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Archive: Issue No. 37, September 2000

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26.09.00 Zwelethu Mthethwa and Sam Nhlengethwa collaborate to produce 'Private Interiors' in Colone
05.09.00 Candice Breitz and the 'Babel Series'
29.08.00 Holland South Africa Line - The Art of Communication and Dialogue
12.09.00 Mostra Africana de Arte Contemoranea - Videobrasil

Mthethwa and Nhlengethwa

Zwelethu Mthethwa and Sam Nhlengethwa
Private Interiors 1999/2000
Digital prints with collage


Zwelethu Mthethwa and Sam Nhlengethwa collaborate to produce 'Private Interiors' in Colone

Photographer Zwelethu Mthethwa and painter Sam Nhlengethwa have collaborated in work for an exhibition entitled 'Private Interiors', currently showing at the Galerie Seippel in Cologne. Mthethwa is known for his photographic portraits of residents in the black townships of the Western Cape. To digital prints of these interiors, Nhlengethwa has added objects and details which offer a new interpretation of the scene. The exhibition is part of the 14th Internationale Photoszene Koln (,which takes place during the fair 'Photokina'.

Exhibit opens Sept. 22 and 23, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Closing October 28.

Galerie Seippel, Dr. Ralf-P., Flandrische Str. 6, 50674 Koln
Tel: 0949 221 25 58 34
Fax: 0949 221 25 22 65

Candice Breitz

Candice Breitz
Babel series (detail) 1999
30min. Betacam SP, video stills

7 looping video tapes
This frame: Prince 2 (YE-YE)

Candice Breitz

Candice BreitzCandice Breitz
Babel series (detail) 1999
30min. Betacam SP, video stills

7 looping video tapes
This frame: Grace 2 (NO-NO)

Candice Breitz and the Babel Series

Described as one of the "rare moments of boisterous energy in an otherwise tranquil exhibition" by Christopher Phillips, of Art in America, Candice Breitz's installation, the 'Babel Series' was exhibited for the first time at the 6th Istanbul Biennale, in September, 1999. In June the installation was exhibited at the Centre d'Art Contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland and on September 6 will open as part of a group show at the Fotogalerie Vien, Vienna.

The series consists of seven constantly stuttering video-tapes. Each steals a fragment of footage from the history of music video. The content of each video is relentlessly simple and literally monosyllabic: the seven different moments are appropriated from various pop performances (the line up ranges from Madonna, Wham and Grace Jones to Queen, Prince, Abba and the Police). Each of the seven moments is then trapped in repetition as it is looped endlessly and noisily before the viewer on a series of television monitors.

The seven tapes play simultaneously in the space of the installation, creating a cacophonous babble that allegorically echoes the biblical story from which the work takes its title. What the seven videos have in common - beyond their reflection on narcissism and their deliberate choice of ambiguously - gendered stars - is that each evokes the primary building blocks of language. Together, the videos bang a millennial baby talk out of a series of dissonant beats, a baby talk that approaches sheer pandemonium. A small fragment appropriated from Madonna's song Papa Don't Preach, has her moaning "Pa - Pa - Pa - Pa - Pa - Pa...." Another video has Freddie Mercury gabbling "Ma - Ma - Ma - Ma - Ma - Ma...." Elsewhere, George Michael whimpers "Me - Me - Me - Me - Me - Me..," while Grace Jones insists "No - No - No - No - No - No...." The bodies of the performers are frozen in language on each flickering screen - constantly emerging and disintegrating as they articulate - both automaton-like in their circular trances and at the same time peculiarly organic in their twitches and jerks. Each contraction of a muscle, gesticulation of a hand, raising of a lip, blinking of an eyelid, is repeated hypnotically over and over again as the loops run.

The piece was mentioned by David Hunt in an interview with Breitz published in Flash Art, March/April, 2000. Hunt commented that "an interest in the tyranny of language seems to resonate in many of [her] works, none of which seem to vest faith in language as a means of communication. Rather, language often appears mangled, contorted, violent - giving [her] work a dark edge".

Breitz will be part of a group exhibition entitled 'Korper', in Fotogalerie Wien, Vienna. The show will run from September 6 to 30, 2000.

Stephen Maqushela

Stephen Maqushela Kicker and Caption: work in progress (detail)

Holland South Africa Line - The Art of Communication and Dialogue
by Leonard Shapiro

In a generous, insightful and unpatronising attempt to increase the artistic and cultural contact between South African and Dutch artists, a South African living in the Netherlands, Andrea Rolfes and a Dutch art project manager, Arend-Jan Weysters of Stichting AKKA, designed the Holland South Africa Line project (HSAL). The following artists from the Netherlands are participating: Tiong Ang, Paul Bogaers, Clea Daiber, Femke Van Heerikhuizen, Judith Krebbekx, Jurgen Meekel and Sandra de Wolf. Their South African counterparts are: Kevin Brand, Bridget Baker, Nadja Daehnke, Abrie Fourie, Isaac Nkosinathi Khanyile, Dorcas Mamabolo and Stephen Maqashela. Phase one of the project is currently underway in Amsterdam, where the South Africans have been working with the Dutch artists in their studios. "Dialogue" and "communication" between the artists is the project's primary basis and objective.

The resulting artworks will be exhibited in Amsterdam on September 3rd in a massive dockside exhibition centre called, "De Bagagehal" (The Baggage Hall) and will be opened by the acting ambassador and cultural attach´┐Ż to the South African embassy, Andrew le Roux, and will reflect the interpersonal and intercultural dialogue between the artists, as well as their individual creative input.

Opening: September 3

     See Websites

"De Bagagehal" (The Baggage Hall), Amsterdam

William Kentridge

William Kentridge
Stereoscope 1999

Zweletu Mthethwa

Zweletu Mthethwa
Colour photograph


Mostra Africana de Arte Contemoranea - Videobrasil

The aim of Mostra Africana de Arte Contemporanea is to support and develop electronic art production. To this end they provide spaces for video artists, curators and researchers to show their work. This non-profit organisation co-ordinates 'Videobrasil International Electronic Art Festival' in partnership with a group of Brazilian video artists.

This is the 13th edition of 'Videobrasil International Electronic Art Festival' at SESC Pompela in Sao Paulo. The event happens every two years. The exhibition involves the Southern Hemisphere Competitive Show (videos, CD ROM and Internet), with official jury award-giving; the International Electronic Art Show; a selection of performances using digital resources as well as conferences and lectures.

From southern Africa William Kentridge, Oladele Ajiboye Bamgboye, Zwelethu Mthethwa, Kendell Geers, Sue Williamson, Tracey Rose and Fernando Alvim are exhibiting work. Kentridge is showing video installations Felix in Exile; Sobriety, Obesity and Growing Old; Stereoscope and an installation especially produced with Mostra entitled Screensaver. Oladele Ajiboye Bamgboye will exhibit installations An Exit Perhaps, Body and Unmasking Part II. Zwelethu Mthethwa is exhibiting his photo piece Sem Titulo and a video installation called Rebirth. Kendell Geers exhibits Meusa Dreaming, Sue Williamson the interactive CD ROM Can't forget, can't remember, Tracey Rose her video installation TKO and Fernando Alvim is showing his video installation entitled I miss you.

This exhibition runs from August 16 to September 17

Associacao Cultural Videobrasil
Rua Fernades de Abreu 31 1 andar
04543-070 Sao Paulo SP
Tel: 3845 8454 / 3044 0674
Fax: 3849 2377
Email: Website: