THE SOUTH AFRICAN
www.arttimes.co.za • August 2008 • Issue 8 Vol 3 • RSA Home subscription 180 p.a • August print & distrib. 8 000 copies •
SASOL snuffs Wax Award “When it comes to support for the arts, sustainability seems to become a fickle enterprise. Support for the arts could be dished out and cancelled at the drop of a hat.”
By Johan Myburg The visual arts have always benefited from patronage. In Medieval times the church was the grand patron. Many papal whims contributed to some of the greatest art ever created by Michelangelo and his peers. And during the Renaissance flamboyant individuals and or families such as the De Medici’s became synonymous with the proliferation of the visual arts. Today corporate sponsorship has taken over the role of institutions offering vital support for the visual arts. Although these tokens of support and patronage are laudable and indispensable, determining the nature of the relationship between the benefactors and the arts become increasingly important. To what extent have patrons of the arts become patronising? Would one be able to speak of a truly symbiotic relationship between sponsorship and the arts? What constitutes the mutual benefit of this relationship? And is reciprocity regarded important at all? In South Africa we have witnessed the devastating effects of the abrupt end of the Brett Kebble Art Awards. And recently we have witnessed the end of the Sasol Wax Art Award. No self-respecting corporate institution would operate oblivious to the importance of sustainability. But when it comes to support for the arts, sustainability seems to become a fickle enterprise. Support for the arts could be dished out and cancelled at the drop of a hat, so it seems. If the chair of
the board has a flair for the arts, sponsorship becomes an avenue for corporate social investment. Should the chair retire, the support dwindles or dries up completely. If one takes into consideration mutual respect (from the sponsor towards the arts and artists, and from the art world towards the sponsor) the question arises whether the patron is consulting the art world in establishing sponsorship and in withdrawing sponsorship. This could be the case in establishing the award or competition or form of support. But the termination of support seems to be a unilateral decision. The pope has another scheme in mind and the work on the Sistine Chapel comes to a halt. In an age with accountability and transparency as buzzwords, it seems odd that the visual arts have to be treated as a minor – sponsorship will decide what is beneficial for the arts. They will decide the amount of pocket money that could be allocated to the arts. While the arts sheepishly do their best to promote the image of the sponsor, honouring the obligation to produce quality work so that the sponsor could cash in on publicity and a polished profile as ‘supporters of the arts’. Perhaps the time has come for the art world to enter proper negotiations with sponsors to secure a fair deal for both. The arts need sponsors. Sponsors need an aesthetic quality to be associated with. No one needs to be reliant on the other. Artists are professional people and need to be taken seriously.
LI T UA Y
C T ZEL
Painting by Richard Hart : The illusive deeper of Rita’s girls, Oil on canvass, was one of the works on Bigwood 2 held at ArtSpace Durban. For more work see: www.artspacedurban.co.za The show will travel to whatiftheworld gallery soon
Strike down capitalism: dump your old art By Patrick Burnett You’ve heard of retreading old tyres, but how about taking your unwanted pieces of art down to the local dealership for a bit of recycling? While you’re doing it you would also be making a statement on the evils of capitalism and the selfishness of art that hides out on the walls of private collections. A group of Johannesburg artists
have launched a “creative recycling” project that will take privately owned art and recondition it into public works – an idea that if nothing else has stoked debate in the art world. The Joburg Art Bin, the concept of a group of artists known as Empty Office and consisting of Landi Raubenheimer, Paul Cooper and Brenden Grey, and supported by The Bag Factory artist studio, is being described by organisers as a “gesture of resistance to the
privatization of contemporary art”. The collective recently issued a call to private collectors to dump works of art between 18 July and 2 August. A debate on the concept was also held on July 4. The concept of retreading old art has raised concerns ranging from a feeling that the project is a tongue-in-cheek indulgence, to worries about the implications of tampering with art that is located in historical, social and political
contexts. But the organisers have explained their efforts in the following terms: “The premise behind the project is to problematize the fetishization, instrumentalization, commoditization and privatization of art by generating public art from the physical detritus of privately owned pieces which have been destroyed by their owners.” They hope to explore how the “meaning and form of a privately owned art object transforms when it is reworked by another artist and re-imagined in a public context”. The proposal is that the recycled art will be used in a series of public art works to be installed in central Johannesburg in preparation for Joburg Art Week and the Joburg Art Fair 2009. Artists will work in collaboration with those who drop off work. Grey said the project was asking questions about why artists made the work they did and who saw that work and was interested in the dialogue and debate around these questions. He said work was not being defaced but recycled and reconstructed. The Bag Factory education officer Bronwyn Lace said a panel discussion had been held on July 4 to discuss the project. “It was a heated debate and no clear answers were reached...The debate did raise many questions though as to the validity of art in the public realm, whether much of it is truly transformative in nature, the reasons for collecting etc.” Lace said some works had already been deposited but was not able to give details on what would be done with them. Antoinette Murdoch, CEO of the Joburg Art Bank, which has dropped off some art works, said about 10 pieces had been handed over. She said while it was “an interesting idea”, the bank would not be involved in re-purposing the work and saw it more as a convenient way “to get rid of what you don’t want and re-purpose something”. “If it does nothing else but to generate a lot of debate then that is fabulous because I’m so sick and tired of people not debating. If new voices can be heard and people are saying what they think then I think that’s fabulous.”
South African Art Times.
The South African
Art Times August 2008 www.arttimes.co.za Published monthly by
Global Art Information PO Box 15881 Vlaeberg, 8018, Cape Town Tel. 021 424 7733 Fax. 021 424 7732 Editor: Gabriel Clark-Brown firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising: Leone Rouse email@example.com Subscriptions: Bastienne Klein firstname.lastname@example.org News: email@example.com Shows: firstname.lastname@example.org Artwork: email@example.com Layout: Wrong side of the bed Deadlines for news, articles and classifieds 20th of each month The Art Times is published in the first week of each month. News and advertising material need to be with the news and marketing managers by the 15th- 20th of each month. Newspaper rights: The newspaper reserves the right to reject any material that could be found offensive by its readers. Opinions expressed in the SA Art Times do not necessarily represent the official viewpoint of the editor, staff or publisher, while inclusion of advertising features does not imply the newspaper’s endorsement of any business, product or service. Copyright of the enclosed material in this publication is reserved. Views published in this Newspaper do not necessary reflect those of the Publisher.
Editorials from publishers should always be yawned at: what do they know about art, let alone passion, love and beauty that artists sacrifice through their struggle, home comforts and material gain. The most beautiful thing art publishers like is a meager salary and a wildly wonderful relationship with their readers. In this regard I am thrilled to have received a wonderful response from your readers questionnaires, that range from very good, to irritation on late editions. The readers survey has pointed us into good directions, there is an overwhelming 90% request for more pictures!, no we wont switch to newsprint, and yes we would like to include more dialogue with artists and community members, as well as more international news. We would like to facilitate for the lastminute.commers and announce our winners next month, as many
folk are still filling out their questionnaires. I would like to thank everyone for your support, I hardly write editorials, but I believe that the paper should, like a work of art speak for itself. Having said this, one could divide the paper into 3-4 different taste groups and produce a paper for many groups that see themselves apart from the other, maybe its not so bad then, that we learn to see what others are doing. Please do watch our website. We are thinking of making a SA Art Media feed. A local clipping agency estimated that they wouldn’t get more than 100 art related media clippings per month- two weeks into the contract I received a phone call to say, ooops they have clipped over 800 so far -can I update the service? - see these daily feeds on www.arttimes.co.za
Waterwitch heroes win acclaim City officials, the police and members of the community involved in tracking down thieves that stole the Waterwitch statues in Athlone scooped the bulk of praise in a City of Cape Town civic awards ceremony held in early July.
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Gallery Delta 110 Livingstone Avenue, Greenwood Park, Harare, Tel/fax: (263-4) 792135 firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the praised heroes: Pieter van Dalen member of the crack “Copperheads” unit whose team’s investigation recovered the sculpture within 3 days of theft. Photo: Neil Baynes of allround photography.com
By Patrick Burnett
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Be sure to catch the love at The Rupert Art Foundation - who will bring a collection of 27 original Auguste Rodin bronzes to the Rupert Museum in Stellenbosch - opening 21 August.
Life-sized bronze statues of struggle heroes Robbie Waterwitch and Coline Williams, MK cadres killed in an explosion outside the Athlone Magistrate’s Court on July 23, 1989, were brazenly stolen in March from opposite the Athlone police station. The thieves, who attempted to sell the statues for scrap metal, apparently attached ropes to the figures and then toppled them with the help of a bakkie, before loading them up and driving away. A City of Cape Town task team - dubbed the Copperheads - tracked down 300kg of the carved-up statues and 10 suspects were arrested.
However, four months later the suspects have yet to have their day in court. Investigating officer Detective Gary Jacobs said investigations in the case had been concluded. Of the 10 original arrests, five suspects had been released due to insufficent evidence.
Zille reserved special thanks for Rens Bindeman, a private individual that helped in tracking down the thieves.
He said it was expected that the case would be transferred from the Athlone Magistrate’s Court to the Wynberg Regional Court, where a trial date would be set. Of the five accused, all were out on bail and had yet to plead in the case.
She also made special mention of Arthur October, who had headed the Copperheads’ response unit until he died recently in a car accident. She said October, the staff of the Copperheads and its head Pieter van Dalen had gone “beyond the call of duty, with almost no resources, to catch the criminals responsible for the memorial’s theft, and to take the fight against cable theft in general to the thieves and illegal scrap dealers.”
Cape Town mayor Helen Zille, speaking at the civic awards function, held to recognise extraordinary acts of service, said the balance of the awards were to acknowledge the efforts of those involved in bringing to book the thieves of the monument.
She also recognised the efforts of the SAPS in making themselves available. “They went above and beyond the call of duty in service to the community of Athlone and of Cape Town in general, and we want to give them formal recognition for their efforts.”
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South African Art Times.
‘Space liberating’ auction causes concern in Eastern Cape By Patrick Burnett A row has erupted between Eastern Cape art enthusiasts and the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality over the auction of art works from the Nelson Mandela Metropolititan Art Museum, which is run by the municipality. The municipality maintains that the art works sold did not belong to the museum and that stringent procedures were followed in disposing of them, but a former director of the museum has questioned these claims. In a statement dealing with the auction, which took place in July and raised over R30,000, municipal spokesperson Lourens Schoeman said the museum had “scrupulously” followed South African Museum Association (Sama) professional guidelines on disposals. “The process was started two years ago when a public appeal was made for owners to remove their artworks or to give the art
museum information about them,” said Schoeman. He said the works earmarked for disposal had been advertised via Sama, who had posted information to all its members. After consulting the budget and treasury, the works had finally been sent for auction. Schoeman said the sale had not been motivated by financial difficulties, but that the museum had been “desperate to liberate storage space which had been taken up for many years by artworks abandoned at the museum”. But one art administrator in the province said: “I am very concerned about what is happening to collections in South Africa. There are ominous rumblings of things being lost and destroyed. There is a lack of interest in anything from the colonial period, but these works are also a part of the rainbow nation.” And Clayton Holliday, a previous director of the King George VI
Art Gallery, which became the Nelson Mandela Metropolititan Art Museum, said the works had been owned by the council and become the responsibility of the gallery. “Like lost waifs and strays they were taken in, most restored and once beautiful again, became part of our heritage.” Holliday said he had recognised most the works out up for auction when he had seen them two days before the sale. However, he said he had not recognised two 32cm by 22cm Victorian landscapes by W. Manners (1892), which must have been acquired by the gallery after he had left. “They should never have been sold,” he said. “That art was sold to ‘liberate storage space’, sold for R33,500, should make the community restless and uncomfortable. How safe are our collections and what are the safeguards for the future?” He said there should be “concern” about the disposal of items from the musuem and about the care of all heritage material. Holliday said while Schoeman
had said the sale had followed Sama guidelines, he had not seen these even though he had been a life member of the association. Schoeman had not responded to requests for information about the guidelines at the time of finalising this article, but a Sama official confirmed the existence of the guidelines. Holliday said he was not satisfied that advertising had only been done through Sama because only paid up members received Sama publications. “I never saw the advert or I might have responded,” he said. Holliday also raised questions about a hanging sculptor in the City Hall by Edouardo Villa, which he said had been destroyed. In addition, he asked how a Frank Rogaly painting in the Opera House by Neil Rodger had been removed from its place of honour.
Work by Photographer Stephen Shore entitled: Memphis, Tennessee, December 1973 Influential photographer Stephen Shore - invited by the newly formed Roger Ballen Foundation will be hosting workshops as well as exhibit in South Africa. For more details see Page 14 or go to www.rogerballen.org
South African Art Times.
Eastern Cape art award promotes creative talent
(Above) Finalists to the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum Biennial exhibition: Marc Pradervand, Christine Maree, Mxolisi Dolla Sapeta, Kate Arthur, Lisa Walker, Goerge Kockott. (Right) Work on show. (Below) Marc Pradervand with his work Wild Coast (2007), Mxolisi Dolla Sapeta with his work Distant Things (2008) and Finalist Lisa Walker with her work Delilah (2008).
By Patrick Burnett The nine finalists of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum Biennial have been announced, with the artists now competing for the grand prize of a solo exhibition in 2009. Designed to promote artistic excellence in the Eastern Cape, an exhibition of work from the finalists, held between 19 June and 27 July, saw a mixed bag of work on display, including video, ceramics, painting, printmaking, sculpture, textiles and photography. Of the nineteen artists selected for
Eldorado, 2008 http://stevebandoma.blogspot.com
the exhibition, eight were shortlisted as finalists. They are Kate Arthur, Linga Diko, George Kockott , Christine Maree, Marc Pradervand, Mxolisi Sapeta, Jessica Vandeleur and Lisa Walker. Emma Taggart, the exhibition curator, in a presentation at the opening, said: “Art competitions play an important role in promoting art and are integral in an environment like South Africa’s where funding is hard to come by. These competitions push artists to produce ground-breaking work and act as creative platforms for artists to experiment and play.” Following the closure of the exhibi-
tion on 27 July, the finalists will now be expected to submit a proposal to motivate why their work should be chosen for the award of a solo exhibition in 2009. Marc Pradervand, one of the finalists, said he was originally from the Eastern Cape but had since lived in Cape Town and the United Kingdom before returning. “It’s nice to be noticed quite soon,” he said. His work on display at the exhibition consisted of three photographs of Sangoma initiatives in an early morning ceremony in the sea at Port St Johns on the Wild
Coast. He said the photographs fell into the theme of children being put into positions of adulthood, while he had always been interested in Port St Johns as a place that was a forerunner of the new South Africa. Looking forward to the finals, Pradervand said Eastern Cape artists “just do their own thing”. The province therefore produced good artists, who created art for the sake of creating it and not for the sake of commercial competitions. Maree, another finalist, said being a finalist played an important part in getting her work “out there”.
ART GUIDE AUGUST 2008
Works from Cast and Crew by Alex Hamilton will be shown in his upcoming November exhibition at his Woodstock studio. The show includes 1000 hand cut stencil portraits- 300 of these are South African icons- see more on : www.alexhamilton.co.za
South African Art Times.
The pregnant pause gives birth to evocative work It is the intimate moments, the quiet pauses between emotions or actions which Hanneke Benade portrays in her almost life size pastel drawings
Hanneke Benade in her studio By Steve Kretzmann It is the intimate moments, the quiet pauses between emotions or actions which Hanneke Benade portrays in her almost life size pastel drawings. Although she studied printmaking with Dianne Victor – an artist she has nothing but praise for - at University of Pretoria in the early ‘90s, charcoal, and later, powder pastels, became the medium of choice with which she has worked ever since, creating evocative images, often described as
Photo: Steve Kretzmann baroque, predominantly of women in contemplative states or seemingly caught in the middle of doing something else. Benade’s images exist without reference to time (except perhaps for the apparel worn by the model) or place. So although she has lived in the small country town of Robertson in the Western Cape for some time, there’s no reference to landscape, whether rural or urban, her figures are routinely drawn against a black backdrop or darkened interior. Thus the choice to live in Robert-
son was more about quality of life, she says, than any need for artistic inspiration, as her ideas emerge from within rather than being influenced by what is around her. “Ek werk van binne na buite, nie van buite na binne (I work from the inside out, not from the outside in). I have these images and I work to get them as close as I can to what I see in my head,” she says. Working from photographs taken of a chosen model, Benade says she places them in a context where “it’s not about where they are physically, it’s more about where they are emotionally”. “Almost like Edward Hopper’s work, but without the set.” Her intention is to create an openended interpretation for the viewer. “I don’t want to force any idea onto anyone.” She describes her works as being “like a play, a silent move, a freeze frame”, and immediately mentions the latest movie she’s watched: the Coen brothers’ No Country for Old Men, which she rates as excellent and, obviously somewhat of a Coen brothers fan, goes on to mention the merits of Fargo and O Brother Where Art Thou. Less inherent in the images she produces, Benade describes them as “the silence between the notes”. “It’s the silent moment before you turn around. We have that throughout the day, those intimate moments when you think no-one’s watching.” And focussing on this subject mat
is a past master of the medium, describing her hands and fingers as her most valued “tool”, as she uses them to mix her colours, much like someone working with oils would. In fact she says her works are often mistaken for oils because she layers the colours, as is also often done with oils, and one or two of her unglassed works have been damaged by people checking exactly what the medium is (she doesn’t use fixative as its long term effects on the paper are unknown). While still happy with pastel, the challenge of a new medium is calling and she drops some hints about what she has planned – but laughs and warns me not to let on too much or people will start having expectations.
Untitled. (work courtesy iArt Gallery) ter, and the pastel medium, has treated her well. Her most recent exhibition, held in a farmhouse outside Oudtshoorn during the Klein Karoo Kunstefees, was almost sold out, and her work resides in numerous corporate and private collections, including those of Spier, Absa and Sanlam. Her upcoming exhibition ‘In Time’ at the Everard Read gallery in Cape Town, introduces an interesting twist in that she places adults in childhood contexts or in the midst of traditional childhood games. She agrees the exhibition is about a longing, or nostalgia, for a certain emotional space that exists
in childhood but is lost when we become adults. “We sometimes long for things that were and for how things used to be,” she explains, but there is also the realisation that we can never go back, we no longer fit. This is almost literally illustrated in some of the paintings, such as one of an adult man and woman enacting the childhood tea party, dwarfing their chairs and table. Childhood games being played by adults is a theme throughout this body of work which introduces – consciously or not, Benade doesn’t say – an appealing surrealism to the works. And having worked with pastel for most of her artistic life, she
‘In Time’ opens at the Everard Read Cape on September 18
Groen: (work courtesy iArt Gallery)
Hanneke Benade’s ‘In Time’ opens at the Everard Read Cape on September 18 for more details see www.everard-read-capetown.co.za
James Webb: Reaping the harvest By Patrick Burnett Okiep, a small town near the Namibian border 560 kilometres from Cape Town, isn’t usually the kind of place you would be likely to bump into James Webb, the winner of the prestigious 2008 Absa l’Altelier award who has a CV running to several pages which details his growing list of exhibitions in capitals around the world. Once the centre of copper mining in South Africa, many of Okiep’s residents spend long days in dusty streets with no hope of gainful employment. The local bottle store has a steady stream of customers in search of cheap wine.
tion of alcohol, the blindfolds and the painful image of bare feet on crushed glass, a powerful statement is made about alcohol abuse. Described variously as “one of the most crazy but creative artists out there” or “an undercover agent whose conceptual pranks are aimed directly at the art world itself” his ability to probe the inner self and the unknown seems to be one of the hallmarks of much of Webb’s work. His work contains themes of isolation and alienation that are in no way unique to artistic expression, but somehow the way in which he tackles them with a combination of humour and dark observation
And then there is 2009. January and February will see him take up a residency in Rabat, Morocco. Then for two weeks in March he will be on an island called Gotland off Sweden. April is a trip to an island called Sylt in northern Germany. May will see -
James Webb, winner of the 2008 Absa l’Atelier prize
Collaborative workshops, rituals and performances with Dawn Langdown in Okiep, Namaqualand. It’s also the home of Dawn Langdown, an inspirational choreographer and dancer who grew up in Okiep and returned to teach local dancers. As part of a unique collaborative project that links artists from different disciplines to see what kind of magical synergies will result, Webb, who has a growing international reputation for his use of sound in his artistic creations, found himself in Okiep recently working on a project with Langdown. Matching the urban sophistication of Cape Town-based Webb with the tough and lively Langdown produces a result that sleepy Okiep has never seen before and isn’t likely to see again. Working with Langdown’s dancers, the collaboration culminates in blindfolded dancers pouring out a circle of wine in the dusty ground of a part of town where wine drinkers gather. They then dance bare foot and blindfolded on shards of crushed up glass placed in the circle. The residents, to say the least, are stunned. The collaboration is different for Webb in the sense that it didn’t involve sound – or recorded sound which features in much of his work – but it’s similar for the way in which it forces the observers to turn the lens in on themselves. In this case, by seeing the associa-
accentuates the message, drawing the subject in, almost coercing them. He won the 2008 Absa l’Atelier prize for his work ‘Auto Hagiography’, a black chaise longue with speakers fitted underneath that play recordings of the artist speaking under hypnosis. Even more grand in concept was ‘Black Passage’ (2006), which took listeners three kilometres underground through the sounds of a metal cage descending into the earth, forcing an engagement with the mining industry, the source of wealth, but also associations with the mythology of the underworld. “You feel it in your teeth, your shoes, your gut. The experience shatters your emotional equilibrium,” wrote Robyn Sassen about the work in Art South Africa. A sense of mischievousness frequently manifests. In ‘Wa’ (2003), he spread the word that a famous Japanese DJ was going to be performing at an event at the Castle in Cape Town and then hired a Korean tourist to act the DJ and broadcast an assault of sound at the thousands of revellers. Webb grew up us as an English speaker on a farm in Stellenbosch, which gives a hint as to the source of feelings of alienation. His interest in the immersive potentials of
sound track back to his experience of nature on the farm. He now sees his penchant for sound as something of a hobby which has taken him all over the world, to the Brazilian Amazon, parts of China and Europe. He describes his work as processorientated and the field recordings he makes as a process that might lead towards “some sort of work or a way of rethinking a work”. Put another way it’s a method of generating ideas, “my form of sketching”. But for Webb, whose academic background is in theatre, comparative religion, classics and advertising, sound is only a carrier for the message and he resists being categorised as a sound artist. “My theory about the way I work with sound is I’m more interested in the juxtaposition between sound and space that could create some
Recorded in Cape Town, this installation consisted of prayers from different faiths.
kind of political or social or magical meaning.” He rejects the title of sound artist. “If you work with sound you will get called a sound artist and its unfortunate because sound art for me is the idea that the word sound is before the artist so sound will qualify all the artistic practice and sound becomes the object, verb and subject of the work.” He argues that his work is also about a range of other elements, including visual. Expect some interesting things from Webb. He talks about his next project as a recording of an animal being slaughtered at an abattoir that will speak to the commodification of animals and will be shown at the Johannesburg Art Gallery.
In ‘Wa’ (2003), he spread the word that a famous Japanese DJ was going to be performing at an event at the Castle in Cape Town and then hired a Korean tourist to act the DJ and broadcast an assault of sound at the thousands of revellers. him in Dusseldorf and from June to December he is in Paris, part of the Absa l’Altelier award. “Mmm, ja, who is going to water my plants?” he jokes. But he believes in the old cliché that there is a time to reap and a time to sow. “I’m hoping I can get a lot of inspiration and recordings. I’m looking forward to being in a new and initially unusual place and somehow making my way back home internally,” he says. See more of James at: http://theotherjameswebb.blogspot.com The black chaise lounge with speakers fitted underneath that play recordings of the artist speaking under hypnosis.
SOUTH AFRICAN ART GALLERY SHOW LISTINGS FOR AUGUST Eastern Cape East London Anne Bryant Art Gallery 14-30 August - The peep show exhibition 23 August - Art open day 25 August - 07 September - Santam’s child art traveling exhibition 27 August - ‘Inyathi’ – A journal on arts 9 St Marks Road, Southernwood, East London T. 043 722 4044
Free State Bloemfontein Oliewenhuis Art Museum 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein T. 051 447 9609
Gauteng Johannesburg Absa Gallery Until 22 August - The Absa L’Atelier Exhibition 161 Main Street, Johannesburg Art Extra Gallery Until 16 August - Michael MacGarry - ‘When enough people start saying the same thing’ 373 Jan Smuts Avenue, Johannesburg T. 011 326 0034 www.artextra.co.za Artspace Gallery 02-23 August - Graeme Williams -‘The Edge of Town’ 17 August -18 October - ‘The Royal Invisible’ 142 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood, T. 011 482 1258 www.artspace-jhb.co.za David Krut Print Workshop 02 August - 01 September - Wilma Cruise -‘Split’ 142 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood, Johannesburg T. 011 447 0627 www.davidkrutpublishing.com Everard Read Gallery 04 September - John Caple ‘To the Quiet Moon’ 6 Jellicoe Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg T. 011 788 4805 www.everard.co.za Gallery Momo Until18 August - Shepherd Ndudzo Thapong 52 7th Avenue, Parktown North, Johannesburg T. 011 327 3247 www.gallerymomo.com Goodman Gallery Until 09 August: Hentie van der Merwe
163 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood, Johannesburg www.goodman-gallery.com Gordart Gallery 03-23 August - Nathani Lüneburg and Marili De Weerdt - ‘Goodbye Little Miss Perfume’, Dale Yudelman -‘Reality Bytes’ and Willem H. Oosthuizen -‘Precious little’ 72 Third Avenue Melville, Johannesburg T. 011 726 8519 www.gordartgallery.com
T. 031 312 0793 www.artspacedurban.co.za Bank Gallery Until 21 August - Greg Streak - Accumulative Disintegration 217 Florida Road, Morningside, Durban T. 031 312 6911 www.bankgallery.co.za
art.b Gallery Until 13 August - ‘Spirit’ - Paintings by Benjamin Mitchley and ceramics by Tania Babb Library Centre, Carel van Aswegen Street, Bellville T. 021 918 2301 www.artb.co.za
Goodman Gallery - Cape 07 August - 06 September - ‘Monomania’ - Brings together works by five artists, Siemon Allen, Ryan Arenson, Joanne Bloch, David Koloane and Arie Kuijers 3rd Floor, Fairweather House 176 Sir Lowry Road Woodstock, Cape Town T. 021 462 7573/4 www.goodmangallerycape.com
Graham’s Fine Art Gallery Until 29 August - ‘The Modern Palimpsest – Envisioning South African modernity’ Corner Cedar & Valley Roads, Broadacres, Fourways T. 011 465 9192 www.grahamsfineartgallery.co.za Johannesburg Art Gallery 05 August -12 October - Dinkies Sithole - ‘Shrine Rituals’ King George Street, Joubert Park, Johannesburg T. 011 725 3180 The Photo Workshop Gallery 06 August - ‘In Transit’ - A Photography Exhibition forming part of Newtown Celebrates Women’s Day 2 President Street, Newtown T. 011 834 1444 www.marketphotoworkshop.co.za The Worldart Gallery Until 09 August - Ian Waldeck and Pieter Swanepoel - ‘Landscapes’ 95 Commissioner Street, Johannesburg T. 011 901 5045 www.worldart.co.za
Pretoria The UNISA Art Gallery Until 03 September - ‘Construct’ - Beyond the documentary photograph Unisa (main campus), Theo van Wijk building 5th floor T. 012 429 6823 www.unisa.ac.za/gallery Alette Wessels Kunskamer Exhibition of Old Masters Maroelana Centre, Maroelana GPS : S25º 46.748 EO28º 15.615 Tel: 012 346 0728 Cell: 084 589 0711 www.artwessels.co.za
Kwazulu Natal Durban artSPACE Durban 04 August - ‘Formation’ paintings by Dee Donaldson, Grace Kotze, Anet Norval, and Janet Solomon, Jacki Bruniquel ‘Remember’ and ‘Aids Prayer-Flags’ Anne Cameron 08 August - The Moveable Arts Feast 3 Millar Road, Durban
Erdmann Contemporary Until 23 August: ‘Departure’ - An exhibition showcasing unique visual vocabularies of four photographers including Roger Ballen, Lien Botha, Patricia Driscoll, Abrie Fourie & Dale Yudelman 25 August -27 September - New Comic Art - Group show 63 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town T. 021 422 2762 www.erdmanncontemporary.co.za
MaxNormal.TV, fronted by the artist previously known as Waddy Jones, is a pop art crew that makes wild high-energy rap music, soft and dreamy acoustic music, music videos, short-films, hand-made limited edition soft-toys and comic books. To accompany their live performance on 29 August at The KZNSA Gallery, see more at www.kznsagallery.co.za KZNSA Gallery Until 24 August: Production Marks: Geometry, Psychology, Damien Schuman: Face It - The Stigma Exhibition, Aryan Kaganof: Velvet. Upcoming: 26 August - 14 September Maxnormal TV: Goodmorning South Africa 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood T. 031 202 3686 www.kznsagallery.co.za
Western Cape Cape Town 34 Long Fine Art 12 August - 06 September - ‘FACE 08’ - Group exhibition 34 Long Street, Cape Town T. 021 426 4594 www.34long.com
Bell-Roberts Gallery Until 08 August - ‘Between meaning and matter’ - Group exhibition 13 August- 19 September ‘Print08’ 176 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock www.bell-roberts.com
Whatiftheworld Gallery 05-30 August - Rowan Smith ‘Future shock lost’ First floor, 208 Albert Road Woodstock T. 021 448 1438 www.whatiftheworld.com
Franschoek The Gallery at Grande Provence Until 10 September - exhibition by three well known South African artists - Paintings by Philip Badenhorst and Rina Stutzer and ceramics by Helen Vaughan Main Road Franschoek T. 021 876 8600 www.grandeprovence.co.za
Iziko S A National Gallery 16 August – Friends visit: John Bauer - Ceramicist with a difference Until 16 November - Albert Adams -‘Journey on a Tightrope’ Government Avenue, Company’s Garden T. 021 467 4660 www.iziko.org.za
Die Dorpstraat Galery 16 August -30 September - ‘Antidote’ - Paintings by Theo Kleynhans and sculpture by Ruhan Janse van Vuuren 144 Dorp Street, Stellenbosch T. 021 887 2256 www.dorpstraatgalerie.co.za
Michael Stevenson Gallery Until 23 August - Guy Tillim -‘Avenue Patrice Lumumba’, Ángela Ferreira -‘For Mozambique’ and Manthia Diawara Maison -‘Tropicale’ Ground Floor, Buchanan Building, 160 Sir Lowry Road, Cape Town T. 021 462 1500 www.michaelstevenson.com
SMAC Gallery Until 29 August - Abstract South African Art from the Isolation Years Part 2 De Wet Centre, Church Street, Stellenbosch T. 021 887 3607 www.smacgallery.com
The Cape Gallery Until 16 August - ‘From Precept to Concept’ - Prints by Juli Jana, oil paintings by Mike Wolfson and John Robert 24 August -13 September - A Wildlife exhibition - Paintings by Lin Barrie, Gary Frier, Peter Gray, Elizabeth Poulsom, Cobus van der Walt and Bronzes by Barry Jackson, Bridget Randall and Steve Tugwell 60 Church Street, Cape Town T. 021 423 5309 www.capegallery.co.za
Blank Projects 06-30 August - Warren Lewis ‘‘Telling Fibs’ 198 Buitengracht Street, Bo-Kaap, Cape Town www.blankprojects.blogspot.com
UCT Irma Stern Museum Until 16 August - exhibition sponsored by Irma Stern Trustees 27 August – 13 September: Tyrone Appollis Cecil Road, Rosebank, Cape Town T. 021 685 5686 www.irmastern.co.za
David Krut Fine Art & Books Until 21 August - Deborah Bell Montebello Design 31 Newlands Avenue, Cape Town T. 021 685 0676 www.davidkrutpublishing.com
Urban Contemporary Art 29 August -13 September - Works by Anthony Mlungisi and Robin Jones 46 Lower Main Road, Observatory, Cape Town T. 021 447 4132 www.urbancontemporaryart.co.za
Knysna The Dale Elliott Art Gallery Oyster Festival exhibition on Knysna and her surrounding areas Woodmill Lane Shopping Centre, Knysna, 6570 Tel: 044 3825 646 www.daleelliott.co.za
Villiersdorp The Elliott’s Art Gallery Exciting Winter exhibition of latest works by Dale and Mel Elliott. 80 Main Rd, Villiersdorp, 6848 Tel: 028 840 2927 www.daleelliott.co.za
(Below) ‘Old Bond Street’ by Dale Yulelman is one of the works to be seen at the Erdmann Contemporary show entitled: ‘Departure’ - An exhibition showcasing unique visual vocabularies of four photographers including Roger Ballen, Lien Botha, Patricia Driscoll, Abrie Fourie & Dale Yudelman. Until 23 August: 2008
AROUND THE GALLERIES
Master Printer and Director of the Robert Blackburn Print Studio, New York, Phil Sanders, has been invited to the David Krut Print Workshop (DKW). He will be at DKW for three weeks to work with the printers and select artists. Left is DK’s Master Printer: Jillian Ross
From Marco Cianfanelli’s Transit Dance series forms part of: Production Marks: Geometry, Psychology and the electronic age at the KZNSA Gallery, Durban. See more details at www.kznsagallery.co.za
Bretton-Anne Moolman If you want to fly...have good shoes to land in to be seen in Rust en Vrede Gallery, Durbanville CT. 26 Aug- 18 Sept
A show entitled: “Awaken” by Tracy Payne can be seen at Kizo Art Gallery: Image: Starburst Monk For more details see: www.kizo.co.za
‘Shapeshifting’ – from animal to human, an exhibition by Dylan Lewis will open at the Rupert Museum in Stellenbosh on 31 October this year for six months. Photograph by Dook
One of the works by Vasek Matousek at Rust-en-Vrede Gallery, Durbanville, CT untill 23 Aug 08
One work on John Caple’s show entitled: To the Quiet Moon opening at the Everard Read Gallery (Jhb) on Thursday 4th - 21st September.
South African Art Times.
Talk of the Town What’s happening in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town
ART PIG Alex Dodd If ever I need a reminder of why I live in such in such a wayward bruiser of a city, I find it by stepping out of my (un)comfort zone and taking a dip into Joburg’s ever surprising and unexpected art circuit. It rarely fails to redeem. Take last night… At about 5.30pm I’m sitting at Boekehuis, Jozi’s stalwart indie bookshop, sipping on a cappuccino, listening to a bit of Bach and paging through Angaza Africa: African Art Now, British Museum curator Chris Spring’s new hardcover glossy hymn to African contemporary art. As the last rays of the Highveld sun start to retreat from the Sunbeam-polished red stoep, I
remember that Rites of Fealty/ Rites of Passage, an evening of performance art, is about to unfold at The Bag Factory artists’ studios. So Tuesday night begins with a trip downtown to gritty Fordsburg, past the factory warehouses and the mosque to the energetic end of Mahlatini Street, where four televisions have been installed in a tree above a DJ consol blasting ‘decon’ remixes to make John Cage proud. Artist Rat Western emerges from the interior in a black jacket, white suspenders and lots of kohl eye makeup, and stands on the pavement singing a mournfully defiant ditty. Over and over she repeats her plaintive mantra: ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’. The next thing she’s yanking on a big industrial chain that hauls up the creaking corrugated iron front door onto an antechamber covered in clots of black coal. In the centre of the gallery, Johan Thom, who is about to depart for three years of study at Goldsmiths in London, is half naked before an iron tub filled with milk. His wife Mika, who has just left her position at Gallery Momo to accompany him to London, is dressed in a nurse’s uniform and proceeds to lovingly slather handfuls of blood and honey over his shaved skull and shoulders, after which he submerges his head in the tub of milk for as long as he can stand it. It’s extreme affecting stuff – visceral, corporeal – flesh, blood and bare song taking our breath away on a cold weekday night, reminding us what we’re made of. Photographer Nadine Hutton has transformed her studio into a confined, tented space. The viewer must crouch down and
Thursday night was whole different story – a surprisingly warm excursion into the avant-garde digital realm via the work of three artists brought together by gallerist Ricardo Fornoni for a show entitled Trespass – ‘to encroach or creep, gradually, so that a footing is imperceptibly established.’ The exhibition had precisely that effect on my own consciousness. At first I was mainly struck by the foreignness and coolness of the works on show, but rarely quick to bolt, I soon found myself engaged in conversation with Fornoni, who like Warren Siebrits and Michael Stevenson, not only revels in combining talents in unexpected ways but also in making sense of his choices by writing about them. As a native Spanish speaker with Chilean roots, his texts are wonderfully red-blooded and provocatively lateral. With his pioneering trans-national spirit and his global network, Fornoni has definitely brought something new and valuable to the Jan Smuts art strip. Not only does he bring together artists from different generic pools, he is also intent on forging live connectivities across national and cultural boundaries. On Trespass, I was most drawn to Nils Eichman’s freshly abstract engagements with colour. Eichman, who recently moved here from Berlin, is entranced by the peculiar qualities of African light, which he has translated into his intriguing high-gloss compositions in the quirkiest of ways. And I’m not the only one who thinks so. Based on his works for the Trespass show he has been invited to join the Florence Biennale for 2009. Never a dull moment.
THE ART COWBOY Peter Machen Staying close to the light. I have often said that the best art moves me like cinema and the best cinema moves me like art. Of course, like most aphorisms, this is not true all the time, but it does accurately describe my own predilections in both directions on these supposedly twin landscapes. And video art, which should conjoin these mighty forces, sits sad and lonely in between. I recently came upon a quote from masterful British guerrilla artist Banks which said “the thing I hate the most about advertising is that it attracts all the bright, creative and ambitious young people, leaving us mainly with the slow
and self-obsessed to become our artists”. It’s a striking statement, and I was reminded it of it while watching my regular dose of Monday night comedy, my singular obeisance to the TV schedule and the mainstream world. Perhaps I was just very, very tired. But I was struck by the quality of the commercials, in relation not only to the content of the programmes, but also to so much video art, and a good portion of film. The reasons include Banksy’s observation, the sheer extravagance of commercial advertising budgets, and also, and perhaps most importantly, because every advert has a reason for existence, something that is patently not true for much of video art. July was an extremely audiovisual month in the cultural life of Durban. There was the video-art show Dis-ease at Bank Gallery, The Fixed Frame Film Festival at the KwaSuka Theatre, a selection of video works by Columbian artist Carlos Motto at the KZNSA, and of course the ten-day long immersion in cinema that is the multi-venued Durban International Film Festival. By the end of all of this, there were some genuinely exhausted people. The Film Festival continues to be one of the most important events on South Africa’s cultural calendar. It is the country’s only international film festival, and the Centre for Creative Arts, with the help of numerous sponsors, goes all out for the event. Hundreds of filmmakers, writers and administrators descend on the city for more than two hundred features, documentaries and shorts as well as a plethora of workshops. The finest of this year’s offering certainly functioned as the finest of fine art. And while I watched many of them on DVD rather than in the theatre – one of the consequences of being a critic
– with the really great stuff, it actually doesn’t matter, because the medium disappears. The same is not true of video art, though. I remember talking to the late Deryck Healey about the size and quality of the screen in video art. He spoke memorably about the immense power of seeing Robert Longo’s works projected onto walls several stories high, a power that the television screen could only ever diminish. Of course, the focus on scale does not always hold true. There are many works that have successfully utilised small screens to maximum effect, including some of the work at the Bank Gallery’s Light Show earlier this year. But it’s true that the power of a lot of video work increases exponentially on the big screen, as demonstrated by the scale and quality of the actual projections of the Dis-ease show. I watched the work twice, once on the beautifully projected wall, and again on television for review, and the difference was remarkable. While the big screen doesn’t deliver salvation to the weaker works, the finest of them really delivered the goods, the power of cinema transmuted into moving art-object. And I suspect that as projectors become increasingly cheaper and more powerful over the next decade, that there might be a giant shift in the ways that film is distributed and shown. Finally, to pull a tangent into a circle, I must mention the superb Bigwoods 3
show at ArtSpace Durban. The show featured a strong selection of the kind of cartoon-based illustrative work that many would not have welcomed into the definition of fine art a decade ago but which now populates the world’s galleries. I think this is due in no small part to Takashi Murakami and the superflat gang, and also to a global desire to escape from an increasingly grim world into one that might also be filled with certain flavours of darkness (the woods are always dark) but at least has softer corners. I loved the show but it didn’t fit remotely into my introductory definition as to what I like. [But the content of the show, of which I reckon at least 80% hit its mark (including a ceiling height cardboard bunny rabbit from curator Trevor Paul) pointed to two curious things about the use of cartoon and comic-style. One is that it allows an extraordinarily large space for dissidence, and the other is the ease with which we allow ourselves to identify emotionally with characters that are often no more than a deftly drawn squiggle or a few roughly hewn flash animations. No need for the epic expanse of cinema here to achieve resonance.] The exception to the exception was Richard Hart’s work. There’s a paradox here – since Hart’s paintings are on the some essential level illustrative. You can easily imagine them being lavished upon a beautifully rendered storybook. But at the same time, the work, like a film condensed into a single frame, moves out in all directions. Hart has been gracing group exhibitions occasionally with a few of his paintings over the last few years but will soon be having a solo show at whatiftheworld in Jozi. Look out for him.
great man’s aura, a bronze cast of the birthday boy’s right hand was made by Hout Bay’s Paul du Toit and sold at the fundraising birthday dinner auction in London in June. According to reports, a flashy 3.5 million dollars were paid for it. At least the purchaser got something that closely resemble part of the real man.)
enter through razor wire portals into the smoke-filled interior surrounded by a crucible of projected flames blazing around a small altar on which lies a South African ID book. It’s the closest I’ve come to experiencing what it must have felt like to be a victim of one of the violent attacks on foreigners. Better than reading so many life-sapping newspaper reports – and Hutton should know. She worked at the Mail & Guardian as chief photographer for many years before embarking on her career as an artist. The evening is a wild array of different acts and moments, unfolding sporadically amidst the noisy hubbub of the increasingly populated studio complex. Fresh talents like Anthea Moys, Ismael Farouk and Dinkies Sithole all play their part in the evening’s pop up carnival of happenings. But mostly people are hooked on the solid conceptual bait underpinning Bronwyn Lace’s mystifying game of ping pong. A myriad of transparent gut strings, attached on one end via Velcro to Lace’s moving body and on the other to an assembly of ping pong balls hanging down a gallery wall, track her movements as she plays this solitary game, scoring only against herself. The movement of the suspended ping pong balls, reminiscent of the strings inside a grand piano, is determined by Lace’s gestures but is also oddly poetic in and of itself.
THE ARTFUL VIEWER Melvyn Minaar Why is Madiba so Difficult? Capetonians with aesthetic sensibilities should count their blessings. For years now, there has been pressure - especially by those politicians who don’t think beyond the length of their noses - to put up a bronze statue of our great statesman in the precincts of parliament. But thanks to a few art-sensitive operators around those corridors, so far, we’ve been spared that. And so has the embarrassment to Madiba. Fact is that the world still has to see an even half-decent three-dimensional portrait of Nelson Mandela anywhere. Everyone that tries, simply make a mash of it. Failed Madiba statues are everywhere, big to small. Starting small: the five-rand coin that the South African Reserve Bank sent into circulation to honour Madiba on his 90th Birthday is awful. Apparently designed by an SA Mint employee, Natanya van Niekerk (whose initials are forever affixed next to the famous face on the coin), the snazzy-dressed bank governor couldn’t have launched a more unattractive, inelegant birthday gift. That great late local engraver Mauro Pagliari, who established the great art of such metal mastery in South Africa, is spinning in his grave. Ugly is the word for the portrait, never mind accurate. Aiming very high (too high): luckily we’ve not heard much more about the R50-million statue of Mandela that Port Elizabeth was to build on a special island in the city’s harbour. The foolish plotters wanted it to be 22 metres taller than New York’s Statue of Liberty. With some luck it’s not to happen. Unfortunately others have. The tallest so far in South Africa is the monstrosity that stands amongst the fumes of the steakhouses on a shopping square in Sandton. Bad sculpture and lopsided like a lollipop man, it is bathed in vulgarity. Some say it is an insult to Mandela.
Of course, Cape Town does have a Mandela in bronze. Down in the docks - or what remains of this ever-increasingly Sandton-shopping-by-the-sea area - there is the Nobel foursome that the provincial authorities and Waterfront business decided some three years ago to put up. In a process that still takes the cake for ‘consultation’ (and also as subject matter for a doctorate in local arts history!), the ace wood-carving artist Claudette Schreuder was commissioned to make figures for casting in bronze the four South African Nobel Peace prize winners, Albert Luthuli, Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk. As part of the convoluted process, a clay piece by the great Noria Mabasa was also cast in that metal. Even admirers of Schreuder’s sculptural suss will agree that the cast versions of her quirky, somewhat tragi-comical characters don’t quite pull through. And the Mabasa piece comes across exactly as the tokenism it represents. Both Schreuder and Mabasa make great art in wood; the latter also in clay and former is a fine drawer. But the jump to the grandeur and pomposity of bronze is where the problem seems to lie. Perhaps this is what is to be expected. A monumental sculpture of a hero in bronze, placed in public places, is very, very much a colonial tradition. It simply ain’t Africa. And this is where the joke so badly misfires on these recently-emboldened African politicians who have their heritage and cultures mixed up. We don’t need more bronzes. One can understand that those who traipse around parliament and the Company gardens get an eye-full of the colonials-in-brass on their pedestals, and feel the need to do something. (Poor arrogant old Rhodes with his self-assured outstretched arm recently got another blast from an arrogant young politico. And the battle between the two ugly Jannies in the Avenue still make good dinner conversation. Curious though that no-one objects to Tant Victoria and her royal spanspek, but then she’s well camouflaged among the clivias.) Of course, the presence of these puppets of history represents an imbalance. But what to do? Adding new ones is playing their game; we need our own. From our African perspective the very concept of monumental bronze sculptures should be outdated. (Let the capitalist wheeler-dealers of shopping palaces play with it if they wish.) A delicious, subtle subtext of Guy Tillim’s Avenue Patrice Lumumba exhibition at Michael Stevenson is that of old colonial statues broken in gardens and those of new heroes equally dilapidated. But getting back to Madiba: why, one wonders, is it so difficult to make a decent three-dimensional image of the man? He has such specific features, body language that portraiture should be a delight. But the opposite is true. Maybe just as well.
At least the 2.7-metre bronze sculpture on London’s Parliament square, which was unveiled with such pomposity last August, looks a little more dignified even though those outstretched metallic hands, elegant as they are, is simply, in a sculptural sense, offering a parcel of (hot) air. (Talking about Mandela hands: as part of the sometimes sad commercialisation that seems to dwell in the
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AROUND THE GALLERIES
Book burning: a fire blazes from the Delft University of Technology, Netherlands - over 40 000 books were burnt in the library, including books relating to the Boer Republics. Photo: Thomas Schlijper
Work by Danie de Wet entitled The Way, a new artist on www.art.co.za
Blue Darling Mermaid Doll: from Nicolaas Maritz’s show entitled Unmentionables at the Irma Stern Museum recently
Mighty Hand: The Rupert Art Foundation will bring a collection of 27 original Auguste Rodin bronzes to the Rupert Museum in Stellenbosch opening 21 August.
African Shrine- Mixed Media - a work by Dinkies Sithole to be seen as part of his show entitled: Shrine rituals at the Nando’s Project Room #2 at the Johannesburg Art Gallery until 5 October 08
YOUR HELP IS NEEDED: Diane Victor’s studio was broken into last week and 20 of her large zink etching plates were stolen - possibly for scrap - but maybe not. Please keep a lookout for her distinctive plates and get back to her asap - info on www.art.co.za
Winner of the Absa - Gerard Sekoto Award, Retha Ferguson. Left is the National President of SANAVA, Anton Loubser, and right the French Ambassador Mr Pietton.
Yue Minjun ‘Untitled’ 2001 Silkscreen - one of the works to be seen at FACE 08 - 34Long Fine Art opening on Tuesday 12 August 2008. See www.34long.com for more details
The wild, wild “Why Men Project” by Usha Seejarim that won a BASA Award is to be seen at Sandton Central, the project - made from 5 km of ropelights - bring happiness to millions of souls working in the area. See September AT for further details
An image from Peter Binsbergen’s invite entitled Night Flight - a (loadshedded) journey through space and time that showed at The Association of Arts, Pretoria last month. See more of Peter’s work on www.art.co.za
Tyrone Appollis “These houses we live in” We represent these artists: Ben Coutouvidis Alice Goldin Wendy Rosselli Lyn Smuts Phillipa Allen Hardy Botha Theo P. Vorster Judy Woodbourne David Riding Cecil Skotnes and others.
Original Art, Etchings, Sculpture, Ceramics.
27 August -13 September UCT Irma Stern Museum Cecil Road, Rosebank
“Good morning Langebaan”, 2008
Open: Tue-Sat from 10h00-17h00. Ph: 021 685 5686 Assisted by The Arts and Culture Trust
Hout Street Gallery David and Gail Zetler 270 Main Street, Paarl, 7646 Phone + 27 (0) 21 872 5030 Fax + 27 (0) 21 872 7133 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.houtstreetgallery.co.za
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Newly launched Roger Ballen Foundation hosts Stephen Shore in his first solo SA exhibit
The Roger Ballen Foundation recently announced the first solo exhibition in South Africa of Stephen Shore, one of the icons of colour photography at the South African National Gallery in Cape Town. The show will focus on two of Shore’s seminal series: American Surfaces and Uncommon Places, along with his more recent work including his ibooks. The exhibition will be complemented by a lecture series and workshop at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town; the workshop received additional support by the US Consulate General in Cape Town. Stephen Shore’s early colour photography, from the 1970’s, was some of the first colour photography to be included within the canon of art. He was 14 when the Museum of Modern Art (New York) collected his work; he was the youngest person ever to have a solo show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art at the age of 23. His images are now seen as classic Americana; culturally rich images showing the tempo, palette and artifacts of the time and place. Although seemingly taken in a snap-shot style, deep reflection reveals that they are carefully constructed compositions. Shore has influenced countless contemporary photographers, from Andreas Gursky to Nan Goldin. The Johannesburg-based Roger Ballen Foundation, is dedicated to promoting the education of photography in South Africa by developing programmes that further
the appreciation and understanding of the photographic medium. It is the first institution of its kind to focus on bringing to South Africa international photographers at the forefront of their art. Ballen, internationally recognised for his psychologically haunting black-and-white images, often attributes the development of his own visual literacy to his New York childhood when he was surrounded by many of the great photographers of the day such as Cartier-Bresson, Kertesz, Steichen, Strand and Arbus. This experience made him appreciate the value of exposure to world renowned photographers and the desire to create a similar milieu for the South African artistic community. “Because we work with artists from around the world, our programme enables students and general audiences to engage with notable contemporary photographic art that would not otherwise be seen in South Africa” explains Ballen. ”Each component of our series will focus on one important contemporary artist that uses photography as an integral part of his practice. It will include an exhibition and a lecture series to help expand the South African discourse on photography.” The Shore show will be followed in May 2009 by a Vik Muniz exhibition, in partnership with the Johannesburg Art Gallery. A corresponding lecture series and
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What’s on at Iziko Exhibition: Timbuktu Script & Scholarship
master class will be presented in partnership with the Wits School of Arts. Exhibition: South African National Gallery Government Avenue, Company’s Garden, Cape Town. Open 10:0017:00 Tuesday to Sunday. From 24 September- 23 November 08. Lectures: Open to the public At 1pm Tuesday and Wednesday, 14 and 15 October 2008 At the Commerce Lecture Theatre, 1st Floor Commerce Building, Michaelis School of Fine Art, Hiddingh Campus, 37 Orange Street, Cape Town The Tuesday lecture will focus on his exhibition at the National Gallery. On Wednesday, there will be a conversation between Shore and the curator, Meredith Randall, as well as an in-depth question and answer session from the audience. Please see www.rogerballen.org for a map to the campus and for more information. Workshop: Taught by Stephen Shore On Wednesday and Thursday, 15 and 16 October 2008. To apply for placement in the class, please contact Svea Josephy on: email@example.com or 021 480 7111 as well as our website www.rogerballen.org for an application. (Above Picture) Steven Shore :Ginger Shore, Causeway Inn, Tampa, Florida, November 17, 1977
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Sankore mosque, Timbuktu. This mosque was one of the major centres of Islamic learning in Timbuktu Photo credit: Lindsay Hooper for Iziko Museums of Cape Town Timbuktu Script & Scholarship is an exhibition of about 40 manuscripts from the holdings of the Ahmed Baba Institute (IHERI-AB) in Timbuktu, Mali. Some of these manuscripts are hundreds of years old, and were written in a variety of styles of Arabic calligraphy by scholars and copyists who were part of an African Islamic intellectual tradition centred in Timbuktu. Some of the manuscripts are beautifully decorated with gold illumination and kept in finely tooled leather covers. The exhibition includes manuscripts ranging in subject matter from religion to astronomy and mathematics, as well as history and literary forms. It also includes manuscripts covering legal judgements and commercial transactions that give a sense of the daily life of the citizens of
Timbuktu. The exhibition is an integral part of the South Africa-Mali project which was initiated by President Mbeki in 2002. As a flagship cultural initiative of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), the project aims to conserve the important collection of manuscripts held at the Ahmed Baba institute of Higher Islamic Studies in Timbuktu through the training of conservation staff and the construction of a building to house the collection of the Ahmed Baba Institute. Timbuktu Script & Scholarship is complemented by a catalogue, edited by University of Cape Town historian, Dr Shamil Jeppie. Exhibition ends 3 September. The exhibition is funded by the national Department of Arts and Culture
Also at Iziko SA National Gallery Albert Adams Retrospective Exhibition Forty Years of Friendship: The friends of the SA National Gallery: 1968–2008 (Until 28 September 2008) Pancho Guedes: An Alternative Modernist (Until 31 August 2008) Fabrications: Drapery and Dress in Works from the Iziko Collection Romantic Childhood For more details see: www.iziko.org.za
Villagers demand warrior statue be scrapped By Avuyile MNgxitama From the Daily Dispatch THE second day of public hearings into the Duncan Village Massacre memorial took a different turn as families of victims demanded the warrior statue be replaced. People who testified at yesterday’s National Heritage Council hearings said they wanted the current monument of a semi-naked warrior with spears scrapped because it bore no relation to the events of 1985. The day before residents had expressed their satisfaction with the memorial but asked that they be consulted in future. Bongani Mazwi, who was arrested during the riots in 1985 and is a member of the Duncan Village Victims’ and Veterans’ Association, was among those unhappy . “The monument is beautiful but it doesn’t depict what happened in Duncan Village. That statue is (Zulu leader) Shaka. We were not fighting with spears during that
massacre,” said Mazwi. He said they wanted something that would symbolise the 1985 event and not of events that happened in the 18th and 19th century. “If we look at that statue that is Shaka, it has the spear and a shield. The MK soldiers were not naked ,” said Mazwi. He said the community was angered at organisers’ failure at not consulting victims of the massacre when coming up the statue and that the preferred symbol would be that of a six-month-old baby.
. I went to the TRC and told my story, my heart breaks when I talk about this,” said Mzamo, agreeing with the idea of a child sculpture.
“The baby that was suffocated by tear gas is the perfect picture of the event. We must bear in mind that the generation that is coming after us must know about that event. A warrior is not what everyone could identify with,” said Mazwi. Miriam Mzamo, whose 15-year-old son was shot while playing on the street, raised her objections too. “I don’t like that statue. My child was brutally killed by the security police while he did not do anything
“I sometimes think my son would have had a decent job and would be providing for me today,” she said.
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“I wish that a woman who had a baby on her back would be used as a statue. With the erection of the statue, I was contacted by my councillor and he told me about the unveiling but my child’s name was not there,” she said. She said the death of her son was a great loss, especially considering the current economic situation.
The panel will compile a report after the two-day hearings and will then come up with a conclusion at a later date.
Willem Coetzer (1900-1978) Gathering Clouds (detail), Pastel 360 x 445
Philip Harper Galleries Hermanus, Western Cape www.thephilipharpergalleries.co.za We specialise in South African Art, both Old Masters and select Contemporary Artists, catering for both corporate and private clients Oudehof Mall, 167 Main Road, Hermanus, Tel: 028 3124836