a project by William Scarbrough


THURSDAY to SATURDAY from 11h00 – 18h00 or by appointment

The exhibition closes on SATURDAY OCTOBER 9

Secure parking in William Rd (behind the building) or on Albert Road
Please make an appointment should you need elevator access




Forgotten presents a complex labyrinth of information as an installation in two parts. A series of prints presents fifteen forensic facial reconstructions and a press article related to the events in question. A Flash-interface video projection allows a viewer access to a 25-minute video and other supporting contextual content. Together, these elements offer up a narrative pushed aside in the wake of one of the world’s most iconic catastrophes.


William Scarbrough is an artist whose work is deeply engaged with narratives of violence, signification and ethics as presented in the global media. In his intensely researched multimedia projects, he employs the ubiquity of the media’s visual violence to probe the less spectacular, but no less imperative aspects of emotional, imaginary, physical or psychic violence. In his hands, information becomes a signifier of both event and possibility, of relationships and consequences. As such, his work is committed to finding the connections and hidden histories that exist between spectacular events and those that become invisible in the media’s voracious hunt for the next big event.

Forgotten is an exhibition about the tragic coincidence of two events in New York City, both ripe with their own subset of unique coincidences. 


The artist explains: “Coincidence is an interesting thing, most of the time going unnoticed. It may be as benign as finding yourself behind the same car in the same stretch of traffic at the same time of day on sequential mornings. Or, it could be as consequential as Hurricane Katrina sweeping across the Gulf Coast of the United States, to the day of Israel removing its last settlers from an area of the Gaza Strip under heavy pressure from the Bush Administration, believed by some to be evidence of God’s wrath as prophesied in Gen 12:3

You cannot seek coincidences; you can only stumble upon on them. They suddenly appear and just as soon are gone.  We find ourselves in the right place at the right time, see what we see, pause for a moment and move on with our day.  But sometimes, just once in a great while, they are so monumental that books are written, stories are told, as we stand in awe as fate has its way.”



This exhibition marks a twelve-year curatorial relationship between William Scarbrough and Kathryn Smith. His Suicide (1993) project appeared on Smith’s first curated exhibition Histories of the Present (1998, Wits Theatre). She presented and performed Prosthetic as part of the 5th Annual Qualitative Methods conference (1999, Graduate School for the Humanities, Wits). In 2002, she curated The Trials of Dr Kawalski for The Premises project space in Johannesburg, and wrote the catalogue essay for Scarbrough’s 2008 Stitches exhibition at the Bell-Roberts Gallery, Cape Town.



William Scarbrough is an American artist who moved to Cape Town in 2004 from New York City.  He holds a B.F.A from Colorado State University and an M.F.A from the Pennsylvania State University, both in Printmaking.  His extensive exhibition history includes shows at galleries and museums around the world, including many in South Africa; most recently, Reclamation at The Michaelis Gallery, 2006, and Stitches at The Bell-Roberts Gallery, 2008.

Scarbrough has successfully reached audiences not only within but also outside of what is commonly referred to as ‘The Art World’ by creating socially pertinent work with both formal strength and conceptual depth. He has twice headlined the Cleveland Performance Art Festival and was awarded the 1998 Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art Grant. In addition to lecturing at universities, museums and galleries, he has appeared on The Jerry Springer Show, and was the keynote speaker for The Hemlock Society's 1994 annual meeting. Not surprisingly, Scarbrough's artworks have evoked significant responses from the public.  His work has received coverage from Art in America, Harper's, Penthouse, Details, Cover, New York Magazine, The New York Times, Artbyte, Artthrob, Anthony Haden-Guest’s True Colors: The Real Life of The Art World, The New Art Examiner and many other publications.