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Archive: Issue No. 44, April 2001

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


24.04.01 Due 'South' in Mozambique
24.04.01 Strijdom van der Merwe in Belgium
24.04.01 Willie Bester in Brussels
17.04.01 My Generation at Atlantis Gallery, London
10.04.01 'in the meantime...' in Amsterdam
03.04.01 Karl Gietl in Antwerp
03.04.01 Mustafa Maluka in Amsterdam
27.03.01 'Short Stories' in Milan
27.02.01 'Head North: Views from the South African National Gallery Permanent Collection' in Sweden
United States
13.03.01 Claudette Schreuders at Jack Shainman, New York
13.03.01 Jürgen Schadeberg at the Axis Gallery, New York
16.01.01 Recent South African acquisitions at the Smithsonian

Angela Ferreira

Angela Ferreira
Crossing the Line, 2000

Andries Botha

Andries Botha
White, part 2 (fragment), 1999

Miguel Petchkovesky

Miguel Petchkovesky
Yluna, 1999 video


Due 'South' in Mozambique

April 26 sees the opening of an all-video exhibition in Maputo, Mozambique. Curated by artist Jose Ferreira, 'South - voyages into mutant technologies' takes the work of fourteen artists from various countries that have had some form of Portuguese influence into the Cam�es Institute and beyond, infiltrating cafes and other public spaces.

Featuring artists from Brazil, Portugal, Angola, South Africa and Mozambique, the focus on video is strategic.

Romantic preconceptions about artists from many previously colonised (and thus often economically disadvantaged) countries, especially Africa, tend to focus on the more traditional cultural production. For international audiences, video is either problematic as it does not comply with retrograde perceptions, or celebrated almost unconditionally (subtext: progress). Either way, the artist and the work become something of a curiosity.

In South Africa, our own artists have had their fair share of criticism for apparently jumping on the video bandwagon. That aside, 'South' unearths a new line of inquiry for artists working in video and film. Inherently lo-tech in conception and curatorial strategy, all the artists selected have produced works using Beta, Super8, DV, and others - technology which is increasingly becoming domesticised and more accessible. The works are being shown on monitors both borrowed and rented from local people in Maputo, which promises to lend an intriguing texture to the installation.

A country notorious for its 'let's-make-the-rules-up-as-we-go-along' border posts, at which the officials won't hesitate to confiscate camera and electronic equipment without the relevant paperwork, the borrowing of monitors became an integral aspect of the curatorial strategy - a happy accident resulting from rentals in Maputo being near-impossible (availability and cost-wise) and returning South African goods a bit risky.

Cameras and filming equipment in countries like Angola and Mozambique are directly associated with propaganda. Even now, there are restrictions on photographing in these countries. A historical throwback, this is still part of a general mindset, but is slowly changing.

Ferreira has been working on the exhibition for some eighteen months, which was initially begun as a research project into the archival video and film (16mm) databases that exist in these countries, both personal and public/institutional/governmental. As he says in his introductory essay: "This choice of technology is specific in defining and dealing with the impact of media-related imagery in decolonised countries like Mozambique, Angola, South Africa and Brazil." Further to this, we begin to think about how we define the cultural landscapes of such countries as interpreted in media that is so often not accessible to the economically-disadvantaged.

It is interesting to note an example here: with Kodak pulling out of South Africa during the time of sanctions, many family histories were left incomplete or disrupted. In the context of 'South', film and video documentation is about experimentation with 'new' media, but is also about a certain point of isolation and lack, in terms of access, agency and archive.

This is the first exhibition of its kind in Mozambique. The Camoes Centre usually shows local artists, both well-known and emerging, and artists from other countries who have a Portuguese connection.

'South' features work by Lucas Bambozzi (Brazil), Andries Botha (South Africa), Angela Ferreira (Mozambique/Portugal) with Narelle Jubelin (Australia), Dora Longo Bahia (Brazil), Marcello Dantas (Brazil), Jose Ferreira (Mozambique/South Africa), Sandra Kogut (Brazil), Stephen Hobbs (South Africa), Goncalo Mabunda (Mozambique), Malangatana (Mozambique), Eder Santos (Brazil), Miguel Petchkovsky (Angola/Netherlands), Marco Paulo Rolla (Brazil), and Greg Streak (South Africa). The artists were selected, as Ferreira notes, for their uniquely personal and often intimate interpretations of memory, trauma, dislocation and exploitation - "artistic creation biased toward the formation of previously unarticulated cultural narratives".
The exhibition is designed to tour to all the countries from which the artists originate, finally ending up in Portugal, and in this process will evolve - works will change and artists will be added or dropped - but its life beyond Maputo is dependent on funding.

To date, the Prince Claus Fund, The Hague; Instituto Camões - Centro Cultural Português, Maputo; Itau Cultural, São Paulo; Vault Imaging, Johannesburg; Hotel Rovuma Carlton, Maputo; Hotel Avenida, Maputo; Saicol Lad, Maputo and Video Duplications, Johannesburg have provided generous sponsorship.

Opening: April 26, 6pm
Closing: May 13

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     See Reviews

For more information, contact:
Fatima Vieira
+258 (1) 30 33 45

Goncalo Mabunda
+258 (1) (0) 82 47 32 33

Camões Institute - Portuguese Cultural Centre
720 Julius Nyerere Avenue, Maputo, Mozambique
Tel: +258 1 493 892
Fax: +258 1 498 111

Strijdom van der Merwe

Strijdom van der Merwe


Strijdom van der Merwe in Belgium

The Artist in Nature movement, whose members attempt to unify art and nature, will hold an arts event in Belgium under the title 'F�te de Mai' (May Festival) between April and July this year. Similar events have been held in France, Korea, the Dominican Republic and Quebec in Canada.

South African land artist Strijdom van der Merwe, whose entry for the event has been accepted, will be one of twelve artists, selected from entries world wide, to participate. In September last year, Van der Merwe was invited to create a sculpture for the United Nations Memorial Park in Pusan,Korea. The park commemorates the Korean War which had erupted in 1950. South Africa was one of the 21 countries who participated in the war.

The event in Belgium, which invited artists who work three dimensionally to send in entries, strives to create opportunities for artists "where they can escape from the narrow circle of merchants, art critics and -institutions and open up a direct relationship between artists and communities". The movement also aims at making contemporary art accessible to rural populations. They believe that the public work of art, specifically made on site, is more powerful than work that merely uses a site as exhibition space.

The event will take place in the south of Belgium in the province of Namur in the Walloon region. Works of art will be created in viewing distance from a newly constructed hiking-, cycling- and horse trial, connecting six villages. The trail runs through 6000 hectares of hilly forest and farming land. Artists will reside with a host family who will not only assist them in collecting and transporting their material, but will also introduce them to the Belgian culture.

It is expected from the artists to use materials from the area, namely stone, twigs,bark, wood, iron or clay. The only other requirement was that the artwork must "be reasonably durable". It is envisaged to annually invite ten artists to create new or replace art works.

Strijdom van der Merwe will be working with pliable twigs and branches, which he will plait into three huge human figures placed on stilts,"walking" over the landscape. He calls the sculpture Migration. Sculptures will remain in the landscape as long as they are "meaningful", thereafter "the site will be given back to nature". The artist will be working on the project from April 28 to May 14.

For more info on the Fête de Mai:
Or phone Strijdom van der Merwe at 021 88 66496.

Willie Bester

Willie Bester
Untitled, 2000
Mixed media on board
62.5 x 141 x 8.5cm

Willie Bester in Brussels

Internationally known Cape Town painter and sculptor Willie Bester is exhibiting at the Centre d'Art Contemporain in Brussels. Opening: April 26
Closing: June 09

Centre d'Art Contemporain, Avenue des Nerviens 63, 1040 Brussels
Tel: 02 735 05 31
Gallery hours: Monday to Friday: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m.; Saturdays: 1 to 6 p.m.

Candice Breitz

Candice Breitz
Babel Series1999

My Generation' - Video Art from the 70's to the present day

'My Generation' is a unique programme of video art from the beginnings of video in the late 1960s to the present day, which will last 24 hours from 6 p.m. on April 20 to 6 p.m. the following day. The venue is the Atlantis Gallery in London's trendy East End, and the curators are Mark Nash and Alexandre Pollazzon. From different generations, the curators decided to approach the history of the medium as a dialogue between ongoing individual perspectives and experiences.

The idea is to break from the sometimes over solemn museological presentation of video art which is becoming increasingly common and to restore some of the founding energy and excitement of the medium. The 24-hour cycle makes similar demands of the audience to a dance club and indeed will share some installation elements. The installation is dominated by a single screen (8 x 5 m) on which video work will be seen in the best possible projection conditions using new equipment of a brightness and intensity hitherto reserved for commercial outdoor projection. It will be supported by comfortable furniture for relaxed viewing, as well as ancillary services such as a bar, toilet and washing facilities etc. to look like the lounge of a modern airport by night.

Through this kind of initiative, (Trans)position is aiming to encourage the production of a whole new scope of time-based projects. The idea of time is crucial for the spectator's experience. During a twenty four hour period, the amount of information absorbed will be immense, a total reversal from the characteristics of a traditional exhibition where one is left to ponder on a fixed object. Here, the viewer is invited to surrender to the flow of moving images in an informal and engaging environment.

For the first time in the UK, a video installation by Candice Breitz (South Africa) will be staged, previously installed at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York and 2000 Ta�pei Biennial, and also on the programmed is a world premiere of Breitz's 'Soliloquy' a new series of three videos.

The following are some of the better known artists from the hundred or more Others who will take part: Vito Acconci, John Baldessari, Vanessa Beecroft, Sadie Benning, Dara Birnbaum, Christian Boltanski, Sophie Calle, Douglas Gordon, Damien Hirst, Pierre Huyghe, Isaac Julien, Abigail Lane, Nam June Paik, Philippe Parreno, Gilbert and Georges, General Idea, Thomas Hirshorn, Tracey Moffat, Bruce Nauman, Arnulf Rainer, Pipilotti Rist, Martha Rosler, Carolee Schneeman, Richard Serra, Georgina Starr, Rosemarie Trockel, Gillian Wearing, William Wegman, Lauwrence Weiner, Hannah Wilke, Cerith Wyn Evans, Candice Breitz(South Africa), Olaf Breuning (Swiss), Ellen Cantor (US), Hsia-Fei Chang (Ta�wan), Claude Closky (F), Brice Dellesperger, (Sweden), Fabrice Gygi (Swiss), Sigrid Hackenberg (US), Pal H�llender (Sweden), Marine Hugonnier (F), Bernard Joisten (F), Takehito Koganezawa (Japan), Delphine Kreuter (F),and Elke Krystufek (Austria).

During the programme, information on each piece will be projected on a wall included name of the artist, title, date and duration of the video.

Over a period of 24 hours, up to eight hundred visitors are expected to relax in a comfortable environment where they can enjoy a drink while watching a stream of videos, projected onto a large screen of 8 x 5 mlong. Many sofas, tables and chairs will be rented in order to welcome people as long as possible.

Opening: April 20, 6pm
Closing: April 21, 6pm

Atlantis Gallery, Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, London E1
Admission: £5, concessions £3


Tracey Rose
Video still

'in the meantime...' at De Appel in Amsterdam

The exhibition 'in the meantime ...', put together by the Curatorial Training Programme of the De Appel in Amsterdam, presents videos, installations and photography by Mark Bain, Yael Bartana, Sebastiín Díaz Morales, Angela Ferreira, Ksenia Galiaeva, Tracey Rose, Bülent Sangar and Jun Yang, eight artists focusing on narratives of site and movement.

All art works are derived from a particular situation and consciousness, extracting observations and private histories from the artists' archive of personal experiences. This consciousness prompts the artists to deal with the political, the geographical and the everyday in a non-didactic way. No conclusions are drawn, however. Rather than a single obvious reading, several readings are available. A constant oscillation between reality and fiction, fiction and documentary, the communal and the private realm of the individual is offered.

An exhibition catalogue and website ( accompany the exhibition.

Opening: April 6 at 6pm
Closing: May 27

De Appel, Nieuwe Spiegelstraat 10, 1017 DE Amsterdam
Tel: 020 625 5651
Fax: 020 622 5215

Karl Gietl

Karl Gietl
Women of the street
Oil on canvas
15 x 15 cm

Karl Gietl shows in Antwerp

Known for his quirky small scale paintings,Johannesburg artist Karl Gietl has been living and working in Europe for the past two years. On March 25, an exhibition of fifty of his small (15 x 15 cm) square paintings and four larger pieces opened in Antwerp, Belgium, all reflecting the artist's personal experience and memories both in Europe and South Africa.

An email sent to the artist from a friend following the opening described the work like this: "Little 'tranches de vie', always observing, sometimes 'voyeuristic', sometimes full of humour, sometimes 'naturalistic', sometimes with a touch of cruelty, then a little sad or with pity. Loose, short impressions, as if you're driven around on a bus in the head of the artist, viewing his processed images of life - or something like that� the dancing general, the café scènes, the 'terrasse' of the Paris bar, the tourists in South Africa (wishful thinking?), the metropolitan (especially the one where the figures are black shadows), the Johannesburg skylines,your dreamy selfportrait."

Opening: March 25
Closing: May 20

Gallerie Doreen Dierckx, Tabavest 1, Antwerp
Tel: 03/233 14 37
Gallery hours: Saturdays and Sundays, 12 noon to 6 p.m.

Mustafa Maluka

Mustafa Maluka
Stare me out, 2000

Mustafa Maluka in Amsterdam

Young Cape Town artist Mustafa Maluka will have a short solo exhibition of paintings entitled 'Hard Living (an enthnomethodological approach)' at De Ateliers, in Amsterdam, opening on Tuesday, April 3 at 6.30pm. The exhibition can subsequently viewed between 11am and 6pm from April 4-7.

"I am my main subject," says Maluka, on his website "I change so much so fast. I think I am looking for the 'inbetween'."

De Ateliers, Stadhouderskade 86, Amsterdam

Minnette Vari

Minnette Vari
Mirage, 1999
Video Animation

'Short Stories' opens in Milan

Curated by Roberto Pinto and a curatorial team comprised of Vasif Kortun, Apinan Poshyananda, Anne Pasternak and Eugenio Valdes Figueroa, an exhibition entitled 'Short Stories' opens in in La Fabbrica del Vapore on March 28.

No less than 27 artists will be participating, including Fernando Arias Gaviria, Tania Bruguera, Alison Cornyn & Sue Johnson, Nick Crowe, and South African artists Kendell Geers and Minnette Vari.

Opening: March 28

La Fabbrica del Vapore, Milan

Jane Alexander

Jane Alexander
Integration Programme: Man with TV 1995
Plaster, clothing, oil paint, plastic valise, cabinet, television set, chair, video film, wood base
138 X 100 X 200cm

Lisa Brice

Lisa Brice
Make your home your Castle (detail), 1995

'Head North: Views from the South African National Gallery Permanent Collection' opens in Sweden

For first time ever, a representative selection of works drawn entirely from the Permanent Collection of the South African National Gallery in Cape Town went on display internationally when 'Head North' opened at the BildMuseet, Ume'ring;, Sweden on February 25. The exhibition marks the first round in a series of initiatives between the countries designed to facilitate cultural exchange through visual art.

It started in 1999, when the South African National Gallery was invited by the BildMuseet in Ume'ring;, Sweden to participate in an international exchange programme titled 'Visual Cultures in Dialogue', focusing on an exchange between Swedish and South African partners working in the fields of art and museology. Participating institutions are Ume'ring; University, BildMuseet, University of the Witwatersrand, University of the Western Cape, Robben Island Museum and the South African National Gallery, and the exchange is funded by SIDA, the federal Swedish Development Agency. The goal is to develop a new understanding of how contemporary society is portrayed, how history is examined and how new target groups can be reached in both environments.

'Head North ', jointly curated by the BildMuseet and the SANG, aims to present a broad view of contemporary South African art and in particular a view of the work held by our national gallery. The works on show include Jane Alexander's 'Integration Programme: Man with TV', Lisa Brice's 'Make your home your Castle', Billy (Buyisile) Mandindi's 'Fire Games', Jackson Nkumanda's 'The Presidential Inauguration', Willie Bester's 'Head North', and Sue Williamson's 'Can't Forget, Can't Remember'. The exhibition links itself strongly with South African history and the way that artists have critiqued that history. It is also representative of the aims of SANG, which reflect the desire to break down barriers between cultures and modes of cultural production in order to become as inclusive and nationally representative as possible.

'Head North' is the first of a number of jointly developed projects between the South African National Gallery and the BildMuseet, that include education programmes, seminars, lectures and exhibitions which will be staged over the next two years, within the exchange 'Visual Cultures in Dialogue'.

BildMuseet is a museum of contemporary art and visual culture, located in the city of Ume'ring;, regional capital of northern Sweden. Founded and built by Ume'ring; University in 1981, expanded in 1994, the museum facilities comprise seven exhibition halls with an exhibition area exceeding 1400 m2. Over 100 000 visitors per year make BildMuseet one of the most visited art institutions in Sweden. In recognition of the quality and breadth of their work, the Swedish National Council for Cultural Affairs has assigned the museum a national role within the field of contemporary art for the three-year period 2000 - 2002.

Look out for further developments in this exchange.

For more information on 'Visual Cultures in Dialogue' as well as the exhibition and related programmes please contact Kathy Grundlingh at tel. (021) 4651628 or e-mail

Opening: February 25
Closing: May 01

BildMuseet, Ume'ring;, Sweden

Claudette Schreuders

Claudette Schreuders
Owner of Two Swimsuits
Jacaranda wood and paint


Claudette Schreuders at Jack Shainman, New York

Sculptor Claudette Schreuders opens in a solo show at the Jack Shainman Gallery in New York on Friday, March 16. The owners of the Jack Shainman first saw Schreuder's work on the South African survey show, 'Liberated Voices', which opened at the Museum for African Art on Lower Broadway in September 1999, and since then has travelled for the Museum of Art in Austin, Texas and is to continue to the University of Arizona and Stanford University in California.

Schreuders' work received an excellent mention in the New York Times review when the show opened, and one of her sculptures was used to illustrate critic Holland Cotter's piece. The title of Schreuder's new show is 'Burnt by the Sun', and it will consist of eight new sculptures and also drawings and prints. Schreuder's work, the source of which the artist attributes in part to the painted wooden Colon sculptures of West Africa, deals with the white colonial experience in Africa as evidenced by members of her family, and people of her acquaintance. In this new series, the effect of the merciless African sun on white skins is used as a metaphor for the difficulties whites experience in adapting to living in Africa. 'Burnt by the Sun' is also the title of one of the sculptures, first shown on the 'Unplugged 5' exhibition in Johannesburg at the Market Gallery.

Schreuders work was last seen in Johannesburg on the Vita Awards finalists show at the Sandton Gallery last year.

Opening: March 16 Closing: April 14

     See Reviews

Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

Jürgen Schadeberg

Jürgen Schadeberg
Dancing At the Ritz - Johannesburg, 1952
Black & White photograph

Jürgen Schadeberg

Jürgen Schadeberg
Nelson Mandela's Return to his Cell on Robben Island, 1994
Black & White photograph

Jürgen Schadeberg at the Axis Gallery, New York

It is hard to imagine what kind of images South Africa would have of itself from the 50s and 60s were it not for Jürgen Schadeberg and his fellow photographers at Drum Magazine. In the years since, the photographs have been reproduced continuously, and provide an invaluable legacy of a vivid and vigorous culture which survived in spite of apartheid. Drum proved Black was beautiful. Schadeberg photographed the first black covergirls�one of his many arrests was on suspicion of sex across the color bar while photographing Dolly Rathebe in a bikini on the golden sands of a Johannesburg slagheap. Drum covered black beauty contests and boxing�even Mandela boxed for recreation�and reflected and brokered the emergence of a black urban style influenced by America and its movies. The zoot suit, the hat, the white or two-toned shoes, and the big American car were "in." Even the styling of crime was American. In Johannesburg's vibrant black township of Sophiatown, the biggest gang was called the "Americans." Their toughs had names like "Boston" and "Homicide Hank," and they favored Borsalino, Woodrow or Stetson hats, and drove black limos like Al Capone and Lucky Luciano. Just as the speakeasies of prohibition-era America had been centers of culture and entertainment, in South Africa the illegal shebeen became the core of nightlife, lubricated with illegal alcohol. Here gathered the gangsters and molls, the prostitute and the preacher, the labourer and the tycoon, and the stars of music, writing, and art.

All of this, what Schadeberg calls the "most dynamic and magical decade of South African history," is in Schadeberg's pictures, together with the darkening clouds of life under apartheid: the forced expulsion of Sophiatown's residents, to make way for a whites-only suburb called "Triumph," the first treason trials of Mandela and other leaders, and the massacre of Sharpeville in March 1960.

Drum's documentation and affirmation of black experience, beyond the margins of white control, was deeply threatening to the apartheid regime. As Okwui Enwezor, director of the next Dokumenta, remarks, "the work of the Drum photographers exists beyond the realm of the visual and assumes an important ideological function" of transgression and defiance (Enwezor 1996).

A show of Shadeberg's work, mainly from the 50s, opens at Gary van Wyk's Axis Gallery in the fashionable art district of Soho on March 20. The Axis Gallery is playing an increasingly important role in introducing South African artists and photographers to an American audience.

Opening: March 20
Closing: April 28

     See Reviews

Axis Gallery, 453 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011
Tel: 212. 741 2582
Fax: 212. 924 2522
Artist's Website:

Bernie Searle

Bernie Searle
Installation view at the National Museum of African Art

Courtesy: Axis Gallery, New York

Recent South African acquisitions at the Smithsonian

In an extended show which was covered on SABC3 TV News recently, the National Museum of African Art in Washington, part of the Smithsonian, is exhibiting recent acquisitions by South African artists. The show includes work by Dakar Biennale prizewinner Bernie Searle, William Kentridge, Willie Bester, and expat artist Gavin Jantjies. In recent years, the NMAA has made a concerted effort to build up its holdings in contemporary art from South Africa. The show is expected to remain in place for many months.