Archive: Issue No. 133, September 2008

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Themba Shibase

Themba Shibase
Economic Ascendence - A New Battle Ground 2008
acrylic and oil on canvas
100 x 100cm

SEE KZN LISTINGS   

Nandipha Mntamb

Nandipha Mntambo
Europa 2008
archival ink on cotton rag paper
image size 100 x 100cm
paper size 112 x 112cm
photo: Tony Meintjes

SEE ARTBIO   

Brenton Maart

marco cianfanelli
From the Formation series
perspex, supawood, paint and plaster of Paris
119.2 x 95.4 x 6.5cm

SEE INTERVIEWS   

Dan Halter

Dan Halter
Space Invaders 2008
stuffed plastic mesh bags, vinyl
dimensions variable

Rowan Smith

Rowan Smith
Dot Matrix Loop 2007
mixed media

SEE REVIEWS   

Katherine Bull

Katherine Bull
data capture: a muse 2008
performance

SEE CAPE LISTINGS   

Sue Williamson

Sue Williamson
Wax in the City, 2007

SEE NEWS   

Mikhael Subotzky

Mikhael Subotzky
Residents, Vaalkoppies 2006
Chromogenic color print

SEE INTERNATIONAL LISTINGS   

Neville Dubo

Poster for About Time:
Images of South Africa
December 1987

SEE OBITUARY   

Avant Car Guard

SEE DIARY   

Finalist for the Arts & Culture Trust Award 2003 - Electronic Media of the Year in Support of the Arts
ARTS & CULTURE TRUST


THIS MONTH

The bad news that after 2008's Sasol Wax Art Award the petrochemical giant will retract its sponsorship of the competition broke this month. See NEWS for the full story of this. This comes in the wake of the shock last month that the Durban run of the Spier Contemporary award exhibition was cancelled due to last minute withdrawal of key public sector funding.

Later in August, Sasol also distanced itself from the Sasol New Signatures' winning work, a photograph by Richardt Strydom called Familieportret 2, with corporate affairs manager Mike Blesheuvel citing the corporation's need to 'recognise that some of the Sasol staff as well as some members of the public may be challenged or even offended by the piece...'.

One wonders at this sudden about-turn from sponsorship of art events, and a concurrent ossifying of previously fluid moral attitudes to the visual arts. It is regrettable that Sasol feels compelled by the mumblings of certain staff members to publicly distance itself from a work which professional judges of an art competition chose as winner. The photograph will not be acquired by Sasol for its corporate collection. It is increasingly clear that, in the main, corporations selectively promote and sponsor art as long as it is expedient to do so from a marketing perspective. As soon as the going gets rough, it appears that the heady promotional copy phrases like 'public awareness', 'cultural force' and 'exciting realms of artistic creativity' (culled from the Sasol New Signatures entry on the corporation's website) are, in the opinion of this writer at least, just so much empty posturing.

MICHAEL SMITH
MANAGING EDITOR

NEXT UPDATE: October 7.

SELECTED LISTINGS

CAPE

Vansa tells us that September is Art Month in Cape Town - so prepare to don your wellies and hit the streets. Things to keep an eye out for include Carine Zaayman's show which brings together a range of top-notch artists and art-writers to explore the relationship between 'Jozi and the (M)other City'. Sam Nhlengethwa reflects on the politics and poetics of the opening night phenomenon at Goodman this month, and in another take on the personalities of opening night, Katherine Bull continues her printing performance from 'Print 08' in her time at blank projects.

GAUTENG

The Brenton Maart-curated 'Production Marks: Geometry, Psychology and the Electronic Age' will be showing at the Goethe-Institut, after its debut at the Grahamstown Festival and subsequent showing at the KZNSA Gallery. Tom Mulcaire opens at the Goodman Gallery and Lawrence Lemaoana continues his interest in political figureheads and media representation at Art Extra. 'Modern Fabrics' at the Bag Factory and 'Drawing Show' at David Krut Projects, by Nontobeko Ntombela and Michael MacGarry respectively, promise to be two interesting curated shows.

KWAZULU-NATAL

A fine collection of top notch photographers such as Ballen, Searle and Mthethwa opens at the Durban Art Gallery in September, and a socially committed sound installation by the American collective Ultra-Red, which is hot off the international circuit, is a coup for the KZNSA. The build up to Heritage Month from August with the Moveable Arts Feast continues, and Kizo has picked up the ball with a populist event around the Gateway Shopping Centre. This is curated by Bongi Bengu and Nathi Gumede who have put together a group of important artists both living and dead.

INTERNATIONAL

A double bill focusing on the theme of tattooing opens at artSPACE berlin, Colleen Alborough exhibits in small town Italy, six contemporary South African artists show in London, and Sue Williamson is included on 'Signs of Change' at Exit Art NY. Mikhael Subotzky shows at the Museum of Modern Art.

INTERVIEW

Michael Smith interviews 'William Kentridge', formerly known as Roelien Brink, until she recently had her name legally changed to the former. Cara Snyman interviews Brenton Maart about the curatorial process and conceptual underpinning of 'Production Marks: Geometry, Psychology and the Electronic Age', a group show which began its run at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, moved on to Durban's KZNSA and now opens at the Goethe-Institut in Johannesburg.

OBITUARY

Neville Dubow, chair of the fine art department of the Michaelis School of Fine Art in Cape Town from 1971 to 1988, and founding director of the University of Cape Town’s Irma Stern Museum, died on August 24, at the age of 74.

REVIEWS

CAPE

Katharine Jacobs reviews Rowan Smith's 'Future Shock Lost' finding Smith's obsolete technology rather 'like treasured grandparents who have been moved to the old-age home, they engage outside of society's hustle and bustle in a kind of endless occupational therapy; while they speak rosy-eyed of their youth and former promise.'

GAUTENG

Jacki McInnes sets aside the rumbling and gripes that inevitably attend art competitions in South Africa and tracks some parallels in two different and diverse competition exhibitions held in Johannesburg recently - the MTN New Contemporaries and the Wits Martienssen Awards.

KWAZULU NATAL

Carol Brown reviews 'Formation' a show at artSPACE Durban by painters Janet Solomon, anet norval, Dee Donaldson and Grace Kotze, curated by Kotze. She describes the undertaking as an 'open-ended exploration [that] has been a brave one where the four artists have exhibited an openness and a generosity in bringing their deeply personal experiences into a public arena'.

INTERNATIONAL REVIEWS

A belated yet important posting of a review by Sean Slemon features in our International Reviews. Slemon considers the first curatorial of David Krut Projects' Lucy Rayner, entitled 'The New Spell', and finds a subtle and significant show.

STUDENT REVIEWS

Student Maria Baumann reviews Cuny Janssen's 'There's something in the Air in Prince Albert' at João Ferreira.

NEWS

Petrochemical giant Sasol is in the news with both their withdrawal from sponsorship of the Sasol Waxt Art Award, and their reaction to the winning work in this year's New Signatures competition. In Heritage month of September, the 'Heritage Art Festival' runs at Kizo Art Gallery and Gateway Theatre of Shopping. Carol Brown reports on the Umcebo Trust's 'Tree of Hope', and Rat Western previews the Gwangju Biennale and Guangzhou Triennial which both have strong African and South African connections.

DIARY

As much as Kendell Geers early career forced many an art journalist to look up the exact spelling of enfant terrible, I find my reference point more Celtic than Gallic, and herald more shenanigans from this trio. Their tenureship will be coming to an end in the near future, and we'd like to open the floor to fresh proposals for projects in the diary space. Contact Michael at mng-editor@artthrob.co.za.

ARTBIO

Tavish McIntosh writes about Cape Town-based young artist Nandipha Mntambo.

WEBSITES

Chad Rossouw trawls the net looking for representation by the country's major art competitions, and aside from Spier Contemporary, finds very little.

PROJECT

We review the online element of the Carine Zaayman-curated 'Jozi and the (M)other City'.

EXCHANGE

Greatmore Studios Visiting Artists Programme 2009 calls for applications, the Sylt Quelle Cultural Award for Southern Africa invites applications, and the ACT calls for proposals for ACT NOW! Against Aids. Urban Contemporary Art in Observatory, Cape Town calls for portfolio submissions and is also looking for a manager.

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ISSUE #133_09.08

Joao Ferreira Gallery

Mweb

Michael Stevenson Fine Art

Goodman Gallery

Association for Visual Arts

Rose Korber Art

Bank Gallery

Bell-Roberts Contemporary

Goodman Gallery

Gallery on the Square

Vansa

Whatiftheworld

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