Objects

MA1994-211

Group

Description

ObjectFormType: 

  • Mortuary register book

ObjectTechniqueType: 

  • Official government mortuary register

Colours: 

  • Rust Red cover
  • White lined pages

DistinguishingFeatures: 

"Untitled (1976)" by the conceptual artist Kendell Geers, uses an inquest register which contains the name of Hector Pietersen, one of the first child casualties of the Soweto Student Uprising in June 1976. Geers says he found the register on a dump at the corner of Pim and Wolhuter streets, Newtown.

Geers has not altered the register except to stamp it with his name in a box “KENDELL GEERS”  with his signature under it, and to stamp it "COPYRIGHT/RESERVED/ BEWARE OF IMITATIONS /DATE: AUG. 25 1993".

The front of the mortuary register has “1976” handwritten in large numbers, and REPUBLIEK VAN SUID-AFRIKA/ REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA/ 81/56238/b 14” printed. Stuck on the front is a slip “DISPOSAL SLIP- BESKIKKINGSTROKKIE”  “doodsondersoekeregister/ 1976-01-02/ TOT/ 1976-12-31”  “Directions as to disposal” “ “DIO/31.12.1986”. Inside is stamped in red “DEPARTEMENT VAN JUSTISIE/ DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE/ Pretoria/ 12-4-1977”

The register has brown board covers, brown cloth spine and contains 257 pages. It lists the name of the dead, the date of death, date of police docket received, date the record was sent to the Attorney General and details of criminal cases deriving from them. Many of the names have the letter “R" next to them (including Hector Pietersen), possibly indicating riot victims. Most of the names are of black people.

Inscriptions: 

Geers has stamp it with his name in a box “KENDELL GEERS” with his signature under it, and also stamped it "COPYRIGHT/RESERVED/ BEWARE OF IMITATIONS /DATE: AUG. 25 1993". The front of the mortuary register has “1976” handwritten in large numbers, and “REPUBLIEK VAN SUID-AFRIKA/ REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA/ 81/56238/b 14” printed. Stuck on the front is a slip “DISPOSAL SLIP- BESKIKKINGSTROKKIE” “doodsondersoekeregister/ 1976-01-02/ TOT/ 1976-12-31” “Directions as to disposal” “ “DIO/31.12.1986”. Inside is stamped in red “DEPARTEMENT VAN JUSTISIE/ DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE/ Pretoria/ 12-4-1977”
Type Value Unit
Height 425.00 mm
Width 310.00 mm
Depth 63.00 mm
History

ObjectAge: 

47 years 1 month ago

AgeComment: 

The mortuary book has entries from January to December 1976, including the period of the Soweto Student uprising beginning 16 June.

Provenance: 

Kendell Geers says he found the register on a dump at the corner of Pim and Wolhuter streets, Newtown. Museum Africa purchased the register from Everard Read Contemporary Gallery in 1994, who was exhibiting Geers' work.

ReferenceList: 

 
 

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