Archive: Issue No. 27, November 1999

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Bag Factory

Invitation to the Bag Factory show


Resident artists at the Bag Factory

Anthony Cawood (Cape Town), Chris Cozier (Port of Spain) and Yacouba Tour´┐Ż (Abidjan) present work produced while resident at the Fordsburg Artists Studios. It has a limited run, but it is an opportunity to see work you may not otherwise encounter, as well as visit the studios of some of this country's most celebrated artists.
November 23 - 27, 1999

The Bag Factory 10 Minnaar Str Newtown

Hours: Monday to Friday 10.00 - 15.00; Saturday 10.00 - 13.00

Paul Alberts

Invitation image for 'The Mask' by Paul Alberts - South Photographs, Soweto 1983

Democracy's Images

Invitation image for Democracy's Images

Double Feature Picture Show:
'Democracy's Images: Photography and Visual Art After Apartheid' at the JAG
November 21, 1999 - March 15, 2000

'The Mask' at the Bensusan in MuseuMAfricA
November 21, 1999 - January 9, 2000

One connection between these two shows is that they open within hours of each other on the same day. The other is they are both photographic, and thus continue a trend in exhibitions that has been quite marked in Johannesburg this year. Not that I'm complaining. There have been some real corkers. The much-lauded 'Democracy's Images' co-curated by scholar Rory Bester and Katarina Pierre of the BildMuseet, Umea, Sweden also continues a trend - that of a seemingly never ending and wonderful Sweden-South Africa 1999 partnership that has given rise to incredible opportunities, acquisition of skills and the sense that at least one country out there recognises the value of cultural production. The show features Kay Hassan, Minnette Vari, Joachim Schonfeldt, Santu Mofokeng and uber-young photojournalist Ruth Motau, amongst others.

'The Mask' at the Bensusan Museum in Museum Africa features images made by the members of South Photographs. This collective includes such major players as Jurgen Schadeburg, David Goldblatt, Motlhalefi Mahlabe, Paul Weinburg, Guy Tillim, Jodi Bieber (who also features on 'Democracy's Images')....the list goes on. Harrowing, amusing and lyrical, these masks don't hide but reveal wants, needs, desires and illicit agendas. South Africa has a fraught but fascinating history in terms of photographic images and photographic documentation and the 'harsh truth of the camera eye', once restricted and now emancipated, was and is still used to bear testimony and witness to the complex layering of experiences and realities. Don't miss these shows - they may just alter your point of view.

Gallery Hours:
JAG: Tuesday - Sunday 10.00 - 17.00
MuseuMAfricA: Tuesday - Sunday 10.00 - 17.00

Tom Cullberg

Tom Cullberg

Featherdome in Joburg

Appearing first on the 'Dreams and Clouds' show in Stockholm last year, young Swedish student Tom Cullberg's Featherdome will be on show on the Swedish/South African event at Gallagher Estates from November 23 to 28. The piece, topped by a transparent inflatable dome, allows visitors to climb up inside, and view the world through whirling goose feathers. Great fun.

Willem Boshoff

Willem Boshoff
The small pen I

Manuscript Exhibition at Carfax

Carfax will be hosting what seems to be an eclectic and mind-bending exhibition of manuscripts by artists, poets and researchers. Taking the definition of "manuscript" as loosely as possible and curated almost entirely via em-ail by Anna Varney, 40 artists of various disciplines will be presenting what is described as a "diverse, creative, subjective, historical, fetishist, documentary, tactile collection" of work. The opening night promises performance, poetry, dance and video, and the launch of Dirty Washing by the Botsotso Jesters, as well as the Carfax Café Jazz evening. This is probably the first interactive digital exhibition invitation I've received to date, so I'm sold.

In keeping with the interactive, hands-on nature, the organisers are offering not-to-be-missed workshops on bookbinding, artists' books and poetry. Booking is essential for workshops as only 50 people maximum can be accommodated per session. Attendees to bring packed lunches please (or you could pop across to Kofifi at the Market Theatre Precinct for a mean steak roll).

Opens November 20 at 6pm; closes December 4.


Bookbinding Workshop - December 1
Conducted by Stephan Erasmus (fine artist)

Non-traditional basic book-binding techniques will be demonstrated, including layout of the book. Participants will manufacture their own book as part of the workshop.

Time: 9am to 4pm (break for lunch at 1pm)
Cost (per person): R 30.00
Attendees to bring all necessary materials. A complete list of required materials will be supplied upon booking.

Poetry Workshop - December 3

To be conducted by Willem Boshoff and Jack Ginsberg

Willem Boshoff will speak about different aspects of concrete, visual and optophonetic poetry. By looking at selected visual poems, Willem will interact with the audience to demonstrate various emphases and to practice some methods of poetry recital. Jack Ginsberg, who is well-known for his extraordinary collection of artists books shown in a celebrated exhibition at JAG in 1996, will give a demonstrated talk on the subject.

Time: 10am to 11.30am (morning session) by Willem Boshoff
12 noon to 2pm (afternoon session) by Jack Ginsberg
Cost (per person): R 35.00 (including materials).

Booking details: For more information, contact Sasha, Cheri or Rupert on:
Ph : (011) 834-9187 or
Fax : (011) 834-3318, or
E-Mail :
Carfax address: 39 Pim Street, Newtown

British design

Lara Croft from Tomb Raider
Video game
A Millennium Product

British design

The Interactive Hand
A Millennium Product

British design at the Electric Workshop

An interactive exhibition of over 100 innovative design products from the UK will be part of an event entitled 'futurebritain' to take place at the Electric Workshop from November 11 to 14. 'futurebritain' consists of the exhibition, a business seminar and special events for schoolchildren.

The products featured in the exhibition are all "Millennium Products" - selected as pioneering in their field, challenging existing conventions. The Millennium Products initiative is managed by the UK Design Council and was launched by Tony Blair in 1997. Products in the 'futurebritain' line range from the Europa XS light aircraft to recycled pencils, from the IP+ prosthetic limb to the Anywayup Cup, and from Tomb Raider to the Interactive Hand.

The event will be launched by the Duke of Edinburgh at a reception on Thursday 11 November. A seminar, "Designing the Future of Business," has been arranged on Friday November 12 on the subject of design, innovation and creativity, featuring speakers from South Africa and the UK. In addition, there will be a day of special events for schoolchildren.

The exhibition is presented by the British Council, with support from British Trade International, and the Design Council. Local partners include the Greater Johannesburg Metropolitan Council, the Department of Arts,Culture, Science and Technology, British Airways, and International Computers Ltd (ICL).

Open to the public November 12 - 17 from 10am to 6pm (closed on 14 November).

More info, call the British Council (011) 403 3316

Electric Workshop, Jeppe Street, Newtown

Guilt and Desire

Invitation to 'Guilt and Desire'

'Guilt and Desire' at Crawford College

Michael Smith and Valda Ainslie, both art teachers at Crawford College Benmore, present new work in the school's art department. Located in a historically - and still - "advantaged" neighbourhood that reeks of over-indulgence (an abundance of opportunities for ubiquitous hijackers and thieves), the invitation image of two coins labelled "guilt" and "desire" speaks for itself.

Opens November 7. Call Michael for more information and viewing times on (011) 486 2379 (w)

Crawford Art Department, Crawford Estate, Benmore Road, Sandton

Stephan Erasmus

Stephan Erasmus
The God Prosthetic 1999
Mixed media
Installation detail

Erasmus and 'The God Prosthetic' at the Johannesburg Civic

In a constructed pseudo-scientific environment, Stephan Erasmus attempts to come to terms with what he calls "inhuman evolution". A working space and 'laboratory' become his stage to play out a myriad of pre-millennial anxieties informed by science, religion, science fiction and various permutations thereof. Technological advancements, which inform our lives at a fundamental level, render us almost capable of God-like abilities. Or so it seems. My invitation arrived complete with green hospital armband, reading "The God Prosthetic test subject serial number 000039".

For more information, contact Justine on (011) 403 3408. E-mail or check out their new website hosted by artslink at

November 2 - November 26 1999

See Review.

Karel Nel at the Standard Bank Gallery

'Solo Journeys' and 'Bridewealth, Currency and Other Assets: a bachelor's collection' showcase the two major, but certainly not only, aspects to Karel Nel's production - producing and collecting. 'Solo Journeys' takes its impetus from Nel's "pilgrimage" to the island of Reunion, where he has been working on a commission for the French government, constructing a three-kilometre walkway from the outer lip to the inner rim of the volcano Piton de la Fournaise. Out of this experience of working with palaeoanthropologists, astronomers and the like, he has produced a series of drawings dealing with his experiential navigation of internal and external worlds. As artist, he invites the viewer to recreate the journey, or find the way back together.

'Bridewealth, Currency and Other Assets ... A bachelor's collection' is an exhibition made up of selected items from an extensive personal collection begun at the age of 12. Based on forms encountered in everyday existence, but which were so modified to be useless in a practical sense, the currency was the work of skilled specialists thought to have metaphysical powers. The aesthetic dimension of these objects of status and power has only recently caught the attention of serious African art dealers and collectors.

The exhibitions will be opened by Stephan Welz of Stephan Welz & Company in association with Sotheby's.

Opening November 9

Walkabouts with the artist:

Solo Journeys: Wednesday November 10 and Wednesday November 24, noon - 1pm Bridewealth: Friday, November 12 and Friday, November 19, noon - 1pm.

See October artbio for more information on the artist.

William Kentridge

William Kentridge
Stereoscope and palimpsests

William Kentridge at the Goodman

Stereoscope and Palimpsests is William Kentridge's eighth film in a decade of animated gems featuring his ubiquitous alter-ego, Soho Eckstein. This is the first chance for local audiences to catch the film which has previously been shown at MoMA (New York), the 48th Venice Biennale and the Kunstforeningen (Copenhagen).

A stereoscope is a device that was popular at the turn of the century, a visual "toy" making images appear three-dimensional by presenting each eye with a slightly different view of the same scene. Kentridge deconstructs this by presenting us with a split-screen device, such that the 3D "reality" becomes unsynchronised, chaotic and a metaphor for Soho's "split self". The film will be shown alongside the drawings used in the animation which allows audiences a certain insight into this labour intensive process.

This show should further entrench Kentridge's unshakeable reputation as SA's greatest art export and gain him a plethora of new fans.

Closes 20 November.

See review.
Goodman Gallery, 163 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood
Ph: (011) 788-1113

Jean Brundrit

Jean Brundrit's Lavender Menace

Double bill at the Market: Jean Brundrit's 'Lavender Menace' and 'Outskirts II: 1999'

After opening at the AVA in Cape Town, Jean Brundrit's wittily titled 'Lavender Menace', with its photographic explorations of the constant necessity for lesbians of having to defuse the negative perceptions of family and the public, is now up at the Market. A postcard sized series of work queries, Does Your Lifestyle Depress Your Mother, while the Dyke Career Calendar shows a lesbian in professional working mode for every month of the year.

'Outskirts 11: 1999' is the second instalment of this year's Outskirts Poject initiated by the Market Theatre Galleries, and presents the recent work of the Northern Province's Giyani College of Education.

Both shows close November 20.

See the review of Outskirts, and of Lavender Menace.

First floor, Market Theatre complex, corner Bree and Wolhuter streets, Newtown
Ph: (011) 832-1641

(Re)figuring Abstraction

The invite for '(Re)figuring Abstraction'

'(Re)figuring Abstraction' at the Sandton Civic Gallery

Continuing their series of truly monumental exhibitions, the Sandton Civic presents '(Re)figuring Abstraction' a group show by Regi Bardavid, Jenny Stadler and Pascual Tarazona. All three artists tackle a complex and loaded abstract expressionist heritage head-on, producing huge works that should be complemented by the architectural setting of the Sandton Civic.

Opens 28 October, closes 20 November.

Sandton Civic Gallery, corner Rivonia Road and West Street, JHB
Ph: (011) 881-6431

See Review.

Guy du Toit

Guy du Toit
Conversation: A brief illustrated history of objects
Installation view


Guy du Toit at the Open Window

'Conversation: A brief illustrated history of objects' is the latest multi-part installation from celebrated artist Guy du Toit. Over 72 wall mounted sculptures will articulate the gallery space in a series of projections. The objects function as "annotations" in a visual diary that explores our daily encounters with the ordinary and extraordinary and the possibilities for meaning embedded therein.

Opens November 10 at 7pm. Closes November 27

See Review

Open Window Art Academy, 10 Rigel Avenue, Erasmusrand
Ph: 347-1740
Fax: 347-1710

Africa Meets Africa

Agbali Kossi, Togo
Mami Wata Legba
Wood, paint

'Africa Meets Africa' at the African Window

The Royal Netherlands Embassy in conjunction with the African Window presents pieces from the collection of the Museum of Ethnology, Rotterdam. Since the groundbreaking 'Magiciens de la Terre' and 'Art/Artifact', it's often interesting to see what kinds of curatorial efforts are being made to redress colonial-provoked imbalances in cultural heritage. This show seems to be yet another in a line of excellent Afrocentric exhibitions doing the rounds in Gauteng.

Until December 15.

African Window, Visagie Street
Ph: 324-6082

Andrew Verster

Andrew Verster
"Indus" series


Andrew Verster at the NSA

One of Durban's best known artists, Andrew Verster, filters the brilliant colours and ornate patternings of traditional and domestic India through his own artistic lens. This show of new work entitled 'Indus' is now on at the NSA.

Also part of this show are Melissa Buskin with 'Walking Paintings' and Marklyn Govender with an installation.

The show closes November 25.
NSA Gallery, 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood

To Earth

Invitation for "To earth"


'To Earth'

'To Earth' is the title of an exhibition of sculpture, drawing and poetry by a group of Pietermaritzburg artists which opened at the Old Presbyterian Church, Tatham Art Gallery, on November 18. Featuring the sculptures of David Gush and Jaap Jacobs and the poetry of Kobus Moolman, the exhibition reflects upon the relationship of the artist with the natural world. This group has been working and exhibiting together on and off over the past four years. Joining them for the first time on this show is Howick sculptor Jonathan Cook and 18-year-old Simon Gush.

The show closes December 12.

Tatham Art Gallery

Jane Alexander

Jane Alexander's Bom Boys will be part of
'South Meets West'


'South meets West' in Ghana

In an interesting initiative, two regions from the continent of Africa will present work in a joint show entitled 'South Meets West' to be held in the National Museum in Accra, Ghana, opening on November 9.
From there, the show will move to Bern and Marseilles. Southern and Western Africa are two of Africa's most culturally active regions, and although both have held biennials since the 1990s (Dakar and Johannesburg), until now they have to a large extent ignored each other's work. Most artists in Western Africa are barely aware of the art scene in Southern Africa and are thus uninformed of an important contribution to the art of their own continent. After decades in which many artists in South Africa have been isolated, there is a great need for contact with other parts of the African continent. 'South Meets West' is intended first and foremost to promote a inner African cultural dialogue, and thus it is seen of importance that the exhibition and accompanying symposium should begin in Africa.

But the ambiguous title of the exhibition also refers to the clash between the African and Western cultures. As a departure from the traditional imperialist practice, the title 'South Meets West' shows that here it is the South which plays the active role and not the other way round! Nowadays, there are numerous African artists living in London, Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels etc, and many others spend long periods on all five continents. They are international artists, integrating the fundamental idea of South Meets West in their way of life and mentality, yet not forgetting their roots. The political and social problems of certain African countries are the subjects of much of their work: war, racism, violence and corruption.

The artists were selected with the collaboration of Dr Bernhard Fibicher, director of the Kunsthalle Bern, Prof Jacouba Konaté, Université d'Abidjan, Ivory Coast, and Dr Yvonne Vera, director of the National Gallery Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

An international curators' workshop intended to provide material for the catalogue texts will be held concurrently with the exhibition in Accra. The catalogue will be ready in time for the exhibition in Bern.

The fact that 'South Meets West' is starting in West Africa has been widely welcomed, particularly since African art usually goes straight to Europe and is shown much less frequently in Africa despite the biennials in Johannesburg and Dakar. Even more importance is ascribed to the exhibition as an inner-African dialogue because there seems no possibility at this stage of a 3rd Biennial in Johannesburg. It will be shown at the Kunsthalle Bern (Switzerland) and the Historisches Museum Bern from 6 April to 25 June 2000

South African artists expected to exhibit are Kendell Geers, Tracey Rose, Kay Hassan, Jane Alexander and Minnette Vari. From Benin, Georges Adéagbo, Dominique Zinkpeand Meschac Gaba. Nigeria: Oladélé Bamgboyé and Yinka Shonibare, both of whom live and works in Nigeria and London. Atta Kwami from Ghana, Pascale Marthine Tayou of Cameroon and Abdoulaye Konate of Mali complete the list of artists.

Zayd Minty will review the exhibition for ArtThrob next month.

Candice Breitz

Candice Breitz
Rainbow Series 1996
Rephotographed photomontage
60 X 40"

Candice Breitz on Cologne mega show

Having debuted a new seven-monitor video installation entitled the Babel Series on the Istanbul Biennale in September, Candice Breitz follows up by showing a 1996 series of work, the Rainbow Series on 'Global Art 2000' which opens at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne on November 5 and runs until March 5, 2000. Curated by Marc Scheps and Yilmaz Dziewior, this is a historical show which includes artist ranging from Henri Matisse, Pablo Picassok Paul Gauguin and Hannah Hoech to Jackson Pollock, Seydou Keita, Jimmie Durham, Mona Hatoum and Breitz.

An excerpt from the press release reads: "The global dialogue between the various cultures of the world runs like a thread through the momentous history of the art of the last hundred years. In the early years of this century, the pioneers of modern art in Europe had discovered for themselves the tribal art of Africa and Oceania and simultaneously revealed their profound interest in the art of earlier non-European civilizations .... The highly selective and one-sided dialogue characteristic of the early years of this century has developed into a truly mutual dialogue between cultures.... The great variety of cultures of the world was and will continue to be the best guarantee for the vitality of art in the future."

Later in the month, opening November 25, and to coincide with the exhibition at the Museum Ludwig, Galleri Roger Bjorkholmen in Stockholm will also present an exhibition of works from Breitz's 'Rainbow Series'.

In January, new work from Breitz will be seen in Cape Town on a group show at the Joao Ferreira Gallery curated by Amanda Williamson and Justine Wheeler and entitled 'One Night Stand'.

Museum for African Art

The Museum for African Art
Broadway, New York City

'Liberated Voices: Contemporary Art from South Africa' in New York

The first large-scale exhibition of contemporary South African art production opened at the Museum for African Art in New York on September 22, and will remain on view until early next year.

Curated by the museum's director for exhibitions, Frank Herremans, and featuring the work of 12 artists living within the country, and Paul Stopforth, now resident in Boston, the show has received an extremely positive review in the prestigious New York Times and coverage on ABCTV, one of the big three television networks.

See Review.

Listings Cape Town; Stellenbosch



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