"The slow level of transformation in the cultural arena" is the subject of an extensive review by Zayd Minty in this update. A key member of the defunct Black Arts Collective (BLAC), Minty and a band of like-minded individuals overcame the difficulties currently facing black artists by initiating a number of crucial exhibitions and workshops. Looking contemplatively back, his commentary reveals that a subtle blend of personal passion, enviable networking skills and a group-based sense of purpose can produce startling results. Personally, I have seen this kind of determination achieve the same outcome in a totally different context, a group of young Pretoria artists recently managing to stage two well-received shows in Cape Town and Johannesburg. (And let's not forget about the youthful efforts sustaining the forthcoming staging of YDESIRE.) True, there is a lot that distinguishes these latter examples from BLAC. South Africa's 'previously disadvantaged' artists still do not enjoy the same wide-ranging privileges as their white ('currently disadvantaged'?) counterparts. Which, on one level, is exactly the point of Minty's piece. It is, however, too easy to simply cling to a despairing view of the situation. BLAC didn't, neither should anyone else.
Robert Hodgin's witty and richly coloured lithograph La Contessa Venemosa is the second offering in the Editions for ArtThrob.
Next Update: March 3, 2003