Public Intimacy

Athi-Patra Ruga, The Future White Women of Azania, 2012; performed as part of Performa Obscura in collaboration with Mikhael Subotzky; commissioned for the exhibition Making Way, Grahamstown, South Africa; photo: Ruth Simboa, courtesy Athi-Patra Ruga and WHATIFTHEWORLD/GALLERY

Public Intimacy

Zanele Muholi, Nomonde Mbusi, Berea, Johannesburg, 2007; gelatin silver print; Courtesy the artist and Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg; © Zanele Muholi

Public Intimacy

Terry Kurgan, Hotel Yeoville, 2012; digital print on bamboo hahnemulle paper; Courtesy the artist; © Terry Kurgan

1 2 3

Public Intimacy: Art and Other Ordinary Acts in South Africa

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, February 21 - June 29, 2014

Disrupting expected images of South Africa, the 25 contemporary artists and collectives featured in Public Intimacy eloquently explore the poetics and politics of the everyday. This collaboration with Yerba Buena Center for the Arts presents pictures from SFMOMA’s collection of South African photography alongside works in a broad range of media, including video, painting, sculpture, performance, and publications — most made in the last five years, and many on view for the first time on the West Coast. Coinciding with the 20th anniversary of democracy in South Africa, Public Intimacy reveals the nuances of human interaction in a country still undergoing significant change, vividly showing public life there in a more complex light.

Public Intimacy includes works by Ian Berry, Ernest Cole, David Goldblatt, Handspring Puppet Company, Nicholas Hlobo, ijusi (Garth Walker), Anton Kannemeyer, William Kentridge, Donna Kukama, Terry Kurgan, Sabelo Mlangeni, Santu Mofokeng, Billy Monk, Zanele Muholi, Sello Pesa and Vaughn Sadie with Ntsoana Contemporary Dance Theatre, Cameron Platter, Lindeka Qampi, Jo Ractliffe, Athi-Patra Ruga, Berni Searle, Penny Siopis, Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse, and Kemang Wa Lehulere.

Past Events

Conversation + Cocktails with Artist David Goldblatt
Artist Talk
Conversation + Cocktails with Artist David Goldblatt

View all past events

Visit Information

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

701 Mission Street San Francisco, CA 94103


YBCA admission information

Hours through May 27, 2014

Thursday -€“ Saturday noon - 8:00 p.m.
Sunday noon - 6:00 p.m.
First Tuesday of the month noon - 8:00 p.m.

Hours May 28 - June 29, 2014

Sunday and Wednesday noon - 6:00 p.m.
Thursday -€“ Saturday noon - 8:00 p.m.
Free First Tuesday of the month noon - 8:00 p.m.


YBCA accessibility information

For Bay Area transit and traffic information, visit

Public Intimacy: Art and Other Ordinary Acts in South Africa is jointly organized by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Presenting support is generously provided by the Evelyn D. Haas Exhibition Fund at SFMOMA. Major support is provided by the James C. Hormel and Michael P. Nguyen Endowment Fund at SFMOMA. Generous support is provided by Meridee Moore and Kevin King, Mike Wilkins and Sheila Duignan, the Betlach Family Foundation, the YBCA Creative Ventures Council, Concepción and Irwin Federman, the National Endowment for the Arts, the George Frederick Jewett Foundation, Ronald W. Garrity, Kate and Wes Mitchell, and the Yerba Buena Community Benefit District.

National Endowment for the Arts Yerba Buena Community Benefit District


Media Sponsor