Bookshops R 30 May 2010 For the full online edition go to: www.arttimes.co.za SUBSCRIBE: 1 year’s subscription to your door: R 360 - Incl. Business Art and ArtLife E-mail: email@example.com THE SOUTH AFRICAN ART TIMES Includes: Artist’s feature supplement The Incredible Grahamstown Group Includes: SA Business Art and SA ArtLife Titles SANG’s reputation trashed for 2010 show “No expository thread pulls the show together. Riason Naidoo, the curator of the show, and director of the institution, has no thesis to propound, no argument to advance and no interpretation to propose”. Lloyd Pollak “Is there any method in this madness?” a seasoned critic enquired of me in a stentorian stage whisper at the 1910-2010: From Pierneef to Gugulective show on at The SA National Gallery (SANG), Cape Town. My answer was no, for the show - which occupies the entire SANG building, the first time in its history that any exhibition has done this – provides an overpoweringly overloaded visual experience unredeemed by any sense of curatorial direction. One is overwhelmed by the sheer glut of works on display, and astounded that no intellectual perspective has been provided in which to view them. No expository thread pulls the show together. Riason Naidoo, the curator of the show, and director of the institution, has no thesis to propound, no argument to advance and no interpretation to propose. A cardinal museological rule is that it is absolutely imperative that visitors be able to identify what they are looking at, but shamefully there are all too often no labels. Such a gross lack of professionalism is inexcusable. A neatly hand-written label would do for the time being. Even when labels do occur, they are often deficient, as they frequently fail to mention essential data such as the date of the relevant work. Over the years the National Gallery has built up precious reserves of curatorial expertise, and chalked up an enviable record of highly informative, illuminating exhibitions. None of this accumulated skill is in evidence in this rambling shambles, and it is apparent that Naidoo, who has piteous little curatorial experience, is out of his depth. As none of his fellow curators have ever been responsible for a pratfall of this magnitude, one can only conclude that he refused to heed their advice, and consequently one entertains the gravest fears vis-à-vis the future of the gallery under the present incumbent. Naidoo correctly saw that the Fifa World Cup presented an unparalled opportunity to present South African art to the world, however he should have realized this months ago when he first took up his directorship, for the show which surveys a century of our art from Union in 1910 to the Cup in 2010, was simply far too ambitious to be mounted in the two and a half months in which it was thrown together. The frantic haste reveals itself in an intellectually indigestible barrage of painting, sculpture and photography divorced from the historical, stylistic and cultural matrix that brought it into being. No text-boards or catalogue place the exhibits in context. From Pierneef to Guglective is primarily designed for overseas visitors, and the first glaring error of judgment is the choice of title. From Pierneef to Gugulective will ring no bells in the mind of a foreigner to whom the name Pierneef and Gugulective will mean nothing. A dull title like A Century of South African Art, 1910-2010, would at least have provided a clear impression of what the visitor might expect from the exhibition. Continued on Page 3 Strijdom & DeBeers make largest local land artwork Emma Mildenhall reports from Springbok, Northern Cape : SA land artist Strijdom van der Merwe has teamed up with DeBeers and LEAP Living Edge of Africa Project (LEAP) to create am/pm Showlines at Koingnaas, Northern Cape. Strijdom van der Merwe’s design, am/pm Shadowlines, a 100 meter wide circle of ridges two meters high – engages the environment, changing throughout the day and the seasons as the sun and moon’s rays rise and set across its sculpted surface. am/pm Shadowlines is believed to be the first of hundreds of land art installations which will transform the Namaqualand landscape while drawing a new audience to this area, which has been off limits to the public since diamonds were discovered there in the 1920s. It is proposed by LEAP that they will develop an annual international art competition and festival that will create a growing land art collection. As a collection, LEAP LandArt will respond to the scale and drama of the Diamond Coast and create an iconic image for the Northern Cape, put South Africa on the international land art map, and become a global ‘must see’. LEAP LandArt will serve as an attraction in tourism’s development as one component of the sustainable economic rehabilitation of Namaqualand Mines, where mining has been suspended while rehabilitation programmes and new industries are established. LEAP LandArt is a component of the Living Edge of Africa Project (LEAP), which will begin to transform a portion of Namaqualand Mines with an uncertain future, into an economic development zone that aims to create durable jobs while generating renewable power, producing an abundance of food and fresh water and restoring globally important biodiversity. See more on these websites: Conservation International (CI) www.conservation.org Strijdom van der Merwe : http://www.strijdom.co.za Artist ls materials quality materia Artist quality made Africa South Africa in South made in www.dala.co.za www.dala.co.za Dealer Dealer enquiries enquiries phone phone 021 021 557 557 8003 8003 Published monthly by Global Art Information Editor: Gabriel Clark-Brown firstname.lastname@example.org PO Box 15881 Vlaeberg, 8018 Advertising: Eugene Fisher email@example.com Subscriptions: Bastienne Klein firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. 021 424 7733 Fax. 021 424 7732 News: email@example.com Shows: firstname.lastname@example.org Artwork: email@example.com Newspaper rights: The newspaper reserves the right to reject any material that could be found offensive by its readers. 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