Cape Town Art Fair has released the full details of the 2017 Talks Programme and special projects.
THE TALKS PROGRAMME
Headlining the Talks Program are former South African Constitutional Court Judge Albie Sachs, and Curator of The Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington DC, Karen Milbourne. Invited speakers will address current issues such as collection building, investing in art, as well as reflect on new approaches to curatorial practices in Africa and its Diaspora. The audience is in good hands thanks to experts like Steven Kettle from Stonehage Fleming Art Management, and independent curators Moses Serubiri (Uganda), Gabi Ngcobo (South Africa), Elise Atangana (France/Cameroon), and Sarah Rifky (Lebanon) among others for their insights.
Not to be missed on this programme is a special performance by performance artist, Donna Kukama on Friday 17 February 2017 at 18h00.
These talks, debates, panel discussions and conversations will confront and provoke attention from members of the public and art professionals in attendance.
FRIDAY 17 FEBRUARY
11h30 – 12h30 Talk 1: Public-hearted, public-minded: Building art collections for the future Conversation between Alexandra Dodd (writer/critic) and Albie Sachs (former Constitutional Court Judge and instigator/co-creator of the Constitutional Court Art Collection).
In his renowned and provocative paper ‘Preparing Ourselves for Freedom’ (1990), Sachs called on his fellow ANC members to desist from ‘saying that culture is a weapon of struggle’. With a real weapon, ‘there is no room for ambiguity: a gun is a gun is a gun,’ he wrote. ‘But the power of art lies precisely in its capacity to expose contradictions and reveal hidden tensions.’ Almost three decades later, he continues to generate and contribute to critical debates about art and public culture in South Africa. Here, Sachs will provide insights into how collections are built and what they mean for the future.
12h30 – 14h00 Talk 2: Investing in Art Discussion between Karen Milbourne from The Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Ernestine White from Iziko SA National Gallery, Steven Kettle from Stonehage Fleming Art Management.
The art market’s exponential growth has focused increasing attention on the nature and potential of investing in art. Panelists will consider what drives collecting, how value is determined and sustained, and how risks can be anticipated and managed.
17h00 – 18h00 Talk 3: The Pleasure and Pitfalls of Collecting Sean O’Toole (art critic and writer) in conversation with Piet Viljoen (founder/chair of asset-management company RECM).
Piet Viljoen has been actively collecting art for two decades. One of his earliest acquisitions was a maquette of Brett Murray’s well-known public sculpture Africa – it established an orientation for collecting work that was singular and challenging. In 2012 Viljoen inaugurated a four-year-long project that invited established curators to interpret his collection in a purpose-built space known as the New Church Museum. He will discuss the pleasures and occasional pains of collecting.
18h00 -19h00 Performance: Donna Kukama
Multimedia and performance artists Donna Kukama will debut a new piece that is part of her Book Project revisiting sites of violence and trade.
SATURDAY 18 FEBRUARY
11h30 – 12h30 Talk 4: “The Green Room” / New Approaches to Curatorial Practices in Africa and its Diaspora Conversation between Barbaro Martinez-Ruiz (Associate Professor, Michaelis School of Fine Art) and Andrew Lamprecht (Senior Lecturer, Michaelis School of Fine Art)
As an art historian with expertise in African and Caribbean artistic, visual and ritual practices, Martinez-Ruiz will touch on some of the issues discussed by George Marcus as symptomatic of new approaches in anthropology. He suggested that the off-stage green room could be a metaphor for the increased dialogue across disciplines, particularly between anthropology and African art history. It symbolizes a 21st-century experience of globalisation that focuses on site-specific performance art and ethnographic encounters.
The talk will cover a global debate over Western representations of African and African diaspora art with special attention to issues such as the manner in which aesthetic concepts, museum politics, art display, colonialism, identity practices and nationalism intersect across a global diaspora.
12h30 – 14:00 Talk 5: Curating Contemporary African Art Moderator: Moses Serubiri (independent curator– Uganda). Participants: Gabi Ngcobo (independent curator — South Africa), Elise Atangana (independent curator — France/Cameroon), and Sarah Rifky (independent curator — Lebanon).
The growing practice of engaging curators of African descent in the creation of exhibitions of modern and contemporary art reflects an inclusive strategy on the part of institutions to embrace a broader, global vision. This institutional and curatorial turn has allowed greater accessibility and broadened an audience base for art appreciation. This approach has transformed the narrative space of exhibitions into a discursive space about the complexities of the human experience. Questions regarding definitions of contemporary African art will be discussed through the engagement of exhibition practice.
15h00 – 16h00 Talk 6: True Stories Tracy Murinik (art writer) in conversation with Candice Breitz (artist). The panel will consider the subversive potential of constructing narrative fictions, the power politics of narrative positioning, the tactics of cultural appropriation and the truthfulness of performance.
SUNDAY 19 FEBRUARY
12h00 – 13h30 Talk 7: Breaking Barriers – (un)Changing Contemporary Art Space Moderator: Andile Magengelele (independent curator) Participants: Burning Museum, iQhiya, Dear Ribane 113, I See A Different You
This is a panel discussion on the development and the role of artists’ collectives. The selected art collectives all maintain a special connection to contemporary art, yet their approach is cross-disciplinary and pan-approachable across media platforms of sound/performance/art/photography/digital art. Questions about access, dissemination and audience will be explored
‘UNFRAMED’ SPECIAL PROJECTS
Unframed is a special projects section that builds on the existing CTAF line-up. Unframed is dedicated to large sculptural works and installations widening visitor engagement at the Fair.
Four extraordinary works have been selected to provide the pioneering footprint of the first Unframed presentation.
An outlandishly conceived and fully functioning human carwash will be an attention-grabbing feature at the upcoming Cape Town Art Fair (CTAF) 2017. This interactive sculpture by Katharine De Villiers of SMITH gallery in Cape Town boasts whirling brushes and rotating bits and bobs that require viewer participation. A conceptual and experiential piece, it forms part of the Unframed section – a brand new addition to the Fair’s programme.
Mary Sibande of Gallery MOMO will be fabricating a new sculpture featuring a horse-mounted rider.
The Everard Read gallery will present a fantastical immersive installation constructed by multi-media artist Liza Grobler. Grobler’s entirely new site-specific work for CTAF will be similar to her recent 102 square meter installation that was woven into the atrium of the Iziko South African National Gallery.
Also presenting all-new works at CTAF is SMITH, which will showcase the work of Michael Linders alongside the aforementioned De Villiers. Linders is producing a one-man jumping castle.
The four ambitious installations will be dispersed throughout the Cape Town Art Fair to create a number of points of interest.
‘Unframed’ runs alongside ‘Tomorrows/Today’, CTAF ’17’s Special Project curated by Tumelo Mosaka. Read ArtThrob’s feature on the artists in ‘Tomorrows/Today’ here and our candid interview with Mosaka here.
Further information about Cape Town Art Fair can be found here.
The CTAF runs from 17 to 19 February 2017. Tickets are R140 for adults, R100 for students and pensioners and free for under-12s. For more information, visit capetownartfair.co.za.
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