Archive: Issue No. 30, February 2000

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Egon Tania

Egon Tania
Double Portrait
Jacaranda wood, redivory wood
35 X 50 X 23cm


Egon Tania at Harris Fine Art

Figurative sculptor Egon Tania is holding his second exhibition of sculptures in as many years at this venue. His exquisitely crafted works normally comprise complete or partial life-size figures carved in wood. Combining both scrap and fresh wood, the carefully pigmented and finished figures prove very arresting.

Monday February 21 - Saturday March 18

Harris Fine Art, 4 Riebeeck Street, Wynberg/ Chelsea, Cape Town, 7800
Tel/fax: 762-4076
Cell: 082 570-7469

Lisa Brice

Lisa Brice
Somewhere over the rainbow 1997 Beanbags
Vinyl, resin, foam
Dimensions variable

The Best of the Last Millennium at the Hänel

Satisfying this rather tall order is a striking selection of work by a number of artists who have shown at this gallery during the three years of its existence. Artists include South Africans Lisa Brice, Beezy Bailey, Steven Cohen, Rodney Place and Roelof Louw and Germans J�rg Immendorf and AR Penck.
The show remains open until April 2000

The Hänel Gallery, 84 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town
Tel: 423-1406
Fax: 423-5277

Helen Sebidi

Helen Sebidi
Running on the Eastern side
Oil on canvas
171 x 100 cm

'The Enigmatic Image: Allegory and Strangeness in South African Painting'

'The Enigmatic Eye' is an exhibition drawn from the Sanlam Art Collection, presenting paintings by South African artists whose works are characterised by a sense of strangeness and the enigmatic. These images do not lend themselves to easy interpretation or simple narration. Often meanings lie deeply buried underneath layers of political and personal symbolism. These paintings are inherently allegorical in conception and intention and require a concerted effort on the part of the viewer to realise the meaning hidden within. Artists on show include Norman Catherine,Virginia MacKenny and Speelman Mahlangu.

Guided tours of the exhibition presented by curator Stefan Hundt will take place on February 22, March 1 and March 8 at 1 p.m. at the Sanlam Art Gallery, or other times may be arranged with the curator.

February 22 to March 24, 2000

Sanlam Art Gallery, 2 Strand Road Bellville
Gallery hours: Mondays to Fridays 9 4.30 p.m.
For more information contact:
Stefan Hundt
Curator Sanlam Art Collection
Tel.: (021) 947-3359 Fax: (021) 947-3838

Nu-Clear at the National Gallery Annexe

A physical theatre and multimedia performance on the issue of bombs and their effect on the human psyche will take place at the SANG next week. Choreographed by Sarah Tudge and performed by the Heel Arts Collective, the performance includes dramatised video footage by Jean Meeran. The production also sees installation work by Jane Henderson and Anton Strack. With bombings and urban terrorism fresh in the minds of Capetonians, the show promises a surreal and farcical yet sensitive examination of these events.

Monday February 28 - Monday March 5, 8pm. Entry costs R25.

The South African National Gallery Annex, Hatfield Street, Gardens, Cape Town
Tel: 465-1628
Email: or contact Jean Meeran

Inge du Plessis

Inge du Plessis

Inge du Plessis at ARTsuperMart

Opening on February 29 is the Inge du Plessis' first one-person show. Du Plessis graduated from Michaelis Art School and went on to become a qualified cabinetmaker. At the time she was the only woman in the Western Cape to have such a qualification. After some years practising this and a few more years spent designing and fabricating furniture and fittings, she returned to painting. Last year Du Plessis received a Merit Award at the New Signatures exhibition at the Arts Association in Bellville. Her exhbition, entitled 'Subtle Chaos' runs until March 29.

Exhibition runs from Tuesday February 9 - Wednesday March 29

Le Bon Ton... and Art Cafe, 209 Bree St
Tel: 423-3631


Invitation to 'Dish'

'Dish' at 38.Special

'Dish' is an exhibition that has chosen food as its central theme to launch a new design studio. 38.Special, a showroom for 'modern avant-garde' furniture and interior items will also provide a platform for experimental art projects. A special evening presenting the ideas and works of Anke Giessler, Lilly Turner, Adrian Bester, Henno Paetzold, Volker Bittner, Conrad Hicks and Tom Burgers will be held on February 25, starting at 7.30 p.m. Bar and music.

38 Buitenkant Street
Tel: (021) 426 1707

Johannes Phokela

Johannes Phokela
Pantomine Act & Trilogy 1999
Oil on canvas
1.98 x 1.68m

Phokela talk at Michaelis

London-based South African painter Johannes Phokela will give a slide talk about his work in the Michaelis Lecture Theatre at 12.30 p.m. on Thursday, February 17. Phokela, who has a studio in the Gasworks complex in London, is receiving good press in London art journals, and is currently in residence at the Greatmore Studios in Woodstock. Phokela's work was last seen in this country on Graft, the 2nd Johannesburg Biennale show held at the South African National Gallery in 1997. He is currently planning a major show of his canvases in Cape Town.

Michaelis Lecture Theatre
Michaelis School of Fine Art
Orange Street
Tel: (021) 480 7100

The Butchergirls

The Butchergirls during thier performance at 'Softserve'

Imago Performance Party

The Butchergirls who first made an appearance at Softserve last year are part of a lineup of installation art and perfomance and poetry which will take place at the Gauloises Warehouse in Green Point on Sunday February 20 at 7.30 p.m. Bring your own cushion and enjoy the music, art, and take part in a wacky gameshow.One night only. R40 entrance.

Booking (021) 439 8146

Sex & Kultuur Festival

Sunday February 27 will see the staging of the Second Annual Sex & Kultuur Festival at the Gauloises Warehouse on Broadway. If you were there last year get ready for a bigger and better event. If you weren't there, Triangle Projects Sex en Kultuur festival is a showcase of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered culture. Come and see queer artists doing queer art, women in drag fashion, a person as installation, photography, music, stand up and fall down comedy, dance, craft, etc. There will be stalls of safer sex toys, tarot readers, and a wide range of other merchandise. The festival starts at 12 noon and runs to 7pm. Food and drink will be on sale. The entire event costs R 25.00. Follow the crowds to the after-party.

Sex & Kultuur Festival
Sunday February 27, 12 pm - 7 pm
Gauloises Warehouse, Somerset Road, Greenpoint, Cape Town

Arlene Amaler-Raviv & Dale Yudelman

Arlene Amaler-Raviv and Dale Yudelman
One Way 1999
Ink and oil on canvas
2m X 1m

Arlene Amaler-Raviv and Dale Yudelman at the AVA

Opening on February 14 is a collaborative exhibition by painter Arlene Amaler-Raviv and photographer Dale Yudelman. The show is entitled 'One' and explores the notion of the individual in the noise and din of our daily lives. Amaler-Raviv explored life in the city in her very successful show at the Mark Coetzee Fine Art cabinet two years ago. Yudelman is an award-winning photographer who produces editorial and advertising photography. His images of Johannesburg in the 80's are still on view at Jo'burg in Long Street where they have been since the Month of Photography last year. The show promises to be technically interesting with many unusual media being put to use.

Exhibition runs from Monday February 14 - Saturday March 4

See Reviews

AVA, 35 Church Street
Tel: (021) 424-7436
Fax: (021) 423-2637
Gallery hours: Mon - Fri, 10am - 5pm, Sat 10am - 12pm

Lisa Grobler

Lisa Grobler
Minute #3 1999
Acrylic and pitt on cardboard

Liza Grobler at the Chelsea

Young painter Liza Grobler holds an exhibition here from Wednesday January 16. Consisting of mixed media paintings, the show is curiously entitled ' The Garbage Men Wear Gloves', and will be opened by local artist Lien Botha at 6.30 p.m. on Tuesday February 15.

Until March 4

The Chelsea Art Gallery, 51 Waterloo Rd, Chelsea-Wynberg, Cape Town
Tel/Fax: (021) 761-6805
Gallery hours: Tuesday to Friday: 9.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.; Saturday: 9.30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

John Cowan

John Cowan
Two vessels (1) 1999
Paint on canvas
220 x 120 cm

John Cowan: "Dreams & Ideas"

Strong, vibrant colour and confident imagery marks the work of painter John Cowan, currently showing drawings and paintings solo at the 3rd i Gallery.

Of this new series, "Dreams & Ideas", Cowan has this to say: "I have been investigating the themes of body adornment, scarification and circumcision, linking this to my experimentation with the body print, and integrating them with colour and composition in my paintings. I have incorporated the vessels and artifacts used in these rituals, and observed the spiritual implications of these rites...the human form has been the departure point for most of my paintings."

Until March 18

3i Gallery, 95 Upper Waterkant St, Cape Town
Tel: (021) 4252266
Gallery hours: Mon - Fri 9am - 6pm; Sat 9:30am - 1:30pm

Stuart O'Sullivan

Stuart O'Sullivan
Untitled 1999
40,6 X 50,8cm

Stuart O'Sullivan at the Mark Coetzee Fine Art Cabinet

Stuart O'Sullivan is a New York-based photographer exhibiting a series of work, entitled 'Unseen Moves', in Cape Town for the first time. The series consists of 24 black and white works which look at the human body. O'Sullivan says his work explores "the human body as a fragile vessel". Looking at the journey of life, it is entirely outside of his control, he is both witness and participant.

Wednesday February 2 - Monday February 28

Mark Coetzee Fine Art Cabinet, 120 Bree Street, Cape Town
Tel: (021) 4241667 / 4236708
Fax: (021) 423-6709


Detail of a Derek Bauer cartoon from the 80's

The Art of Cartoons and Caricatures at the Michaelis Collection

This exhibition presents an overview of this art-form both here and in Europe. It includes over 200 works by cartoonists, caricaturists and artists, with some works on loan from the National Gallery. Cartoonists and satirists have arguably reached greater audiences with their social commentary than many of our traditionally esteemed and established artists. South Africa has been called a "cartoonist's paradise" because of its unique social and political problems, and in this spirit, the commentary of Boonzaier, Tony Grogan, Fred Mouton and other well known cartoonists is included. The exhibition pays tribute to those who have entertained and enlightened us over the years with their perceptive and amusing visual commentary.

November 12 - March 2000

Old Townhouse, Greenmarket Square
Tel: 424-6367

Henry Moore

This bronze female torso by British master Henry Moore is one of the artworks on sale


'Fabulous Three Day Sale' at the Goodman Gallery

Bargain hunters alert! For three days only, the Goodman will be hosting one of their truly fabulous sales, featuring old and new South African beadwork, as well as selected local and international contemporary art. Even if your pockets are bare, or your credit card has taken a beating, it's worth popping in, if only for eye-candy.

Gallery hours are extended for the sale:

Friday February 25: 9.30 a.m. - 5.30 p.m.
Saturday February 26: 9.30 a.m. - 5.00 p.m.
Sunday February 27: 10.00 a.m. - 4.00 p.m.

'International Collaborations: Artists Proof Studio and Friends' at the Gencor Gallery, RAU

This watershed exhibition for printmaking in South Africa foregrounds international involvement in the Artists Proof Studio since its inception. A wide range of collaborative and workshopped works from America, the Netherlands and South Africa will be featured. Primary amongst this body of over 200 prints is a playing card collaboration between South African and Flemish artists, a colour lithography workshop between Eileen Foti of Rutgers University, the Artists Proof artists and ten professional artists, and the Boston Print Exchange. The exhibition is unique and exciting because it is foregrounding the work of the Artists Proof artists, many of whom have received little recognition from the local art world. This show acknowledges local talent with pride.

February 9 to 26.

Gencor Gallery, Rand Afrikaans Unversity, C Ring, cnr Kingsway & University Road, Auckland Park
Tel: (011) 489 2099
Hours : Monday - Friday 0900-1800; Saturday 0900-1300

Hentie van der Merwe

Invitation image for 'After New York' by Hentie van der Merwe

'After New York' at the JHB Civic Gallery

The Ampersand Foundation is an equal-opportunity, non-profit trust organisation that awards excellence in the arts by enabling invited awardees to spend time in New York, in an apartment set up as part of the grant. The Foundation, which has a reputation of being somewhat secretive in its selection processes (if you apply, you are immediately disqualified), expects the experience to benefit the community at large. This show is the first comprehensive exhibition of work by recipients of the award, the most well-known of whom include Abrie Fourie, Alex Trapani, Antoinette Murdoch, Christine Dixie, Gordon Froud, Hentie van der Merwe, Ian Waldeck, Marlaine Tosoni, Paul Emmanuel & Willem Boshoff. Jack Ginsburg, artist-book collector and a South African trustee of the Ampersand Foundation, will open the exhibition.

February 2 - March 1

JHB Civic Gallery, Civic Theatre, Loveday Street, Braamfontein
Tel: (011) 403-3408
Fax: (011) 403-3412

Ilse Pahl

For the birds: invitation image by Ilse Pahl, who started the selection process for Unplugged V.

'Unplugged V' and Retrospective at Market Theatre Galleries

The year 2000 sees the culmination of 'Unplugged', an exercise in soft-curating initiated by Kendell Geers in March 1996. The annual show works like a chain letter, with the last artist of the previous year's list acting as first the following year, then inviting the next who invites the next until 20 artists have been selected, resulting in an eclectic at best, and downright weird at worst, collection of works. The Galleries celebrates five years of 'Unplugged' with a slide-show retrospective of all other works featured previously, as well as a huge map of the country, plotting how the selection process has 'travelled' South Africa.

'Unplugged V' features work by Jeremy Wafer, Paul Edmunds, Santu Mofokeng, Anton Kannemeyer, Natasha Christopher and Kathryn Smith, amongst others.

February 6 - March 4

See Reviews

See also the review in ZA@PLAY.

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

Bob Cnoops

Bob Cnoops (designed by Neels Coetzee)
No titles, 1999 (detail)
1.2 x 3m each

Bob Cnoops at Bensusan Museum of Photography

'Informal Ritual Spaces' is the name of veteran photographer and master of the cyanotype, Bob Cnoops' latest solo show, on at MuseuMAfricA's Bensusan Museum of Photography. Cnoops has been long obsessed with personal, intimate and 'sacred' spaces, and this show may be an interesting foil to 'Emotions and Relations' curated by Hentie van der Merwe at the Sandton Civic Gallery.

Also on show until September 2000 (no need to rush!) is 'Visual Reports: Artists in the Anglo-Boer War' which looks at how art was used as part of a media and propaganda machine in South Africa and Europe during this period.

"Informal Ritual Spaces" runs until March 12.

See Reviews

MuseuMAfricA, Bree St, Newtown, Jhb
Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Sunday 10.00 - 17.00

Wits University 2000

Invitation for Wits University 2000 Fine Arts Student Exhibition at the GPG, Wits

Wits University 2000 Fine Arts Student Exhibition at the GPG, Wits

Undoubtedly one of the most anticipated student shows of the year, this exhibition will feature work made by predominantly 3rd and 4th year students during the 1999 academic year. Professor Barry Mendelow, Executive Director of Research at the University, will open the exhibition.

February 8 - March 3

Gertrude Posel Gallery, University of Witwatersrand, Braamfontein.
Gallery hours: Tuesday to Friday, 10a, to 4pm
Tel: (011) 716-3632

Robert Hodgins

Robert Hodgins
A Beast Slouches 1986
Acrylic on Canvas
122 X 173cm

'Emergence' at the Standard Bank Gallery
1 -February - 25 March, 2000

To people with any interest, however fleeting, in the history of this country's visual culture, 'Emergence', should need no introduction. Curated by Julia Charlton and Fiona Rankin-Smith in consultation with Marion Arnold, this overview traces 25 years of cultural production underpinned by and dialoguing with major changes in the political, societal and technological fabric. Opening at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival 1999, the show moved from there to the King George VI Gallery in Port Elizabeth, followed by the Durban Art Gallery, and now comes to the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg. Given the scale of the show (in excess of 150 works), achieving comfort and breathing space between works has proven a challenge. But for those wanting a quick fix-speed read of contemporary South African visual arts from the time of the first television broadcast to the embracing of IT, this should do the trick.

Walkabouts with the curators will held on Wednesday, February 9, February 23 and March 9 between 1.00 p.m. and 2.00 p.m.

See Reviews

Visit the very informative but aesthetically disturbing website at

Standard Bank Gallery, corner Simmonds and Fredericks streets
Gallery hours: Mon - Fri, 8am - 4.30pm; Sat 9am - 1pm

Kathryn Smith

Kathryn Smith
Lethal Spaces #3 1999-2000
Digital c-print
50 X 35 cm

'Emotions and Relations' at the Sandton Civic Gallery

'Emotions and Relations', curated by Hentie van der Merwe, features camera-based works by, amongst others, Jo Ractliffe, Clive van den Berg, Luan Nel and Stephen Hobbs. The show's conception reveals an intense awareness of the 'camera eye': its power to capture the intimacy of a fleeting moment, but also its fickleness and the endless possibilities for repetition and obsessive replay it provides. Content of work determined the selection process, with self-conscious subjectivity being a primary criterion. The images chosen bear witness to a complicity between photographer and subject, and explore the notion of 'relating' through a consideration of everything that this might mean.

February 1-19, 2000

See Reviews

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

Paul Alberts

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

Democracy's Images

Invitation image for Democracy's Images

'Democracy's Images: Photography and Visual Art After Apartheid' at the JAG

The much-lauded 'Democracy's Images' co-curated by scholar Rory Bester and Katarina Pierre of the BildMuseet, Umea, Sweden 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.

Until March 15

See Reviews

See also the review in ZA@PLAY.

Gallery Hours:
JAG: Tuesday - Sunday 10.00 - 17.00


Edzard Meyberg's 'Body Beautiful' at the State Theatre Art Gallery

The State Theatre's resident photographer presents a collection of traditional photographs as well as digitally manipulated prints, that takes a close look at the human form. A true veteran, Meyberg has specialised in performing arts photography for many years and has become something of an institution in the thespian and dance worlds.

For more information, call Katja Hermann on (012) 322 1665 or 082 607 0523, or email

February 21 - March 25, 2000

State Theatre Art Gallery
Spoornet State Theatre
Gallery Hours:
Monday - Friday 10.00 a.m. - 4.00 p.m.
Saturday: 10.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m.
The Gallery will also be open in the evenings during all performances in the three main theatres.


Suzani textile on show at Pretoria's AVA Gallery

Tove Hedlund and Suzani textiles at the AVA

Eclectic is the nom de jour at Pretoria's AVA. Danish abstract painter Tove Hedlund presents a body of work to be opened by the Ambassador of Denmark, His Excellency Mr Bjarne H. Sorensen. Running more or less concurrently with this show is a collection of Suzani textiles, produced by the settled peoples of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in Central Asia. Essentially decorative, Suzani (which is Iranian for needle) production came to an end at the beginning of the 20th , due to widespread mechanisation and commmercialism. They were made available for sale only from the mid-19th century and are thus highly prized collectors' pieces.

Tove Hedlund: February 22 - March 9, 2000
Suzani textiles: February 29 - March 16, 2000

For more information, please call Nandi Hilliard on (012) 346 3100 or email

Doris Bloom

Doris Bloom
In the Eye of the News Hurricane 1999
oil on canvas
200 x 300 cm

Doris Bloom at The Millennium

South Africans will remember Doris Bloom from her shared project with William Kentridge on the 1st Johannesburg Biennale in 1995 and an exhibition of paintings at the South African National Gallery in 1996, and most recently a project called 'Apotek' located in a Johannesburg pharmacy and herbalist shop in January last year.

Bloom's latest show is 'Newspaper Pictures', opening February 10. The artist has collected piles of newspaper cuttings for many years, often using them as the point of departure for work. This show problematises the printed media's pictorial rendition of current events, considering the visual representation of current events as presented in the press, and manipulation that ensues from the pre-determined editorial policy of the publication.

In contrast to this two-dimensional and electronic world view Doris Bloom has decided to convey her own visual understanding through a series of canvases worked over in an organic process of direct application of the paints by her fingers. In her choice of photographic sources for the works Doris Bloom has solely relied on esthetic consideration and selected from the basis of spontaneous visual appeal.

The exhibition will be opened by Karel Nel on Thursday 10 February.

See Reviews

The Millennium Gallery, 75 George Storrar Drive, Groenkloof,
Tel: (012) 46-8217

Noto Matseke

Noto Matseke

UNISA Art Gallery presents 'Homage to Thabang Noto Matseke (1930 - 1997) - An Artist Who Worked In Silence'

In a similar vein to the Lucky Sibiya exhibition held towards the end of last year, 'Homage' presents the work and personal art collection of Matseke, a celebrated arts educator and supporter who counted artists Lucky Sibiya and Walter Battiss among his close personal friends. His period of production was brief but intense. A teacher during the early 1950's, he dedicated his attention to children, for whom he initiated an art centre at Central Primary School in Atteridgeville, Pretoria. For Matseke, art had healing, transformative powers which he used to uplift children from the harsh political realities of South African life. When the Bantu Education Act was passed in 1953, transferring control of African education from the Department of Education to the Department of Native Affairs in effect from early 1955, he stopped making art. His art collecting began in the late 1970's, while becoming more politically active. To contextualise the era in which he worked, the work is presented alongside documentary photographs from the 50's and 60's by Ernest Cole, Peter Magubane, Struan Robertson, Jurgen Schadeburg and others, as well as a selection of artworks by Matseke's contemporaries.

February 8 - March 31 2000

UNISA Art Gallery, Theo van Wijk Building, B-Block 5th Floor (use Goldfields entrance)
Contact: Frieda Hattingh or Leanne Engelberg
Phone: (012) 429-6255 / 6823
Email: or
Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Friday 10.00 a.m - 4.30 p.m. or by special appointment

Adele Hamblin

Adele Hamblin
Details from Pirate Bride Series, 1999 featuring Brumilda van Rensburg.

Adele Hamblin's 'The Post-Christian Testifies'

After a reputedly successful 'Millennium Man' project also hosted by the Open Window, respected editorial photographer Adele Hamblin ponders once again the realm of more conceptual things, with this portfolio of posed celebrities assuming roles of Biblical figures and other ideological heavyweights. Her intention, she says, is to "democratise perception" by allowing viewers their own interpretations of spiritual truth. The work emerges from ongoing debate in the Afrikaans press about the inclusion of "gender differences" (read 'sexual preferences') within the mode of Christian spirituality.

Sandra Prinsloo, continuing the celebrity tradition, will open the exhibition.

February 9 - 27, 2000

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


The invitation to "Upstart"


'Upstart' at the NSA

'Upstart' is an exhibition by recent grads and current B-Tech students of the Technikon Natal, and a showcase which promises to track another batch of talented, spunky young things emerging from the Durban scene. The exhibition sets up an interesting dialogue between object and non-object based works and has been selected by the new curator at the NSA, Storm Janse van Rensburg, ex of Johannesburg's Rembrandt Gallery at the Market. Van Rensburg set out to investigate links between individual students, as well as profile sometimes-perceived contradictions inherent in the production of these young artists. This is an opportunity for the public to acquaint themselves with the best the Department has to offer.

Opens February 27 at 4 p.m., closes March 16

For more information please contact Storm Janse van Rensburg

N S A Galleries, 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood, Durban, South Africa, 4001
Postal address: P.O. Box 37408, Overport, Durban, South Africa, 4067
TEL: (031) 202-2293

Michael O'Donnell

Michael O'Donnell
Witness 1936, Berlin

Michael O'Donnell at the NSA

Michael O'Donnell is a British artist living in Norway. "Witnesses" is part of a series of shows which opened in Malmo, in the south of Sweden, on January 22, followed by part two, which opened in the very North of Sweden, on the Finnish border. The third weekend - Feburary 6 -sees the opening at the NSA Gallery in Durban. O'Donnell completed his Master of Art in 1974 at the Royal College of Art in London and has since exhibited widely in Europe. He is represented in numerous official collections ranging from the Goteborg Kunstmuseum, Sverige to the Museum of Installation, London.

The multi-media exhibition at the NSA is primarily about collective memory, wherein potentially ordinary events - viewed at a distance and within a different context - take on a new significance. Participants at these events - whether by chance or design - are witnesses on our behalf, for our collective heritage.

Their presence, their eyes prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that what took place, took place - but the witnesses could not be aware at the time of the larger reading of what they were observing. Time shifts a series of factual events into extraordinary milestones - which have their congregation, which have their participants, which have their passers-by who become unknowingly involved.

The exhibition consist of video projection, a light piece, and two large scale photo-installations. The first is a 6m X 6m square portrait, a large, single head, of a person at the tape when Jessie Owens won at the Munich Olympics of 1936, where the 'host' turned away, ignoring the moment of triumph. The second photo-installation consist of 350 small portraits from the crowd photograph by Heinrich Hoffman, taken in Odeonsplatz, Munich, 14 August 1914, celebrating the start of the war to end all wars. Hoffman encircled the head of the young Adolf Hitler - sent the photo to him and became Hitler's personal photographer till the end in Berlin.

Opens 4 p.m., February 6, closes February 24.

See Reviews

See also the review in ZA@PLAY.

For more information please contact Storm Janse van Rensburg

N S A Galleries, 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood, Durban, South Africa, 4001
Postal address: P.O. Box 37408, Overport, Durban, South Africa, 4067
TEL: (031) 202-2293

Liana Turner

Photograph by Liana Turner from her exhibition: Reflections of Beauty & Desire.

Red Eye Starts Again

Red Eye @rt starts off the new millennium on Friday, February 4 with its usual exciting line-up. In keeping with its mission to showcase the work of young artists, the February Red Eye @rt will give a preview of the annual KZN Matric Art students representing the best of the 1999 Matric year. Final year B.Tech students will also be showing selections from their final year exhibition. These include Emma Smith Award winner, James Beckett, Leigh Jamieson, Liana Turner, Cyril Mkhwanazi & others. Some exciting cutting edge art will be on view.

A special treat for those who wonder what the new millennium has in store will be the internationally renowned, young, palm readers The Mystic Sisters, Mellissa & Jayshree Mallay, who have become extremely well-known for their uncanny predictions. They will have copies of their book Palm Reading and Positive Thinking available. Readings will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. so make sure you get in the queue.

Music will be provided by a jazz combo - Trio Wot who will play sax, bass & drums and D.J. as well as a traditional Indian group will provide a variety of music for all tastes. Mike Hunt will also play. Cash bar available. Entrance fee R10.

Durban Art Gallery, 2nd Floor, City Hall, Smith Street
Tel: (031) 300-6234/5/8
Gallery hours from 09:00 to 12:00

Andrew Tshabangu

Andrew Tshabangu
Germiston 1998
B&W photograph

Andrew Tshabangu

Andrew Tshabangu
Brooklyn 1999
B&W photograph


"Translation/Seduction/Displacement": New South African group show for New York

A group exhibition of South African artists purporting to 'mark a distinct break from recent survey exhibits based on the broad category "Contemporary South African Art"' opens at the White Box gallery in the Chelsea art district of New York on February 3. Curated by art historians and curators Lauri Firstenberg and John Peffer with assistance from Sima Familant, the show is entitled "Translation/Seduction/Displacement: photographic and postconceptual art by artists from Southern Africa".

The curatorial concept derives from the combined meanings of the word "translation" across several South African languages.
For example, in isiZulu, humusha can mean to interpret, to mislead, or to seduce. In Afrikaans vertolking is translation as critical or interpretive performance, and verplaas contains the idea of translation as physical displacement. The cross-cultural and cross-linguistic operations of translation as seduction and displacement, as engaged by these artists, frames the exhibition.

The show will feature the U.S. premier of major work by two internationally prominent artists: photographer Santu Mofokeng (a retrospective of work on tragic 20th Century landscapes) and conceptual artist Willem Boshoff (recontextualisations of his visual poetry dating from 1980, titled "Kykafrikaans". The exhibit traces representational practices related to those of Boshoff and Mofokeng in more recent art by Siemon Allen, Gordon Bleach, Abrie Fourie, Kim Lieberman, Senzeni Marasela, Zwelethu Mthethwa, Rudzani Nemasetoni, Joachim Schonfeldt, Marlaine Tosoni, Andrew Tshabangu, and Hentie van der Merwe.

Willem Boshoff will give a performance/workshop of his work Kykafrikaans at the White Box on Friday, February 11 from 7 to 9 pm.

A 30-page catalogue produced by the Artist Press in Johannesburg, with a dedication to the memory of Gordon Bleach who passed away in 1999, and curatorial essays will accompany the exhibition. After the conclusion of the show in New York, the exhibition will travel to Portland, Maine, and finish at the Sandton Civic Centre in 2001.

For further info on participating artists, venues, and public programs contact:
curatorial assistant Sima Familant

Candice Breitz

Candice Breitz
Surrogate Portrait ("Winnie")
24" x 20"

Candice Breitz

Candice Breitz
Surrogate Portrait ("Nelson")
24" x 20"

Breitz for Chicago Project Room

Candice Breitz, the highly successful young South African artist now living in New York, presents her Surrogate Portrait Series (1998-) for her second one-person exhibition at the Chicago Project Room, opening February 4.

In this series, Breitz explores the remaining options for identity as it is increasingly inflected through the world of media. With the growing threat to individualized subjectivity that is experienced under global capitalism, the portrait artist can no longer take refuge in the intimate commemoration of the unique bourgeois individual. In the Surrogate Portraits,the task of the portrait artist is conflated with the tedious labor of administration and archiving. As self-appointed Surrogate Archivist, Breitz has set herself the task of accumulating an infinite number of Surrogate Portraits. Since the inception of the project in Summer 1998, she has asked 41 sitters (selected randomly from public phone directories and by means of other equally impersonal forms of research), to pose for individual photographs at K-Mart and equivalent portrait studios in cities such as New York, Berlin and Johannesburg. In all cases, the sitter wears a monochrome T-shirt which flaunts his or her given name. Through this ritual, the sitter enters the Surrogate Archive and comes to serve as the stand-in or representative of all other people who share his/her name. Often, the name carries historical significance, taking on various connotations depending on the context. Surrogate "Nancy," for instance, is alternately paired with Surrogate "Ron" or Surrogate "Sid."

Undermining the portrait's typically commemorative function, the Surrogate Portraits acknowledge the obsolescence of traditional notions of self-hood within today's media culture. Breitz's Surrogate Manifesto conspicuously excludes the very individuals who have traditionally had exclusive access to the genre of portraiture, stating that those individuals who are preceded by their reputations (be those reputations linked to renown or notoriety of any form, wealth or social ubiquity of any variety) will be politely declined as Surrogates.

The poignancy of the portraits lies in the fact that we are confronted with actual people, recognizable by their names, people who, like us, desire social recognition but who, in this case, precisely through an attribute that is supposedly deeply personal, the name, are disallowed their goal. In this way, Breitz's work stretches from the problem of the individual in today's culture to the universal question of how cultural and other forms of public identity are established and maintained.




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