artthrob artthrob

Archive: Issue No. 44, April 2001

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


Cape Town
24.04.01 Michaelis Lecture by Jeannette Unite
24.04.01 It Feels So Good Inside - work by Capetonian teenagers
17.04.01 Shelley Sacks at the SANG
17.04.01 John Murray at the Brendan Bell-Roberts Gallery
10.04.01 Roger Ballen, Diana Page and Pierre Antoine at the AVA
10.04.01 Dorothee Kreutzfeldt in residence at the SANG
10.04.01 Hannes Harrs at the Chelsea Gallery
10.04.01 Kim Bauer at the Smallest Gallery in the World
10.04.01 Steve Daly at the Alliance Française
10.04.01 'Inferno and Paradiso' at the SANG
10.04.01 Michaelis Lecture by Jan-Erik Lundstrom
10.04.01 'Inferno and Paradiso' Seminar
03.04.01 Usha Seejarim in residence at the SANG
03.04.01 Michaelis Lecture by Usha Seejarim
03.04.01 The Hourglass Project at the Michaelis Collection
03.04.01 ABSA Atelier exhibition at the Arts Association of Bellville
03.04.01 Georges Saillard at Espace Picto-Ifas
27.03.01 Walking the Street in Observatory
27.03.01 Nigel Mullins at the Hänel
13.03.01 Thupelo at the SANG
03.04.01 'Breken Borders' at the University of Stellenbosch Art Gallery

Jeanette Unite

Jeanette Unite in her studio
with 'Sentences'


Michaelis Lecture Series

Jeannette Unite, whose show 'Sentences' at Bell-Roberts Contemporary is just coming to an end, will present this week's lecture. Her work is held in a several local and international collections. She is involved in the arts at many levels, both as a teacher and practitioner. The lecture will include a version of the video piece she produced for her exhibition and a discussion of the process of its production.

Wednesday April 25, 1-2pm

Michaelis Lecture Theatre, Hiddingh Campus, 31 - 37 Upper Orange Street, Cape Town
Tel/Fax: (021) 480-7111/ 4

It Feels So Good Inside - work by Capetonian teenagers

This exhibition highlights work produced by high school students in Cape Town's Southern suburbs. The show has been curated by Rowan Smith (whose 'Boy' and 'Girl' are one of the highlights of 'Walking the Street' currently winding down in Observatory) and Brian Kilbey (who has apparently achieved local renown for producing events like 'Shimmer' and 'Apocalypse').

Opening: Wednesday, April 25, 6pm
Closing: July 31

Latitudes, 16 Vredehoek Avenue (the old Synagogue that's painted red), Vredehoek, Cape Town

Shelly Sacks Exchange Values: Images of Invisible Lives
Mixed media
Installation view

'Exchange Values: Images of Invisible Lives' at the SANG

Shelly Sacks grew up in South Africa and moved to London some time ago, where she continued to produce art. She is exhibiting what she terms a "social sculpture". This term was first used in the 1970s by Joseph Beuys, to describe an expanded conception of art in which thought, speech and discussion are core "materials". Given that social sculpture arises out of the perception of all human beings as artists, it requires us to shape a democratic, sustainable and free social order in tune with our creative potential and our right to develop and express this potential. Expanding our conception of art in this way lifts the aesthetic out of its confines to a specific sphere or media, relocating it in a collective, imaginative work-space in which we can see, re-thing and reshape our lives.

In this installation, Sacks deals with the threatened banana trade of the Windward Islands. The work is made from dried banana skins and the story is told by recorded testimonies of the island growers. The problems faced by small scale producers of bananas are brought to the fore. The GATT agreement on world trade stipulates exact and limiting specifications for bananas that are to be sold internationally. This effectively cuts out smaller scale producers and reduces the varieties available. Bananas are a politically charged commodity and their trade forms part of complex networks influenced by politics and drug trafficking. Those who unite against the unfair trade restrictions are often threatened with violence.

Shelley Sacks is Head of Art at Oxford Brookes University. She worked for many years with Joseph Beuys in Germany, and lectures widely on both Beuys' and her own social sculpture activities.

Opening: April 21
Closing: July 31

South African National Gallery, Government Avenue, Company Gardens, Cape Town
Tel: (021) 465-1626
Fax: (021) 461-0045

John Murray John Murray
Invitation image

John Murray at Bell-Roberts Contemporary

John Murray's second one person show is entitled 'Undercover'. On first glance his paintings and multi-media works seem cut from the same cloth as the Bitterkomix artists, and Murray does indeed hail from Stellenbosch. But, while his skillfully rendered work does bear these traces, it has more of a Pop edge and doesn't quite so relentlessly plumb the South African psyche. This is not to say that his work ignores social issues, but rather that his language is more complex. 'Undercover' suggests covert reconnaissance, and perhaps Murray's role as an artist is just that. Most of the work in the show is presented in a mosaic-like format with clusters of images which seem at first unrelated. On closer inspection subtle links and associations explore such themes as security, religion and rampant consumerism. The juxtaposition of diverse subject matter parallels the everyday bombardment of contradictory information and images to which South Africans are accustomed. Murray's last show, at the AVA, was almost a complete sell-out.

Opening: April 25, 6.30pm
Closing: May 26

Bell-Roberts Contemporary, 199 Loop Street, Cape Town
Tel: (021) 422-1100
Fax: (021) 423-3135
Email: or
Gallery hours: Mon - Fri 8.30am - 5pm, Saturday 10am - 1pm

Roger Ballen Roger Ballen
Factory Worker Holding Portrait of Grandfather

Diana Page Diana Page
Image from the invitation

Pierre Antoine Pierre Antoine
Image from the invitation

Roger Ballen, Diana Page and Pierre Antoine at the AVA

In the Main Gallery, controversial photographer Roger Ballen is showing pictures from his fourth and latest book entitled Outland. Ballen was born in 1950 in New York City, but in 1982 settled in Johannesburg where he established a practice as a geologist. This occupation led him to the small towns and rural areas which became the subjects for his compelling photography. Ballen first generated controversy with his photographs of isolated rural whites, the privileges of apartheid slowly ebbing away from them. These often disturbing photographs trod a fine line between empathy and objectification. Ballen's new work rejects this purely documentary approach, favouring a kind of fiction where these same characters and subjects act out for the camera. During the last few years Ballen has held numerous one-person exhibitions internationally and his work features in many museum collections worldwide. He lives and works in Johannesburg.

Diana Page is showing mixed media drawings and paintings in the Long Gallery. She was born in 1965 and studied both in Cape Town and at Rhodes University. Page's work here focuses on the city, which she has explored for some time, as well as more intimate, often domestic subject matter. Many of the mixed media works have resulted from chance juxtaposition in her sketchbooks and "have come to be narratives of my life in the city, part of what I see, part memory, part imagination". Page engages earnestly with both the formal elements and subject matter of her work, and this results in paintings and drawings which are gestural, layered and open to many interpretations. Page has partaken in a number of group shows and has recently had a spate of one-person exhibitions both in Cape Town and Johannesburg. This will be her first at the AVA. She is currently vice-principal of the Ruth Prowse School of Art and Design.

Pierre Antoine, who is showing photographs in the Artsstrip, was born in 1962 in the former Belgian Congo (now Democratic Republic of Congo) where he spent most of his childhood. He has no photographic qualifications, but studied hotel management in Brussels before settling in Cape Town, where he studied tourism development. Antoine's interest in photography became more than a hobby when one of his portraits, taken in Khayelitsha, was accepted for a national traveling exhibition. His fascination with documenting people from different cultures, their environment and the interaction between the two led to his joining a National Geographic photographic workshop in Cuba in March 1999. Under the critical eye of David-Alan Harvey of Magnum Agency, he completed the body of work to be shown here. Antoine aims to reflect the complexities of Cuban society in La Habana Vieja (Colonial Havana) today.

Opening: Tuesday, April 17, 6pm
Closing: Saturday, May 05

     See Reviews

AVA, 35 Church Street, Cape Town
Tel: (021) 424-7436
Fax: (021) 423-2637
Gallery hours: Tue - Fri, 10am - 5pm, Sat 10am - 12pm

Dorothee Kreutzfeldt at the SANG

Dorothee Kreutzfeldt takes up residence here, as part of the 'Fresh' programme, from April 17-28. Born in Germany and resident in Cape Town for several years, Kreutzfeldt now lives in Johannesburg where she is completing her Masters degree at Wits.

She has a longstanding interest in the social and historical dynamics that characterise Cape Town, and started investigating the effects of the bombings in the city between 1998 and 2000. Her research and interviews with individuals who experienced the bomb attacks will be presented as a multi-media installation in the gallery.

This project, entitled 'in view of you', has been developed in collaboration with a group of artists and researchers, including Jane Appleby, Veronika Klaptocz, Renate Meyer and James Webb. Kreutzfeldt has sought to create a space where individual voices and visions can be heard; where experiences of trauma and survival can be testified about and witnessed as part of our history and culture. Through brave personal accounts, the project aims to review how the city functions as home and how our society functions in view of trauma. What languages are available? What support structures are accessible? How do we speak of hope or trust? How do we take charge of intentionally destructive processes - which tend to collapse the space between the public and the private?

'in view of you' has been sponsored by Teljoy and the Art Reach Fund of the Association for Visual Arts.

Opening: April 17
Closing: April 28

     See both Paul Edmunds' and Tracy Murinik's Reviews

South African National Gallery, Government Avenue, Company Gardens, Cape Town
Tel: (021) 465-1628
Fax: (021) 461-0045

Hannes Harrs

Hannes Harrs
Mixed media painting

Hannes Harrs at the Chelsea Gallery

Entitled 'En route', this show of mixed media canvases, collages and sculptures comprises work made from found and collected materials and objects as diverse as leather, tin plate and paint. The show is to be opened by Dr Hannes Loots at 6.30pm on Tuesday April 17.

Opening: Tuesday, April 17
Closing: May 12

The Chelsea Art Gallery, 51 Waterloo Rd, Chelsea-Wynberg, Cape Town
Tel: ( 021) 761-6805
Fax: ( 021) 761-6805
Gallery hours: Tue - Fri 9.30 am - 5.30 pm, Sat 9.30 am to 1pm

Kim Bauer

Kim Bauer
Image from the poster

The Smallest Gallery in the World

João Ferreira Fine Art is running a new gallery on Greenmarket Square, in the shop window adjacent to ACA Joe. For the month of April, lightboxes by Kim Bauer will be shown. Bauer graduated from Michaelis School of Fine Art in 2000 and has participated in a number of exhibitions both here and elsewhere in the country.

All hours, during the month of April.

Contact João Ferreira
Tel: (021) 423-5403 or 082 490-2977
Fax: (021) 423-2136

Photographer Steve Daly at the Alliance Française

Steve Daly will be exhibiting a series of photographs taken on a recent visit to Nepal, where he found himself captivated by the colours, people, culture and humanity of the region. The works are printed on art paper, and represent something of a departure for Daly who is better known for his hard-hitting documentary work - he is an Emmy Award winning documentary producer for CNN. Daly has documented the Israeli/ Palestinian conflict and has worked in Kosovo and Albania. He also worked in Bosnia and won his first Emmy for coverage of the Oklahoma City Bombing. He has been involved in other projects as far ranging as American politics, AIDS, the American far right and the Northern Ireland conflict. Daly is 31 and lives in London.

Opening: April 11
Closing: April 30

Alliance Française, 155 Loop Street, Cape Town
Tel: (021) 423-5699

Themba Hadebe

Themba Hadebe
Breaking Point
Johannesburg, South Africa, 1998
from 'Inferno'

Ricardo Rangel

Ricardo Rangel
Maputo, Mozambique
from 'Paradiso'

'Inferno and Paradiso' at the SANG

'Inferno and Paradiso' is an internationally acclaimed photographic exhibition curated by artist Alfredo Jaar. A Chilean born resident of New York, Jaar traveled to Rwanda in 1994 in the middle of the genocide, an experience which changed his life and his art and resulted in the staging of this exhibition.

The installation showcases work by 18 of the world's foremost photojournalists and addresses the emotional neutralisation that photography and other visual arts have suffered in our times. Each photographer was asked to choose two pictures of their own, the first representing the most difficult, painful picture they had taken, and the other being the one which had given them the most joy. The exhibition is extremely moving and its intention is to work against the general numbness and immunity that is built up by individuals through the constant bombardment of images expressing human suffering, by the press and other media. The exhibition deals with issues and images of human suffering and through them tries to reinstill a sense of compassion and caring that may have been lost to societies that have been exposed to high levels of violence. Its pertinence to the South African situation is easy to see, and it also includes works by prominent Southern African photographers Peter Magubane, Themba Hadebe and Ricardo Rangel.

Opening: Saturday, April 21, 11am

South African National Gallery, Government Avenue, Company Gardens, Cape Town
Tel: (021) 465-1628
Fax: (021) 461-0045

Yunghi Kim

Yunghi Kim
Children, Rwanda, 1994
from 'Paradiso'

Michaelis Lecture by Jan-Erik Lundstrom

This week's lecture takes place on Thursday April 19, and not on Wednesday as usual. The lecture will be delivered by Jan-Erik Lundstrom, photographic historian and director of the BildMuseet in Umea, Sweden, who is in the country to open the 'Inferno and Paradiso' exhibition at the SANG.

Thursday April 19, 1-2pm

Michaelis Lecture Theatre, Hiddingh Campus, 31 - 37 Upper Orange Street, Cape Town
Tel/Fax: (021) 480-7111/ 4

Usha Seejarim Usha Seejarim
Long Distance, 1999

Usha Seejarim in residence at the SANG

Usha Seejarim is the latest of the seven young South African artists to take up a residency at the National Gallery as part of 'Fresh'. This residency programme has been funded by the Stichting Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds through an award made to Marlene Dumas, and co-ordinated by SANG curator Emma Bedford.

Usha Seejarim was born in 1974 in Bethal and is currently living in Lenasia, south of Johannesburg. Her works explore experiences of movement and perceptions of transition. Sometimes in the form of installations evoking family experiences of relocation and dislocation from India to South Africa, at other times as multi-media works about journeys and daily rituals, Seejarim's work is both diverse and consistent. She is interested in the metropolis as a metaphor for movement, change, growth and decay. During this residency she will be examining differences between her experiences of Johannesburg and Cape Town. Local audiences last saw her work was at the National Gallery when she participated, under her maiden name Usha Prajapat, in the joint Australian/ South African exhibition 'Isintu'.

Seejarim will be available to the public at the National Gallery from 12 - 2pm March 29 and 30 and at the same time on April 5 and 6. Her recent video, The Opposite of Illustration, will be screened from April 4 - 15. In this work, car headlights filmed at night create an abstract interplay of light and dark, their mesmerising effect reinforced by the rhythms of Indian percussion instruments.

Opening: March 22
Closing: April 11

For more information call Emma Bedford at 465-1628 or email

South African National Gallery, Government Avenue, Company Gardens, Cape Town
Tel: (021) 465-1628
Fax: (021) 461-0045

Usha Seejarim

Usha Seejarim

Michaelis Lecture by Usha Seejarim

During her residence at the National Gallery, Usha Seejarim will deliver the lunchtime lecture. She will discuss issues which interest her and inform her work.

Wednesday April 04, 1 - 2pm

Michaelis Lecture Theatre, Hiddingh Campus, 31 - 37 Upper Orange Street, Cape Town
Tel/Fax: (021) 480-7111/ 4

Wendy Lamm

Wendy Sue Lamm
San Francisco Tans while Oakland Burns
San Francisco, California, USA 1991
From 'Inferno'

'Inferno and Paradiso' Seminar

A seminar on the limitations and possibilities of documentary photography, is to be held at the South African Museum. This ties in with the 'Inferno and Paradiso' exhibition at the SANG. Presentations will be given by acclaimed South African photographer Peter Magubane; Alfredo Jaar, contemporary artist and curator of the exhibition; Paul Weinberg, one of South Africa's foremost photographers; and Jan-Erik Lundstrom, photographic historian and director of the BildMuseet in Sweden

An open discussion will follow the presentations. This seminar will give local photographers and interested members of the public a chance to see more of the photographers' work and discuss the issues surrounding the exhibition. As seminar space is limited to 120 seats, booking is essential.

Saturday April 21, 2-5pm

TH Barry Lecture Theatre, South African Museum, Queen Victoria Street, Gardens, Cape Town.

The Hourglass Project at the Michaelis Collection

'The Hourglass Project - A woman's vision' is a collection of prints by women artists which was produced at the Caversham Press, run by Malcolm and Ros Christian in KwaZulu-Natal. The show consists of a portfolio of 30 prints by 15 artists from both South Africa and abroad. The exhibition is part-sponsored by the Netherlands Embassy and is documented in a catalogue which will be available.

Opening: April 10
Closing: May 10

Michaelis Collection, Old Town House, Greenmarket Square
Monday - Friday 10am - 5pm, Saturday 10am - 4pm
Tel: (021) 424-6367
Gallery hours: Mon - Fri 10am - 5pm, Sat 10am - 4pm

Doreen Southwood

Doreen Southwood
Mother and Child, 2000
Bronze, enamel paint

ABSA Atelier exhibition at the Arts Association of Bellville

The Annual regional ABSA Atelier exhibition is currently taking place at the Arts Association of Bellville This is held in conjunction with the South African National Association for the Visual Arts (SANAVA) who organise such regional events at centres all around the country. Selected works from these shows will travel to Johannesburg where an overall winner receives R60 000, a return air ticket to Paris and the chance to stay at the Cité Internationale des Arts. Four runners up receive merit awards of R10000 each. Although winning work is often described as conservative, a list of winners and runners up over the years sees the names of many of the country's best known artists. The competition aims to nurture young talent and is open only to artists between 21 and 35 years old.

Closing: April 19

The Arts Association of Bellville, Library Centre, Carel van Aswegen Street, Bellville
Tel: (021) 918-2301/2287
Fax 918-2083
Gallery hours: Mon - Fri, 8am to 8pm, Sat 9am to 5pm

Georges Saillard at Espace Picto-Ifas

All too rarely used as an exhibition venue, the Espace Picto-Ifas has been host to a number of memorable shows in Cape Town, including Mark Lewis' show prior to the Eye Africa Photography Festival and last year's iJusi exhibition. French fashion photographer George Saillard is showing his photos of people from Cape Town and Khayelitsha here.

Opening: April 02
Closing: April 30

Picto-Ifas, 11-13 Bree Street, Cape Town
Tel: (021) 419-6290 or 082 566-7711
Fax: (021) 419-6293

Tom Schwarer Tom Schwarer
BA 624
A theatrical installation involving a model areroplane, heaps of flours, an old birdcage and other elements

Walking the Street in Observatory

From Friday April 6 to Monday April 23, the shops of Lower Main Road, Observatory will open their window and interior space to artists. A total of about 70 artists have agreed to participate, promising to transform the street, shops and restaurants. A variety of performances will take place during the course of the festival, including theatrical productions, live music and even opera. Sculptures, photographs and paintings will be exhibited alongside environmental and site-specific works. Most of the participants are fairly new to audiences but better known artists such as Justin Anschütz, Andrew Putter, Morgan Riley and Guy Stubbs are also taking part. Others include Johan Hartogh, Andrew Phillips and Heather Tomlinson.

In a piece to be entitled Miss Otis Regrets She is Unable to Lunch Today, Mukunda Michael Dewil will look at "the nature of fast food, take away love and akward silence". On the windows of Panchos, speech bubbles will appear to relate to the conversation of diners inside the restaurant. All the waitrons there, and in other restaurants will wear badges reading "Hello, I'm �. And I'll be your illusion of control for this evening."

The event has been organised by Peter Wells of the Obz Café and is being curated by Katherine Daniels of the newly opened Klarity Art Gallery in Observatory's Lower Main Road. This is the first time 'Walking the Street' has taken place, but it is envisaged as an annual event which is set to grow in stature in the coming years.

Opening: Friday, April 06
Closing: April 23

     See Reviews

Lower Main Road, Observatory

Nigel Mullins

Nigel Mullins
Shows 'Hopeful Monstors'

Nigel Mullins at the Hänel

Nigel Mullins began the millennium by being nominated for the Daimler Chrysler Award for contemporary South African Art 2000. Later in the year he won a merit prize at the ABSA Atelier 2000 The work to be exhibited here, entitled 'Hopeful Monsters', includes his award-winning series of oil paintings 'An Aesthetic for Cruelty and Violence'. Mullins is known for his oil paintings which, while skilfully crafted, are invested with a manic energy. His large single-figure 'Superhumans' from 1999 have, through a set of anarchic mutations, become the single heads which comprise his new work. These have retained the complex juxtaposition of abstract and literal elements of his previous work. 'An Aesthetic for Cruelty and Violence' is a formally composed set of 42 paintings, rigorously created and sumptuously coloured. Each smaller piece within the whole is the setting for an act or acts of violence, either blatant or inferred. From the jewel-like brilliance of early Western altarpieces to contemporary starkness, there is a rhythm and a beauty which cleverly and clearly sets up a paradox of aesthetic and violence.

This, his second one-person exhibition at the Hänel, will be followed by shows at the Royal Overseas League premises in London and Edinburgh, as well as exhibitions in Germany. He will also participate in "Art Fair 2001" in Frankfurt.

Opening: April 01
Closing: May 31

Hänel Gallery, 84 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town
Tel: (021) 423-1406
Fax: (021) 423-5277
Gallery hours: Tue - Fri 11am - 5pm, Sat 10am - 2pm

Thupelo at the SANG

For one day only, Sunday March 18, the last day of a Thupelo workshop being held at the South African National Gallery, the participants will have their work up in a work-in-progress exhibition. A cross section of Cape Town artists are involved, and visitors are invited to view the work and talk to the artists.

Opening: March 18, 10am - 2pm

S.A. National Gallery Annexe, Government Avenue, Company Gardens, Cape Town
Tel: (021) 465-1628
Fax: (021) 461-0045

Pascal Debruyne Pascal Debruyne
Mixed media


'Breken Borders' at the University of Stellenbosch Art Gallery

This exhibition is the result of a collaborative project between lecturers and students from Technikon Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and Karel de Grote-Hogeschool, Antwerp, Belgium. Eight Belgian and ten South African artists explore, in a great variety of media, a wide range of ideas around various social relationships. Artists address such issues as the relationship between location, place, landscape and identity. The landscape is also explored as a metaphor for the transformation process and the relationship between the physical body, technology and medical science. A number of artists also examine ecological problems, the culture of 'consumerism' and the diversity of value systems.

The Belgian participants are Pascal Debruyne, Dirk Dhooghe, Johan Luyckx, Ilse Minnebach, Lieven Paelinck, Veerle Rooms, Jan van de Weghe en Dirk van der Eecken and the South Africans are Bonita Alice, Kim Berman, Amanda Coppes, Marc Edwards, Leora Farber, Carol Hofmeyr, Bronwyn Marshall, Sipho Mdanda and David Paton.

The exhibition will be opened by Mark de Belder, Dean of the Arts Faculty, Karel de Grote-Hogeschool on April 4 at 6pm.

Opening: April 04
Closing: April 25

The University of Stellenbosch Art Gallery, Cnr Dorp & Bird Streets, Stellenbosch
Tel: (021) 808 3524 or 8083489