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Layers: Rock Art Across Space and Time

Layers: Rock Art Across Space and Time

The final iteration of ‘Layers: Rock Art Across Space and Time’ opens at Origins Centre at Wits this Thursday at 5PMLayers is a travelling exhibition, held in collaboration with NIROX and the Embassies of Spain, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, France, Italy, Mexico and Portugal. Supported by the European Union through The European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC), it brings together the work of artists and scholars from Europe, Latin America, and Africa to foreground the impact of a pivotal moment in human history and its ongoing ramifications.

Taking its cue from the understanding, expressed by Beatriz Colomina, that ‘archeology has always been about design’ – a form of ‘reverse engineering’ that highlights ‘the sedimented ways’ in which we reinvent ourselves – this exhibition asks where we would be were it not for those who left their mark on a rock in the Blombos cave some 70,000 years back? Can we think of the handprints left on the walls of the Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc in France as precursors to the thumbprint? How do we think about such symbols in light of our data-driven age? Will future generations be equally baffled by the data storage systems used today – ‘strange aluminium boxes whose contents, owing to rapid advances in platforms and programming languages’ may come to resemble nought but ‘meaningless code’? What will they make of our road signs, logos, branded clothes, and social media accounts?

Artists featured in this iteration include Coral Bijoux, Dineo Seshee Bopape, Joni Brenner, Jenna Burchell, Alinka Echeverría, Ângela Ferreira, Richard Forbes, Stefanie Koemeda, Cameron Platter, Inga Somdyala, and Diana Vives.

The opening will be accompanied by a curator-led walkabout with Sven Christian, followed by some light refreshments.

To confirm attendance and receive directions / parking instructions, please RSVP here


Start Date


End Date


5 pm


Origins Centre, Wits University

Age Restriction



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