The Month of Photography hits Cape Town so there is a plethora of small independent shows happening around the city, with the main exhibition at the Castle of Good Hope. But perhaps the most exciting exhibition this month will be Clive van den Berg's solo at Goodman Gallery Cape.
Johannesburg is bustling with activity with many an interesting curated show, as well as a number of important solo shows opening. 'Disturbance - Contemporary Art from Scandinavia and South Africa' at JAG, curated by Clive Kellner and Maria Fidel Regueros, compares interpretations of space and considers ruptures within the two societies. Jo Ractliffe's 'Terreno Ocupado' shows at Warren Siebrits, and is a body of work that adds substantially to this already well-respected artist's stature. Afronova presents works by Gerard Sekoto newly repatriated from Paris, and Willie Bester opens at the Goodman Gallery.
The retrospective of renowned Egg Design studio at Bank raises the bar for showing contemporary design in an art context. Cameron Platter promises some unusual events and his always fertile imagination and playfulness will certainly be welcome in Durban. Kizo, in a joint venture with Michael Stevenson, brings Tracy Payne to Durban. Closer to home ex-Durbanite Riason Naidoo takes us back to the 50s with his exhibition of photos of the Durban Indian population.
Stephen Hobbs, Nadine Hutton, Sam Nhlengethwa, Anthea Moys and several others present video work on 'Too Close for Comfort: SA video art' at Performing South Africa festival in Berlin, while Candice Breitz shows in Florence. London's Hayward gallery presents Robin Rhode's first UK exhibition, entitled 'Who saw Who'. Kyle Kauffman in New York hosts the second installment of last year's 'Not So Black and White', with work by Willie Bester, William Kentridge, Zwelethu Mthethwa, Karel Nel and Kudzanai Chiurai.
Jo Ractliffe's startling new body of work 'Terreno Ocupado' is currently on show at Warren Siebrits in Johannesburg. Michael Smith spoke to her about it and its interstices with previous bodies of work.
Franci Cronje unpacks the controversy around Sasol's distancing themselves from Richardt Strydom's Familieportret 2, winner of their New Signatures competition. Whether the piece is a good piece of work 'calls for a long answer', but she turns her focus instead onto the media feeding frenzy which accompanied Sasol's announcement.
'Trading in the currency of the other has become a common motif in much of contemporary South African art, bordering on rapacious' writes Matthew Partridge in his review of Charles Maggs' 'Zombie'. 'Occasionally,' he goes on in praise to this exhibition, '... something arises that transcends the hegemonic status of the self and other, moving beyond the trite pluralism of contemporary production'. Katharine Jacobs describes Georgina Gratrix's 'Master Copy' finally as refreshing and entertaining, but not before detailing how, in this vigorous body of work, laughter and criticism coexist. It is she says, ' part party, part art satire'.
In Sharlene Khan's 'What I look like, what I feel like', the artist challenges all those 'who are stuck stereotyping women artists to roles formulated by patriarchal societies and religious misunderstanding'. Sipho Mdanda reviews. Cara Snyman reviews Joachim Schönfeldt's 'A show for Sheldon Cohen' at Gallery AOP. Consisting of one finished work, several maquettes and drawings, and a video piece, the show, she argues, works best if one considers it a work-in-progress production and the gallery a project space.
In Themba Shibase's 'The Skeptic', his portraits and representative paintings are neither generic nor specific, argues Peter Machen. He sketches the spaces between 'the fathers of Afrikaners nationalism and other African nationalisms, between politics and economics, between truth and representation', preparing the ground for our own skepticism to grow.
Claire Rousell reviews 'Fragile Democracy' at The Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art in Sunderland. This exhibition of international photographers, which includes Nontsikelelo Veleko, demonstrates through widely divergent means the agency of the personal in affecting change and stability.
Natasha Brain argues that the Goodman Gallery Cape's 'Monomania' stood apart from the glut of group shows in August. Curator Storm Janse van Rensburg chose his artists carefully, both from within and without the gallery's stable. Nadja Daehnke reviews 'Faces 08' at 34 Long. Of it she says, regardless of the quality of individual contributions, '... the agendas and artistic approaches represented in this exhibition are so widely divergent that one senses that the central themes occurred in spite of, rather than because of, curatorial choices.'
Further to our News story about the david and GOLIATH auction and fund, Gerhard Marx has received an out-of-court settlement from BMW and their advertising agency Ireland Davenport.Carol Brown reports on the Kizo Gallery's annual Heritage Awards.
Sue Williamson reports on South African participation in the Gwangju Biennale, in particular the extensive coverage given to Joachim Schoänfeldt's new work.
Stumbling back to your car after an ill-advised third glass of Overmeer at the opening? Don't forget to reach around in your lint-beleaguered purse for a R2 coin: it's the Avant Car Guard!
Johannesburg-based Athi-Patra Ruga, whose work comfortably straddles the divides between fashion, performance and photography, features this month. Michael Smith writes.
Chad Rossouw follows threads on Anthea Buys' Art Schmart, a valuable and rewarding read, he concludes.
Chad Rossouw unpacks the recent Kathryn Smith-initiated ArtWiki Marathon.
Cape Africa Platform calls for proposals for Cape 09 and a Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the Market Photo Workshop in Johannesburg invites submissions. The Construction New Media Awards 2008 take place soon and, internationally, Apexart offers franchise opportunities.
This month, in defence of Aryan Kaganof, a long missive from a lonely goth with an itchy full-stop finger and a stuck shift button. Watch out Peter Machen, you may be temporarily insane!
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