As we approach the celebration of ten years of democracy in South Africa, we should not forget that we also celebrate ten years constitutional protection of other rights, not the least being the right to same-sex relationships.
When asked to theme a guest issue I joked to Sean O'Toole that maybe we should have a 'White Issue' given the flack he got for bringing out a 'Black Issue' some time ago. I decided, however, to colour this one pink, and attempt to source opinion on the issue of lesbian and gay identity in South African art. Many people I approached did not contribute, and issues I wanted raised, such as black gay/lesbian identity, and an investigation into a 'lesbian and gay mafia' that is alleged to run much of South Africa's art world remain unexamined.
All in all those that chose to participate have made a significant contribution to a very under-examined area of art research in this country. What is a very healthy sign is the fact that there is no 'unified voice' amongst the contributors. Many opinions, some mutually incompatible, are presented. While I have my opinion on many matters, I have chosen not to speak too loudly on this occasion. It has not been my desire to make a queer ghetto on ArtThrob with this issue but to present debate and, as you will see if you read and view on, provide space for a wry smile or two.
Andrew Lamprecht, Guest Editor
Next update: April 1 (Please note: ArtThrob is reverting to a monthly format.)
'Glimpses of the Fifties and Sixties' is the title of Sam Nhlegethwa exhibition at João Ferreira; Berni Searle exhibits a new collection of work including a projection and photographic images at Michael Stevenson; William Kentridge is at Spier where his films will be projected chronologically as a single body of work for the first time ever; 'Visions of Paradise' is an interdisciplinary show featuring participants from Switzerland and South Africa, also at João Ferreira; Jean Brundrit is at Bell-Roberts; and 'Borders and Beyond' is an international travelling exhibition comprising a selection of 10 photo stories.
Acclaimed choreographer and dancer Robyn Orlin is at JAG, as is Joanne Bloch; new gallery space Franchise, in trendy Milpark, launches with works by Nicolaas Maritz as well as a book launch by Deborah Bell, who also opens her solo show at the Goodman Gallery this month; Gietl, Hibbert, Barker and Mabaso at Spaza Art; Rodney Place teams-up with Ntsikelelo Boyzie Cekwana, at gallery Momo; and Gordon Froud does it 'For the record'.
Peter Rippon is at artSPACEdurban; the Cupboard Gallery is exhibiting various pieces of art by Lungelo Gumede; 'Up Front and Personal' presents three decades of UK graphics and design, at DAG; Giuseppe Lanzi, presents a photographic exposition of migration around the world, at KwaMuhle Museum; and the NSA shows work by Gabisile Nkosi, Sicelo Ziqubu and Khwezi Gule, followed by Clinton De Menezes and Carla da Cruz at the NSA Gallery. Not to be missed: (Re)Union at the BAT, on Saturday March 6.
Marlene Dumas and Ed Young at Museum for Actual Art, Ghent; Arlene Amaler-Raviv and Dale Yudelman's collaboration 'Live Stock', recently shown at the 8th Havana Biennial in Cuba, has been selected along with Zwelethu Mthethwa's work to be shown in Oslo, Norway; William Kentridge returns to Marian Goodman with a show titled 'Tide Table'; and Minnette Vari has her first monographic museum show in Lucerne, Switzerland.
Untitled (The pink issue): Storm Janse van Rensburg, the first and one of the very few to have hitherto examined this issue's theme kicks off with, amongst other things, a fascinating account of an almost-lost archive. Andrew Verster notes that there is a difference between being a gay artist and an artist who happens to be gay. Kim Stern, co-curator of Ydesire and director of Bread and Butter took time out of her hectic schedule to send in a pictorial contribution, as did a contributor who preferred to remain anonymous. Virginia MacKenny looks at the work of young graduates from the Durban Institute of Technology. Andre Vorster, organiser of the Mother City Queer Project, gives us a humorous snapshot from his life. Michael Stevenson asks if the 'Pink Issue' is about a real issue at all. Steven Cohen concludes the debate with a clarion call: "Not pink - red, purple and inflamed!"
Review: Sue Williamson misses the central involvement of the artist in Berni Searle's 'Vapour' at Michael Stevenson.
Resource finance house, JCI Ltd, has put its support behind a new print initiative set to foster dynamic relationships between the business sector and South Africa's visual arts industry; and a small complement of Wits-based artists and alumni recently presented a series of prints to the Wits School of Arts.
What motivates curators and art buyers to purchase artworks? This simple question is the premise for Gallery Choice, a monthly feature that aims to reveal who (public museums/corporate collections) is buying what (artist), and why.
On March 21, South Africa's new Constitutional Court will open. We got a sneak preview of the court's art collection, and asked Justice Albie Sachs to discuss his favourite work, a triptych by Judith Mason.
Sue Williamson checks out shows and installs work in Cape Town.
Jean Brundrit - described as a "a drop dead gorgeous sexy lesbian" - has consistently made her mark as a brave, uncompromising artist whose photographic work gives new impetus to the old feminist dictum the personal is political. By Svea Josephy.
52weeks, organised by Thomas Cartwright and James Webb, presents a coy challenge to contemporary art practice, says Carine Zaayman.
Jobs galore: ArtThrob has three vacancies, for two urban editors (Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal) and a news editor (a new position); following the resignation of senior members, the Johannesburg Art Gallery is currently advertising for a Deputy Director; Chief Curator; Curator, Contemporary Collections and Curator, Exhibitions; and UCLA is seeking an Executive Editor for African Arts, a full-colour quarterly published since 1967. Also: the Cape Town Month of Photography 2005 is calling for initial proposals for the Core Exhibitions; and Community Arts Project still has some spaces available on their full time Performing and Visual Arts courses for 2004.
Within contemporary South African life, writes Bonita Alice, the arts represent a complexification of thinking and experience at a time when so much is oversimplified and reduced in the name of development and redress.
Send us your commentary on this issue.
Penny Siopis is the latest artist to join our Editions for ArtThrob programme. Her work 'Cultivate Love' was produced in collaboration with Randy Hemminghaus, master printer from New York's Galamander Press, and is a distillation of her most recent work, from her Shame series.
Available now: outstanding prints by William Kentridge, Robert Hodgins, Zwelethu Mthethwa, Hentie van der Merwe, and Tracey Rose.
Browse through past editions of ArtThrob.
Who writes for ArtThrob and other bits of relevant information.
Subscribe to our monthly email update.