, aluminium checker plate, painted plastic-handled comb
21.6 x 35.3 cm. Collection The South African National Gallery
Amandla – The Punch and Jury Show 1989 – is an assemblage featured in the group exhibition Brave New World…20 Years of Democracy exhibited at the South African National Gallery in Cape Town. The exhibition showcases work acquired by the National Gallery in the last twenty years after the transition to democracy.
The work created by Gordon in 1989 centrally features a red-fisted plastic hair comb raised in the symbolic defiant gesture of black resistance to the Apartheid system. It is positioned emerging from a car tyre fragment, a reference to the gruesome punishment of necklacing (halsnoor) meted out to informers and collaborators of the ‘system’. The backdrop is a simplified stage-like settings with wooden curtains and aluminium patterned checker plate, a stylised reference to the parallel patterning found on traditional Zulu shields.