ROOM Gallery, Johannesburg
13.02.2016 – 02.04.2016
HERE WE* opens with a video and sound projection of ‘At the End of August’**,
a collaboration with pianist Jill Richards and video-artist Jurgen Meekel. The video is based on footage filmed with artist Simon Gush at August House in 2014, and on-site recordings by Richards.
The exhibition marks the beginning of ROOM’s 2016 season of artistic programming and will include a series of incidental ‘situations’, (incomplete) paintings, and events that will develop throughout the life of the exhibition. Configurations of the gallery space will shift in the process and will become partly inhabited as a studio with the aim of inviting collaborations and interruptions.
HERE WE is approached as a series of propositions or situations – a way to try and figure how to view, think, and engage with a particular situation or context, with temporality, and the idea of collectivity. Visual recordings of the area surrounding Ellis House, paintings, and other objects will enter and exit as part of the set up within the exhibition space.
At Ellis House two security guards are stationed during the day, one at night. The entrances of the building next door are bricked up. J.D. Ellis was a city councillor who ‘made available 13 acres of land for Ellis Park stadium’ in 1928. The stadium is now named Emirates Airline Park and hosts the Golden Lions Rugby Union. Trees planted in the area in 2010 include ‘fever trees, river bushwillows, yellow woods and monkey thorns’ – you will also find a few palms. There are weekly prayer meetings at the Eglise Trone de la Grace, one of the churches on Voorhout St. In the courtyard of Mitre Veneering up the road, a table lies on its side. Uncertain how many people live here. The spaces we inhabit may feel less complicated on a Sunday.
‘seeking a tree that I can settle on’ (‘On Distances’, W.M. Serote)
* The title ‘HERE WE’ is quoted off the back of a jacket bought at a clothing store in China Mall, Crown Mines (R 250)
** ‘At the End of August’ was an event staged with artists at August House on End Street in Doornfontein, 2014, sometime after the building had been sold and tenants were asked to move. The building was planned to be turned into residential housing units but this was never realized. Artists and tenants moved again into the building in the same year, forming new collectives. Video and sound material of the vacant studios collected in between these moves trace a brief moment or imagined pause in the life of the building. It includes footage of the Millenium Bar, a collaborative project authored by Bettina Malcomess.
With thanks to Jill Richards, Jurgen Meekel, Simon Gush, Winston Buthelezi, Gontse More, Marie Fricout, Eugene Botha, Nontobeko Ntombela, Francis Burger, Kadiatou Diallo, Joanne Bloch, Tshepang Ramoba, Joao Orrecchia, Trent Wiggle, Andrew Wessels, Mingwei Huang, WITS School of Arts, and the Millennium Bar.
PROGRAMME OF EVENTS ASSOCIATED WITH THE EXHIBITION:
Sunday, 28 February 2016: Artist Walkabout
Saturday, 12 March 2016: Walk in Ellis Park and New Doornfontein
March 2016: ROOM Carpet Series/Conversations (tbc)
Saturday, 2 April 2016: Closing Event
Dorothee Kreutzfeldt (b1970, Windhoek) lives and works in Johannesburg where she lectures at the Wits School of Arts. Her practice involves painting and collaborations. Her last solo shows include ‘At Present,’ (2015) and ‘The imminent Inauguration of the 5th Corner’ (2010) at Blank Projects in Cape Town. In 2013, Kreutzfeldt published ‘Not No Place. Johannesburg – Fragments of Spaces and Times’ in collaboration with Bettina Malcomess, a five-year book project that extended into workshops, conferences, presentations and exhibitions at La Maison Rouge, Paris, Kunsthalle im Lipsiusbau, Dresden, and Goethe on Main, Johannesburg. She has participated in group exhibitions and residences, both nationally and internationally since 1996. Her work is represented in private and public collections, including the South African National Gallery and Johannesburg Art Gallery.
Jill Richards is a South African pianist specialising in new music. Versatile and dynamic, her interests range from Bach to free improvisation. Her career includes collaborations with numerous composers from around the world. She has a longstanding working relationship with Kevin Volans who has written many solo works as well as piano duos for her. These she has performed with the composer as partner. Jill has worked with Jörg Schäffer, François Sarhan, Rudiger Meyer, Clare Loveday, and many others. She has also toured with live music performances to William Kentridge’s films. Jill has performed and been broadcast in the UK, Europe, North America and Australasia. Among these were the BBC broadcasts of the premières of solo and duo works of Kevin Volans. She has released six CD’s, including “Cicada” of Volans. Her recent CD, together with violinist Waldo Alexander, of chamber works by Kevin Volans, was released in Dublin in late 2015. Jill has performed with renowned Spanish composer and sound artist Francisco Lopez. She also collaborates as improviser with composer-drummer Christophe Fellay, sound artist João Orecchia, artist and composer Charlotte Hug, Joke Lanz of Sudden Infant and visual artist Marcus Neustetter.
Jurgen Meekel (b1963, Amsterdam) living in Johannesburg, 2005 – present.
Cum laude graduate from the Rietveld Academy of Fine-Arts in audio-visual-art and sculpture in Amsterdam (1989). After his study he worked nationally and internationally on contemporary art installation pieces, sculpture and video work in various autonome and applied arts field. From 1996 till present date he focused on motion-graphic design, camera and sound work, compositing, visual effects, editing and scoring for video productions. He took the position of Head of Department Special/Visual Effects at the AFDA film school in Johannesburg from 2005-2009. Currently lecturing Post Production at Wits Film &TV and continues producing, collaborating and exhibiting work in the field of the arts. Some of Jurgen’s accomplishments include: Sound-recording and Graphics for documentary “Starkiss” in Hyderabad, India for Wilderell film which received a nomination (2002) at the Gouden Kalf Filmfestival (Dutch Oscars) for best long documentary. Sound engineering and Graphics for documentary Dabbah Wallah’s (Bombay) for VPRO which received publics choice at the IDFA (1999). Sound-engineering for ‘Punt NL’ (short observations in Holland), VPRO National TV broadcast won best short film at the Venice film festival (2000). Video workflow engineer, graphics and visual effects in worlds first cell-phone feature film ‘SMS Sugarman (2005).
ROOM is an independent multi-disciplinary gallery including a project-based space that offers monthly programming showcasing young and emergent artists. In September 2015, ROOM relocated to new premises on the ground floor of Ellis House building in New Doornfontein, Johannesburg. We are pleased to be the latest addition to an area that is home to several exciting creative spaces and developments (both new and existing) including the King Kong Building which houses VANSA & Keleketla Library (Verwey Street), August House (End Street), and of course the infamous Troyeville Hotel. We see this move as a great opportunity to further contribute to a broader art community in the inner city. www.roomgallery.co.za
Maria Fidel Regueros – firstname.lastname@example.org / +27 (0) 82 373 6127
Thato Mogotsi – email@example.com / +27 (0) 79 543 1573
Gontse More – firstname.lastname@example.org / +27 (0) 60 676 8174