Pule Diphare’s Fall of the Tomb tackles issues of migration, importance of historical artifacts such as sculptures and the erection of new sculptures to mark change in our society. In a closely internal viewing of the film as an artwork these aspects of our society can be looked upon as junctures in the discourse that the work erects within itself. Central to the delivery of the film’s discourse are the characters of Pule Diphare himself and his companion Bobo. They can be seen as vehicles through which the nature of our society is reflected upon and as the viewing progresses we see the changed life of the city through their interaction with people and the city’s localities as the shots changes from different locales. From Arcadia through to the city center near the state theater until the City Hall we see ordinary people going about their lives. We witness that there are a few white people who remain in the city. All these people as embodiments of our society closely interact with the changing nature of the city and its meaning to them.
There are certain instances whereby in analysing a visual art object one can simply commit a mistake by pitting that work against other artworks which, by some law of which one need not have to adhere to, seem to belong to the same category or genre. Such a viewing or a reading is problematic in that it delimits our independent viewing from making discoveries which can only be unearthed if that work was to be looked at in its own glory isolated from the accompaniment of other works which, if we are imbibed with an open mind, might even be proved to be inferior to it.
This essay is a reflection of the screening of Pule Diphare’s Sister In Wonderland on the evening of 25 November 2010. It acutely tied in best with South Africa’s 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign which runs from 25 November to 10 December.
The first part of this essay introduces the film to the reader by setting the tone for the vital theme at the crux of the artwork. While the second part tries to introduce the subject matter to the reader through a subdued reportage the last section, using dialogue approach, focuses on the questions which were raised during the last part of that evening following the screening. Here the reader must be made aware that while great care has been taken to record every question through short hand a lot of editing went into the writing of this part to re-focus the questions and retain their motive. Even the sharp responses from Diphare as he deflected and dealt with questions were seethed to retain their directness. With that said the reader might find this part far more different (if not put off by it) compared to audio recorded interviews that I have hitherto conducted especially towards the end of 2010.
Pule Diphare is an interesting artist living and practicing in Tshwane/Pretoria today in that he still holds to the credo that a work of art does not need the artist to defend it in order for it to stand its ground in the echelons of creativity. It should stand by itself, for itself. Furthermore he professes individuality at an epoch where belonging is the norm.