Busi Zokufa with one of
the witness puppets from
the Handspring Puppet Company's
production of Ubu and the Truth
directed by William Kentridge



Kentridge on Hugo Boss Prize shortlist

A place on the shortlist of what is probably the most prestigious art prize in the world - the $50,000 Hugo Boss Prize - has gone to South African artist and film-maker William Kentridge. This nomination will set the seal on Kentridge's rapid rise to international recognition as one of the world's top artists - a rise which took on a sharp burst of speed when Kentridge was named by a number of international commentators in an Artforum roundup as one of the best exhibitors at 'Documenta X' for his presentations of his videos The History of the Main Complaint and Felix in Exile. The Boss prize is relatively new on the scene, and interestingly, last year's winner, the brilliant young American artist Matthew Barney, is also known for his pioneering video work. Nominees are selected by an international panel for making "a body of work which contributes to the expanding of the boundaries of cultural possibility".

Also on the shortlist is Gabriel Orozco, the Mexican artist now based in New York, whose work was seen recently on the 2nd Johannesburg Biennale. Finalists are required to select a piece for a June exhibition at the Soho Guggenheim in New York, and Kentridge will be showing the 12 minute video made for Ubu and the Truth Commission (ArtThrob No 1), which was also seen on the 'Transversions' show at the Museum Africa on the Biennale last year.

There is no doubt that should Kentridge win, it will be the ultimate tribute to his work, and will also cast a reflective glow on the rest of the South African art world. 'William winning would be good for all of us', a South African artist sojourning in New York has said.




Lisa Brice
Somewhere Over the Rainbow 1997 (details)
Police identification kit video, monitor,
vinyl, metal, resin.
Seen in installation on 'Smokkel'
on the Biennale fringe. The bean bag
people were huddled around the
identity kit monitor

Vita Award nominees

The 1998 nominees for the Vita Now Award were announced to the press on February 16. And the finalists are ... William Kentridge (again), Lisa Brice, the only woman artist, three artists from the Biennale 'Graft' show (ArtThrob No 6) - Moshekwa Langa, currently studying at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam, Sandile Zulu, who works his magic with natural materials at the Amakhona Art Centre, and Siemon Allen, he of the woven black videotape screen, now living in the United States. The final nominee is Steven Cohen, who arrived at the ceremony in full gear: red high heel shoes, tightly bound cock, FUCKED BY ART sign. His hands were handcuffed behind his back, and in order to accept his nominees' cheque of R4 000, he had to turn his back on the awarder, thus presenting an extremely close-up view of his naked bottom complete with inserted dildo.

Each nominee is to make a piece which will be shown on an exhibition in July at that awkward space (all that facebrick, those arches, the huge glass windows) the Sandton Civic Gallery. The overall winner receives R20 000.

...ZA@PLAY   MWeb

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