Archive: Issue No. 94, June 2005

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Storm Janse van Rensburg

Storm Janse van Rensburg Storm Janse van Rensburg

Van Rensburg on screen
at RedEye, May 2005

Storm Janse van Rensburg

The NSA gallery designed by Cindy Walters

Storm Janse van Rensburg

Young Artists Project seminar
at the NSA, May 2005

Storm Janse van Rensburg

Performance and video installation for 'Cityscapes', 2003, conceived and directed by Jay Pather
Johannesburg Art Gallery

Storm Janse van Rensburg

'double U'
Video for performance choreographed by Feri de Geus and Noortje Bijvoets (Netherlands) for Jomba Dance Festival

Storm Janse van Rensburg

'Not for Sale' 2002
Installation at the BAT Centre, Durban

Storm Janse van Rensburg

'Fishbowl Bob', 2001 and 2002
sound and video installation
for Redeye, Durban Art Gallery

Storm Janse van Rensburg

'Albany Hotel', for 'Cityscapes' 2002
Performance and video installation
Durban Art Gallery

A feature on an artworld figure currently in the public eye.

Storm Janse van Rensburg
by Sue Williamson (June, 2005)


Trained as an artist, and still continuing to make video and digital artworks, particularly for theatre, curator Storm Janse van Rensburg was appointed director of the NSA Gallery in Durban in 1999. Since then, Van Rensburg has made his name for injecting an adrenaline shot into the moribund gallery. Attracting major funding, he has instituted new programmes like the Young Artists Project which is proving an important vehicle for exhibiting emerging artists not only from KwaZulu Natal but from the rest of Southern Africa.


Or in this month's Artbio - a curator's statement:

"The NSA Gallery is ideally situated as a showcase for contemporary art in the city of Durban and the larger arena of KwaZulu Natal. We work in an exceptional building and have a supportive audience that provides a great opportunity to present international, national and local shows.

"A lot of the past five years has been getting to the point where we are now: Funding has been secured for our programmes, and our projects are being recognised nationally. We have come to a place where it feels much more solid than before.

"Nonetheless, we are marginal in many respects, and geographically operate outside the Johannesburg - Cape Town trajectory. We therefore have to shout much louder, and make more noise, and cannot afford complacency. It is challenging, but I always maintain that the peripheries are often more interesting to operate in, and more importantly, from.

"Durban has always formed an integral slice of the South African artworld, and historically the NSA has been integral in brokering a visibility for KwaZulu Natal artists. However, it is as important for us to bring to Durban artists and exhibitions from elsewhere too, to provide a centre for circulation and exchange."


In April, Van Rensburg co-ordinated a two day seminar in Durban at which the four most recent artists of the Young Artists Project presented their work on the first day, and on the second, invited speakers addressed an open seminar entitled Back(s) to Africa: contemporary practice and our links with the continent.


The development of critical writing on art was the subject of an eight-day writing workshop at the NSA earlier this year conducted by Art South Africa editor Sean O'Toole. As curator, Van Rensburg has contributed to a number of Redeye Art events at the Durban Art Gallery in the past two years.


Van Rensburg is widely involved in other artistic enterprises in Durban and further afield, writing, adjudicating, sitting on the acquisitions committee of the Durban Art Gallery, on the steering committee of the Cultural Policy Project for the city of Durban initiated by the Department of Arts and Culture and the Flemish Government, and regional chairperson for the Visual Art Network of South Africa.

His own artistic work includes a video for The beautiful ones must be born 2005, part of a dance performance choreographed by Van Rensburg's life partner, Jay Pather at Constitutional Hill, Johannesburg, and in 2004, the video for Double U for the Jomba Dance Festival and various venues in the Netherlands.


Artists have already been selected for the next round of the Young Artists Project, which will kick off in June with the first solo exhibition by Dineo Bopape. Other artists participating in this cycle are Colleen Alborough, Bronwyn Lace and Peter van Heerden. Van Rensburg is also in the process of compiling 'Being Here', a group exhibition to celebrate the NSA Centenary with co-curators Bopape and Camilla Copley. In addition, he is a contributing curator to the African section (curated by Miguel Petchkovsky) of 'Prog:ME', the first electronic arts festival in Rio de Janeiro opening in July 2005.

And after that, the NSA Gallery will be hosting seminal shows later in the year, which include 'A Decade of Democracy: Witnessing South Africa' a travelling show of work of SA artists first exhibited in the USA, curated by Tumelo Mosaka, and a group exhibition by acclaimed SA artist Siemon Allen, showing with Kendall Buster (US) and Ledelle Moe, also once of Durban and now living in the USA.


Born Vryheid, KwaZulu Natal, 1972. Lives and works in Durban.


BA (Fine Arts) University of South Africa (1993-1995)


1999 - present Curator and Manager, Natal Society of Arts (NSA) Gallery, Durban
1996 -1999 - Assistant Curator, Rembrandt van Rijn Art Gallery, Market Theatre, Johannesburg

Seminars convened:

2005 - Back(s) to Africa: contemporary practice and our links with the continent, seminar convener and presenter, Young Artists Project 2005, Diakonia Centre and NSA Gallery, Durban

2004 - Recontextualising Durban: Experiments in making the world visible.
Young Artists Project Seminar, convener, coordinator and presenter, NSA Gallery, Durban

Selected group exhibitions (own work)

2003 - 'CityScapes', Video installation and collaboration with Jay Pather, Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg

2002 - 'CityScapes', Video installation and collaboration for the final part of a public performance series directed by Jay Pather, presented at the Durban Art Gallery, Durban; 'ND-ID' (Redeye), One night Installation, Small Gallery, Durban Art Gallery, Durban

2001 - 'Story board', NSA Gallery, Durban

2000 - 'Vote Sheet', one night exhibition for Sheet Magazine, Bat Centre, Durban

1999 - 'Dusty Closets', CARFAX, Newtown, Johannesbug

1998 - 'Histories of the Present', Wits University. - 'Buttons,',Civic Theatre Gallery, Johannesburg

1997 - 'No. 4', Old Fort, Hillbrow Johannesburg - 'A little BIG THING', exhibition of erotic minatures, Thompson Gallery, Johannesburg

1995-1996 - 'Gay Rights Rites Re-Writes', Martin Melkhuis, Cape Town, Stegmann Gallery, Bloemfontein, Wits Gallery, Johannesburg


2005 - Video for The beautiful ones must be born, choreographed and dircted by Jay Pather, Constitutional Hill, Johannesbug

2004 - Video Image design for Double U, choreographed by Feri de Geus and Noortje Bijvoets (Netherlands) for Jomba Dance Festival and various venues, Netherlands

2003 - Set design, 'Home', chreographed by Jay Pather and commissioned by the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown

2002 - Video for 'Medea', choreographed by Jay Pather for Durban Institute of Technology Drama Department, Courtyard Theatre, Durban; Multimedia collaboration with choreogapher Llianne Loots for Flatfoot Dance Company season, The Square Space, University of Natal, Durban

2001 - Video for 'Tatamachance', a three way collaboration, choreographed by Jay Pather, FNB Dance Umbrella, Wits Theatre, Johannesburg; Set design, 'HighArt', choreographed and directed by Jay Pather, OMBA! Dance Festival, Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, Durban

2000 - Digital Visual Design, 'Laws of Recall' directed by Jay Pather, JOMBA! 2000 Contemporary Dance Festival, Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, Durban; Digital Visual Design, Closing ceremony, XIII International AIDS Conference, ICC, Durban

Other professional activities:

2004 - Acquisitions Committee, Durban Art Gallery, Durban Redeye Committee, DurbanArt Gallery and iTrump, Durban

2003 - Interim Stering Committee Member for Cultural Policy Project for EThekwini Municipality, initiated by Department of Arts and Culture and Flemish Government; Selection committee member, TaXi Art Books Project; Steering committee member for Visual Art Network South Africa (VANSA) and regional (KZN) chairperson

2001 - Coordinator, Dogtroep Theatre Company (Netherlands) collaborative workshops, Durban

2000 - Advisor, PULSE Initiative in partnership with the Rijksakademie Intenational Network (RAIN).


Alan Alborough
(July 2000)

Jane Alexander
(July 1999)

Siemon Allen
(June 2001)

Willie Bester
(Aug 1999)

Willem Boshoff
(Aug 2001)

Conrad Botes
(Dec 2001)

Andries Botha
(April 2000)

Wim Botha
(April 2003)

Kevin Brand
(June 1998)

Candice Breitz
(Oct 1998)

Lisa Brice
(Jan 1999)

Jean Brundrit
(March 2004)

Angela Buckland
(Mar 2003)

Pitso Chinzima
(Oct 2001)

Marco Cianfanelli
(Aug 2002)

Peter Clarke
(Sept 2003)

Steven Cohen
(May 1998)

Keith Deitrich
(July 2004)

Paul Edmunds
(Feb 2004)

Leora Farber
(May 2002)

Bronwen Findlay
(April 2002)

Tracy Lindner Gander
(April 2004)

Kendell Geers
(June 2002)

Linda Givon
(Dec 1999)

David Goldblatt
(Dec 2002)

Thembinkosi Goniwe
(Oct 2002)

Brad Hammond
(Jan 2001)

Randolph Hartzenberg
(Aug 1998)

Kay Hassan
(Oct 2000)

Matthew Hindley
(Sept 2004)

Stephen Hobbs
(Dec 1998)

Robert Hodgins
(June 2000)

William Kentridge
(May 1999)

Isaac Khanyile
(Nov 2001)

David Koloane
(July 2003)

Dorothee Kreutzfeld
(Jan 2000)

Terry Kurgan
(Aug 2000)

Moshekwa Langa
(Feb 1999)

Chris Ledochowski
(June 2003)

Kim Lieberman
(May 2003)

Mandla Mabila
(Aug 2001)

Churchill Madikida
(May 2004)

Veronique Malherbe
(June 1999)

Mustafa Maluka
(July 1998)

Thando Mama
(June 2004)

Senzeni Marasela
(Feb 2000)

Brent Meistre
(May 2005)

Santu Mofokeng
(July 2002)

Zwelethu Mthethwa
(April 1999)

Samson Mudzunga
(Oct 2004)

Thomas Mulcaire
(April 2001)

Brett Murray
(Sept 1998)

Hylton Nel
(Feb 2002)

Sam Nhlengethwa
(Oct 2003)

Walter Oltmann
(July 2001)

Jay Pather
(Dec 2004)

Malcolm Payne
(Nov 2002)

Tracy Payne
(March 1998)

Peet Pienaar
(Dec 2000)

Jo Ractliffe
(Mar 1999)

Robin Rhode
(Nov 1999)

Colin Richards
(Aug 2003)

Tracey Rose
(March 2001)

Claudette Schreuders
(Sept 2000)

Berni Searle
(May 2000)

Berni Searle
(Jan 2003)

Usha Seejarim
(May 2001)

Penny Siopis
(Sept 1999)

Kathryn Smith
(Dec 2003)

Dave Southwood
(March 2002)

Doreen Southwood
(Sept 2002)

Greg Streak
(Feb 2001)

Guy Tillim
(Jan 2005)

Clive van den Berg
(Nov 1998)

Hentie van der Merwe
(Mar 2000)

Strijdom van der Merwe
(Jan 2002)

Minnette Vári
(Feb 1998)

Diane Victor
(Feb 2003)

Jeremy Wafer
(Nov 2000)

James Webb
(Aug 2004)

Sue Williamson
(Nov 2003)