Magritte completed The Treachery of Images and the famous ‘pipe’ picture in 1929. “This is not a pipe” (Ceci n’est pas une pipe) is written on the painting. This seems a bit contradictory, No?  But it is in fact, no word, of a lie. The painting is not a pipe; it is an image of a pipe – a representation of one.  The painting by Brett Murray called The Spear, to which we have all donated a word count that could rewrite history, is not Jacob Zuma with his pants down. It is in fact, no word of a lie, an image, a representation of Jacob Zuma with his pants down.

Though PM might be dancing the patronising jig by highlighting the above, it seems that this very simple and obvious point is missing from the discussions taking place. An image of a penis- is not a penis- it’s an image of a penis. The penis can be (and has been used for years) as a symbol, it can be allegorical or metaphorical of many things and ideas, correct? Correct. So when people complain that Jacob Zuma and his penis were on display, they are wrong. Quite simply wrong.  Neither Jacob Zuma nor his penis where on display at the Goodman gallery.  The Image is a metaphor for hypocrisy in the current ANC leadership.  Panga Management is not promising that PM will be able to hold back PM’s next mouth vommie. The next time PM hears somebody say that the president and his penis where on display, PM will vomit ,cause that kinda silliness is really stomach turning.

Point two: an image of a penis does not automatically equate to a pornographic  image.  Now the FPB (film and publication board) of South Africa are reviewing The Spear artwork. They are doing so on the grounds that some conservatives, PM calls them tedious dumb asses….(dumb ass  does not mean that their bottoms can’t find a place to shit-  that would be a literal reading- just like reading The Spear literally as Jacob Zuma and his penis on display). Back to the point. So the conservatives are calling the artwork pornographic.  An image of a penis does not pornography make. PM has a simple example for you all. Is the below image of a penis pornographic? No, it’s a diagram used to teach medical students how the penis works. Thank Gward, cause PM would hate to think that all medical students were moved to amorous behaviour, fornication in the lecture theatres, when they unknowingly were being exposed to pornography at university. Pornographys primary intent is to be  sexually titillating . The image The Spear has not given the masses a literal hard on .

Point three. “It’s not in my culture to show people’s penises”. Bullshit irrelevant statement! It’s not in anybody’s culture to show people’s penises.  Name one culture in South Africa where people walk around nude, penises exposed? Point three and a bit. Culture is not decided by race, and people who think that it is, are just following the Nats lead. Yup, you heard PM correctly – that is apartheid mentality through and through.

Culture is nuanced and can never be defined by race.  Point three, and a bit more. This artwork has not created racial polarity; there are many people from all races who have been for or against this artwork and the side of the fence you sat on was never racially pre determined. The only people who have made this artwork racially polarizing are the ANC politicians aligned to Jacob Zuma,  and you know why Panga People, they have done it to protect Jacob Zuma – their ATM.

Not Jacob Zuma the man, but the president who has lost so much support for his crap leadership, that they hope that by rallying people around him now in support of his “dignity” they will be able to keep him in office. The reason they are doing this is so they can continue making themselves rich at the expense of the poor. Yup, South Africa has a long history of utilising the “divide and conquer technique” and this is what the current ANC leadership aligned to Zuma (only currently, they will jump ship sooner or later) are trying to do. They are using this artwork as an opportunity to create the “us and them situation” in the hopes of keeping Zuma in office. The ANC has better leaders than Zuma, of that there can be no doubt, and it’s time for a new leader in the ANC to step up and lead, not just the ANC and its kleptocracy, but the people of South Africa, who are  searching for the dignity corroded by poverty .

Like the artwork or not, it’s largely irrelevant, taste is in your mouth and visual literacy is lacking because there is little art education at schools. What however is at stake is freedom of expression, and either you are for the South Africa constitution as it currently stands or you are not.

If you support the censorship of this artwork – you support the secrecy bill. So wake up South Africans! Is an image of a penis going to make you think that changing the current constitution is a good idea? Come on ANC leaders standing in the wings, stand up and lead. Diffuse this situation -not created by an artwork- but created because of the bullshit leadership currently proclaimed as king. Everyone can see the emperor has no clothing on. We did not need a painting to tell us that, but we did need the painting to shake people out of their apathy.

On a lighter note, how amusing is the below. Something for Mr Barend la Grange to consider, PM thinks.

This entry was posted in South African Art, South African Lifestyle, Visual Arts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Maria fidel regueros says:

    Whoever you are dear auntie panga methinks you are astute, incredibly pleasant to read, and at last informative in a language that does not confuse the issue….

  2. Chad says:

    Name one culture in South Africa where people walk around nude, penises exposed?

    Not that the rest of your points aren’t good.

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