artthrob artthrob

Archive: Issue No. 36, August 2000

Go to the current edition for SA art News, Reviews & Listings.

ISSUE NO. 36 AUG 2000

29.08.00 Holland South Africa Line - The Art of Communication and Dialogue
01.08.00 Fifth Biennale of Contemporary Art in Lyons
01.08.00 'Continental Shift'


Holland South Africa Line - The Art of Communication and Dialogue
by Leonard Shapiro

In a generous, insightful and unpatronising attempt to increase the artistic and cultural contact between South African and Dutch artists, a South African living in the Netherlands, Andrea Rolfes and a Dutch art project manager, Arend-Jan Weysters of Stichting AKKA, designed the Holland South Africa Line project (HSAL). The following artists from the Netherlands are participating: Tiong Ang, Paul Bogaers, Clea Daiber, Femke Van Heerikhuizen, Judith Krebbekx, Jurgen Meekel and Sandra de Wolf. Their South African counterparts are: Kevin Brand, Bridget Baker, Nadja Daehnke, Abrie Fourie, Isaac Nkosinathi Khanyile, Dorcas Mamabolo and Stephen Maqashela. Phase one of the project is currently underway in Amsterdam, where the South Africans have been working with the Dutch artists in their studios. "Dialogue" and "communication" between the artists is the project's primary basis and objective.

The resulting artworks will be exhibited in Amsterdam on September 3rd in a massive dockside exhibition centre called, "De Bagagehal" (The Baggage Hall) and will be opened by the acting ambassador and cultural attach´┐Ż to the South African embassy, Andrew le Roux, and will reflect the interpersonal and intercultural dialogue between the artists, as well as their individual creative input.

Opening: September 3

"De Bagagehal" (The Baggage Hall), Amsterdam

Jane Alexander

Jane Alexander
Racework in the event of an earthquake 1999
plaster, paint, fabric

Fifth Biennale of Contemporary Art in Lyons

Cape Town based sculptor Jane Alexander is one of the artists currently showing work on the 5th Biennale of Contemporary Art being held in Lyons, France, and curated by Jean-Hubert Martin. The only other South African is Ndebele artist Esther Mahlangu, a favourite of the curator who included her in his most famous show, 'Les Magiciens de la Terre' at the Pompidou in 1989. This time around, Mahlangu was invited to paint one of her characteristic murals beneath a mural designed by American Sol Lewitt, who had sent one of his assistants to actually execute the work. The work Alexander is showing was last seen in South Africa on the artist's solo exhibition at the UCT Irma Stern Gallery in Cape Town last year. It includes a sculpture of a small male figure dressed in a Japanese mask and kimono, entitled Racework in the event of an earthquake and Lucky girl and monkey with rattling maracas from Alexander's Bom Boys and Lucky girls series.

The theme of this year's exhibition is "Sharing Exoticisms": an exploration of exoticism in contemporary art from around the world, including a comparison with objects directly related to ritual activities. According to an essay on the website of the Biennale, "The notion of equality of cultures continues to make its mark, and enhancement of non-western arts progresses little by little. The two snags which hinder this evolution in the plastic arts are the obedience to religious beliefs and the arrogance of a conception of modern western lifestyle. Exchange of cultures is at the heart of the third millennium challenge. It is time to take stock of the process and art form in the different ways that cultural disciplines think, practice and produce, including in the West." The exhibition intends to create a discourse around perceptions of exotic works of art and a re-examination of contemporary works of the west.

The Biennale is taking place until September 24, 2000 at the Halle Tony Garnier, 20 Place Antonin Perrin, Lyons. Hours are from 12pm to 7pm daily excluding Mondays. For more information email or call 33 (0) 4 72 76 85 70.

Ina van Zyl

Ina van Zyl
Vader met kind en lollie 1999
Oil on canvas

'Continental Shift'

Taking place in The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, Continental Shift focuses on art as a blueprint for co-operation between diverse cultures. The exhibition takes place in four different venues from May 21 to September 10. As a reaction to the fundamental social and political changes within Europe, the exhibition aims to create an image of artistic relationships between Europe and other continents. In particular, the emphasis has been placed upon the cultural spheres of Japan/ Korea, the Near East, Africa and Latin America.

Continetal Shift will bring together over 100 artists from these areas, all of whom have lived in Europe or have dealt with European cultural influences in their work. Participating artists from South Africa are Ina van Zyl, Andries Botha and Kendell Geers.

More information on this project can be found at

May 21 until September 10