Archive: Issue No. 121, September 2007

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15.09.07 Kathryn Smith 'In Camera' at The Goodman Gallery
08.09.07 Joachim Schönfeldt at Art on Paper Gallery
06.09.07 Kudzi Chiurai at Obert Contemporary Melrose Arch
25.08.07 Antoinette Murdoch at The Premises Gallery at the Johannesburg Art Gallery
18.08.07 'Mindmapping' at Artspace Fine Art Gallery
01.09.07 Sandra Hanekom and André Naudé at Fried Contemporary Art Gallery and Studio
21.09.07 Walter Battiss at Warren Siebrits Modern and Contemporary
25.09.07 Lisa Allan at Rainforest Project Room at Gordart Gallery
29.09.07 'Pride of the Bride' at Stewart Gallery
06.09.07 Glen Scouller at Everard Read Johannesburg
10.09.07 'New Hope' at Alliance Française
08.09.07 Dumile Feni at Gallery Momo
24.09.07 'Work in Progress' at 105A Heather Road, Athol
17.09.07 Artists-in-residence at The Bag Factory Artists' Studios
20.09.07 Michael Smith at Artspace Fine Art Gallery

05.08.07 Thando Mama at the Project Room@ The Johannesburg Art Gallery

03.06.07 Africa Remix: Contemporary Art of a Continent at the Johannesburg Art Gallery


09.09.07 'A Story of African Art' at The Pretoria Art Museum


Kathryn Smith

Kathryn Smith
January 26, 2007
pigment print
25 x 20cm

Kathryn Smith at The Goodman Gallery

Kathryn Smith presents a show entitled 'In Camera', her first solo outing since her Standard Bank Young Artist touring exhibition 'Euphemism' (2004-2005). 'In Camera' is a Latin phrase literally meaning 'in private' or 'in secret'. It is most commonly used in legal cases where testimony is presented in private chambers instead of in open court. 'In camera' testimony is most often facilitated where reliving the experience of a violent and traumatic event through verbal narration would be aggravated by having to do this in public. This opportunity is often given to victims of sexual assaults and children involved in criminal cases.

Kathryn Smith's 'In Camera' presents a controlled, immersive environment featuring a series of portrait drawings, sourced from a range of print and online media photographs and processed so as to blur the distinction between the handmade and the mass-produced. Her subjects are the victims and perpetrators of violent acts, the circumstances of which remain almost incomprehensible in their extremity, even if the facts surrounding tabloid revelations of these cruel private desires are known. Smith is particularly interested in how, through repetition, certain photographic images get detached from their subjects and the representation of a person becomes emblematic of 'victimhood', 'the missing', 'monstrosity' or 'evil'. This kind of rhetoric functions as a means to situate the perpetrators outside the realm of human behaviour and does not allow us to dwell on the particular circumstances of each violent interaction.

Smith's drawings have been made with ultraviolet-sensitive inks, invisible to the naked eye. As an artist known to work with performance and photo-based media, the choice of ink, brush and paper presents another way of processing the photographic image, particularly these images mediated and re-mediated such that they become like a retinal afterimage, a trace of something we have seen or experienced but which remains beyond our grasp.

In setting up a relationship between the spectrum and the spectral, 'In Camera' is an exhibition of ghosts, an attempt to reclaim that which eludes cognitive and emotional capture and retention.

The installation comprises audio and lighting components, making use of both the Goodman Gallery's public façade and display windows to accommodate aspects of the exhibition for evening viewing.

Opens: September 15
Closes: October 6


Joachim Schönfeldt

Joachim Schönfeldt
Johannesburg 2007
oil paint and varnish on hand-embossed wooden panel

Joachim Schönfeldt at Art on Paper Gallery

Joachim Schönfeldt is exhibiting 16 wooden panels generated over the last year in this new show entitled 'Documentary Stills' at Art on Paper Gallery. These are comparable to an ongoing series of formally similar works the artist has been engaged with for a number of years. The works are cut from old wooden doors, and feature the recurring motif of 'an interlacing wooden band, or ribbon, forming one continuous, infinite line [which] knots, crosses and intersects itself to form an intricate arrangement of five convex, circular shields'. Onto these Schönfeldt has painted, in situ, landscapes from locations in Johannesburg, Soweto and the Cape winelands. The exhibition catalogue states that with these works Schönfeldt 'documents the continuous, changeable social stratification of contemporary society'.

Opens: September 8
Closes: September 29


Kudzi Chiurai

Kudzi Chiurai
Moneylenders, 2007
mixed media on board
122 x 247cm

Kudzi Chiurai at Obert Contemporary Melrose Arch

Kudzi Chiurai's highly anticipated third solo exhibition 'Graceland' opens at Obert Contemporary's Melrose Arch venue this month. This show follows his acclaimed sell-out shows 'The revolution Will Be Televised' in 2004 and 'Y Propaganda' in 2005. Chiurai quickly followed these successes with a 2006 participation in the Dakar Biennale.

No stranger to controversy, Chiurai has been banned from his native Zimbabwe for his politically charged challenges to Robert Mugabe's hegemonic rule of that country. Obert Contemporary calls Chiurai's work reminiscent of that of Jean-Michel Basquiat, a comparison that indicates both formal and conceptual territory traversed by the Zimbabwean.

This exhibition will consist of nine new, variously scaled mixed media works that explore pertinent issues related to mass media, inner city rejuvenation and xenophobia.

Opens: September 6
Closes: September 29


Antoinette Murdoch at The Premises Gallery

Antoinette Murdoch presents a show of works at the Premises Gallery during August and September. 'You don�t have to like me' is the collective title for approximately 20 'speech-bubbles' that form part of her installation and performance exhibition entitled 'Karaoke Confessions'. These text works are either simple quotations picked up from individuals (who were at one point or another close to the artist) or just declarations by the artist. Echoing her personal handwriting in different shades of felt fabrics, they rhythmically repeat the same lines like the chorus of a song - repeated so many times that they become real to the karaoke singer and her audience. These, often drunken, confessions are reminiscent of flashing roadhouse signs and become a dialogue of kitsch thoughts. These simple confessions specific to time and place are taken out of context, appropriated and manipulated into visually appealing pop shapes and placed in a gallery space. In this context they are seen as works of art and the personal and subjective nature of the confessions calls into question the significance and specificity of their content.

Opens: August 25
Closes: September 15


Louisemarie Combrink, Jody Olen and Markus Steinmann at Artspace Fine Art Gallery

The process of thought has been a subject studied by many philosophers. The functions of the mind and thought have been analysed and deconstructed by thinkers from Plato and Descartes to Jacques Lacan and Sigmund Freud. 'Mindmapping' is a group show at Artspace Fine Art Gallery that explores this process through a range of approaches.

Louisemarie Combrink looks at the fluidity of the concept of identity. She explores her experience of becoming a mother, and the shift in her role. The emotions of joy are mixed with fear, uncertainty and doubt. Combrink states that her work is a 'narrative of this journey of the mind in which I try to map out the mental and other processes involved'.

Jody Olen takes Albert Einstein's quote 'Reality is merely an illusion. Albeit a persistent one' as a starting point for her work on this show. Her work is about the process of art-making and how, in this process of using symbols we navigate our minds. She says, 'The journey from establishing and finding the avenue, to showing the viewer this journey and the abstract emotions that are a constant travelling companion, in a visually pleasing way, remain the challenge.' This journey is the journey towards the real through the process of symbolization. Where some philosophers equated reality with existence, for example, 'I think therefore I am, therefore I am real', Einstein's words, and Olen's work, leave us wondering whether reality, and by extension existence, is merely an illusion.

Markus Steinmann's works are fundamentally located in Lacan's realm of the symbolic. Through the exploration of images and emblems of South African history and culture, he operates within the symbolic order of law, authority and culture. But his containers go beyond the images on the exterior. They, as he says 'bear evidence of light and dark', what is seen and what is hidden. He compares what one sees on the outside of his containers with what might lurk within. We can therefore presume that what might be within the box is incomprehensible, i.e. the real. But once the containers are opened, we once again find ourselves in the realm of the image. The way these containers operate when closed, however, always lead us on a journey to the Real, which can never be reached.

Opens: August 18
Closes: September 15


Sandra Hanekom and André Naudé

Sandra Hanekom and André Naudé
Location exhibition invitation, 2007

Sandra Hanekom and André Naudé at Fried Contemporary Art Gallery and Studio

In this exhibition Sandra Hanekom andAndré Naudé focus on the word 'location' as in demarcating a site-specific area, neighbourhood or vicinity. They use the traditional landscape genre as a vehicle to denote familiar or unknown surroundings. In the process of painting the artists fabricate the non-specific as in places or seats of power, tragedy, nostalgia or contemporary Arcadian sites.

The artists attempt to capture tension between the geographical lay-out of land and the sometimes accidental or non-functional structures which punctuate it. They loosely reference the word as associated with areas inhabited by migrant workers from our recent past. Irony and paradox are referenced in the term 'shot on location' often used in the film industry.

Opens: September 1
Closes: September 22


'Walter Battiss - South African Pioneer of Pop Art Printmaking' at Warren Siebrits Modern and Contemporary

Warren Siebrits Modern and Contemporary presents a show of Walter Battiss prints that explore his role as a South African pioneer of Pop Art. The show comprises 15 silkscreens, which Siebrits has selected to explore Battiss' 'profound sense of colour, composition and humour'. About Battiss' importance in the South African art canon, Siebrits says the following: 'Battiss was one of only a handful of South African artists who kept abreast with international art developments during a long period of cultural isolation in South Africa during the apartheid years. Although distrustful of most conceptual art practise fashionable at this time, Battiss was a great admirer of Pop Art, especially the works of Andy Warhol, James Rosenquist and Robert Rauschenberg� His first hand knowledge and experience of Pop Art in turn became an important catalyst and influence on his own printmaking, especially the prints produced in the last decade of his life.'

Opens: August 21
Closes: October 5


Lisa Allan

Lisa Allan
Inventing Right and Wrong 2007
oil on canvas

Lisa Allan at Rainforest Project Room at Gordart gallery

'Inventing Right and Wrong' is Lisa Allan's ongoing, potentially inexhaustible, project, so long as there remain drawn images that illustrate history. The work consists of various histories - the medical body, the working body, the tortured body and so forth - as well as the different apparatuses that inform the imaging of the body in any particular period of time. All of the images in this body of work are copies of already existing illustrations. Illustration has traditionally been used to support or explicate text and is often seen as subordinate to it. These images therefore take on new meanings when viewed without the explicatory text. The act of copying by hand is an act of transmission which necessarily contains the errors of 'accurate' transmission and replicates the already existing 'errors' in the image.

Opens: September 5
Closes: September 22


'Pride of the Bride' at Stewart Gallery

An exhibition of work by three Cape Town artists goes up at the Stewart Gallery at the end of September, under the title 'Pride of the Bride'. Marion Bartko-McCabe, Angeline le Roux and Jeanne Hendricks consider various concepts associated with weddings and marriage.

Bartko-McCabe presents a body of work that focuses on the innocence of youth with dreams of fairytale weddings. She observes the transition from innocence to awareness, the development of responses to issues of vanity, competitiveness and materialism, and their culmination in a wedding ceremony that all too often assumes a mystique for the bride that belies the real challenges of marriage.

Le Roux explores attributes of a young woman about to become a bride in a body of work consisting of woven pieces, embossed images and drawings. She uses the traditional white to symbolize the purity and chastity of the virgin, considered the most important attribute in many cultures. She emphasizes sensuality alongside the purity, with technique and imagery making reference to the feminine.

Hendricks looks at the bride as one who is mesmerized, who is opening mentally and physically to a perception of love and marriage, both consciously and subconsciously. The bride clings to little girl hopes and aspirations within her trance like state of being in love, despite the red warning signals around her.

Opens: September 29
Closes: October 20


Glen Scouller

Glen Scouller
Boat and Flamingos, Churchhaven 2007
oil on canvas
76 x 81cm

Glen Scouller at Everard Read Johannesburg

The Everard read Gallery presents an exhibition of recent paintings by Glen Scouller, under the title 'From Zanzibar to the Cape'.

Opens: September 6
Closes: September 26


'New Hope' at Alliance Française

The Alliance Française of Johannesburg and New Hope School present 'New Hope', an exhibition by children with disabilities.

Opens: September 10
Closes: September 20


Dumile Feni

Dumile Feni

Dumile Feni at Gallery Momo

Gallery Momo presents an exhibition of work by titan of South African art Dumile Feni during September.

Opens: September 8
Closes: September 29


'Work in Progress' at 105A Heather Road, Athol

A group of final-year Wits School of Arts students are hosting a one-night only show with a difference during September. The work for this exhibition will be shown on a residential building site, which is at the stage of foundations and fundaments. The students state that it is 'the very rawness and unrefined quality which make it a unique and unconventional "gallery". The title also refers to the emerging artists who will be participating in the show, as we are essentially "works in progress".'

The show is tipped to have 'innovative and cutting-edge' work, including performance, video and installation. The event will be opened by Johan Thom at 6.30pm.

Opens: 6.30pm, September 24 one night only

Ricky Burnett, Chike Obeagu Chinazom and Ananias Leki Dago at The Bag Factory Artists' Studios

Artists-in-residence Ricky Burnett, Chike Obeagu Chinazom and Ananias Leki Dago are showing recent work at the Bag Factory Artists' Studios in Fordsburg during September.

Opens: September 17
Closes: September 24


Michael Smith

Michael Smith
I've been waiting for this moment all my life but it's not quite right (detail), 2007
charcoal and pastel on paper
60 x 80cm

Michael Smith at Artspace Fine Art Gallery

During September and October, Artspace Fine Art Gallery will present an exhibition of recent drawings and photographs by Michael Smith. Works on 'The Teenager' deal with teenage body issues, and consider the process of dematerialisation that occurs as, particularly girls, chase an elusive standard of beauty.

Smith has worked as a high school teacher for nearly ten years, and during that time has become sensitised to this phenomenon, and how it links to contemporary notions of achievement. The titles of the works are often culled from so-called 'anamia' websites, which encourage and provide 'support' for girls in the throes of eating disorders.

The show will be opened by Karen Beukes, Artistic Director of the South African Ballet Theatre.

Opens: September 20
Closes: October 15


Thando Mama at the Project Room@ The Johannesburg Art Gallery

Cape Town-based video artist Thando Mama shows work at the Johannesburg Art Gallery's Project Room during August and September. Mama, recipient of the 2003 MTN New Contemporaries Award, has dealt with, amongst other things, black masculinity and marginality, frequently using his own body as a subject in his videos. The works often reference popular media such as hip hop, racial stereotypes and film. For Mama, video is not just simply a means of communicating ideas and stories: he is fascinated with its formal qualities too.

Opens: July 28
Closes: September 28


Africa Remix

Africa Remix: Contemporary Art of a Continent at the Johannesburg Art Gallery

'Africa Remix: Contemporary Art of a Continent' features the work of more than 85 artists from 25 countries on the African continent and the Diaspora. Considered to be the largest exhibition of contemporary African art ever seen in Europe, it includes painting, sculpture, installation, video, drawing, photography and design.

'Africa Remix' explores the themes of city and land (the contrasting experiences of urban and rural life), identity and history (including issues of tradition and modernity and the relation of the individual to the community), and body and soul (religion, spirituality, emotion and sexuality).

Cameroon-born, Paris-based curator and critic Simon Njami curated the exhibition, which was launched at the Museum Kunst Palast, Düat;sseldorf, in 2004. The show subsequently travelled to the Hayward Gallery, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; and the Moderna Museet, Stockholm. 'Africa Remix' will be open for the first time in Africa at the Johannesburg Art Gallery.

Opens: June 24
Closes: September 30


SEE REVIEWS    SEE REVIEW by Landi Raubenheimer

SEE REVIEWS    SEE REVIEW by Michael Smith


'A Story of African Art' at The Pretoria Art Museum

Until December this year is an exhibition of works from the museum's permanent collection under the title 'A Story of African Art'. The show tells 'a brief story of South African art from the time of the first San artists', including images from early 20th century painters, works from the period of Resistance art and 21st century contemporary works. This takes place in the museum's South Gallery.

Closes: December