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Archive: Issue No. 37, September 2000

Go to the current edition for SA art News, Reviews & Listings.

Isaac Khanyile

An installation image from Isaac Khanyile
on view on the Holland South Africa Line

See International listings

Yoshio Itagaki

Yoshio Itagaki
HoneyMoon: Wedding #1
colour photograph
100 X 75cm

from the series "On the Moon"
An exhibition currently showing at the Alternativemuseum


Most South Africans, including many artists, have been isolated from exposure to interaction and communication with the rest of the world. This isolation has resulted from decades of economic and cultural sanctions during the apartheid era, the after effects of which are still felt today.

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. The following artists from South Africa are participating: Kevin Brand, Bridget Baker, Nadja Daehnke, Abrie Fourie, Isaac Nkosinathi Khanyile, Dorcas Mamabolo and Stephen Maqashela. This project is currently underway in Amsterdam and was designed specifically to have "dialogue" and "communication" between 7 Dutch and 7 South African artists as its primary basis and objective.

This site contains information on the exhibition and examples of work by the artists involved.

     See International listings

The Alternative Museum provides a global forum where all nations celebrate and embrace their artistic and cultural differences. This site gives artists opportunities to sharpen their creative imagination while transforming art into new and preciously unimaginable forms. Curators from around the world decide what will be exhibited in the e-museum, which consists of artists working in all types of media, commenting on a variety of social issues.

The site's art journal is called TAM Monitor, "Monitor" standing for "Media Or News Information Technology Open Resource". It is described as "a vital, living organism, which will continue to grow, expand and transform as new information is processed and redistributed to viewers". A recent article discussed artists/activists who appropriate the actions of large corporations in order to reveal and undermine the market driven society.

TAM succeeds in its mission to initiate, support, present and preserve interdisciplinary arts and criticism. The alternative edge is refreshing, the design is clean and it�s easy to navigate one�s way through.


BLAConline is a South African arts and culture website dedicated to providing a space where diverse opinions about blackness can be expressed, experiences and perspectives shared. Including listings on visiting artists, dance, entries, events, exhibits and workshops, BLAConline acts as a networking site for black artists in all fields, emerging and established, black academics and professionals.

The site runs out of the Black Artists Collective (BLAC), an organization that began at the Robben Island Museum Artists in Residency Programme in 1997. In June 1999, the first of many seminars was launched at the Granary, Buitenkant Street, Cape Town. These seminars provide a space where black cultural workers can meet and share their opinions on many different issues. A list of past seminar topics and seminars to come can also be found on BLAConline.

This independently funded directory of South African art, galleries and artists was sparked by the evident lack of marketing and publicity opportunities and techniques for artists and galleries in the region. The initiators of South African Artists claim that they are the leading source of info for anyone interested in South African art but there is little commentary on art. The site was specifically created to sell art.

The site does have a fairly comprehensive collection of artists though not all artists actually have samples of their work up and it seems like the artists and galleries themselves are responsible for keeping their information up to date. A book choice and featured gallery or artist are also published. The design is a bit cluttered and dark.

This New York based site exhibits work of artists showing at the contemporary art gallery, Agora, located in Soho, among a hub of galleries and museums. Many advantages for artists and clients are available as Agora offers gallery representation for artists and consultation services for buyers.

There is a featured artist each month, a calendar of exhibitions and information for collectors. A list of artists, brief bios and examples of their work that enlarge to a good size are also available.

Ladies Weapons exhibits the work of Antonio Riello, an artist who photographs weapons and transforms them into high fashion accessories for sophisticated ladies. Weapons used are assault rifles, pistols, machie guns, carbines, sub-machine guns, hand grenades, rocket launchers and military guns. Also used to complete the pieces, leopard skins, brightly lacquered colours, jewels, furs, trendy fabrics and special technological appliances. These materials play along the thin line between fashion and trash. Each photograph is named after a woman.


July's accolade must go to this outstanding artist's website. As with all Alborough's work, the site avoids all non-essentials. Alborough is the Standard Bank Young Artist 2000, an award which carries a modest fee for a catalogue. That fee was used to design the website instead, and was launched to coincide with the opening of his award show in Grahamstown. As the show moves from place to place, the website will be expanded, so if you like Alborough's work, put this one on your favourites list.

During the Grahamstown Festival, well-known performance photographer John Hodgkiss will be showing a collection of evocative and visceral images under the title 'Negative' at the Dakawa Art and Craft Community Centre, where he shares the space with Mark Hipper. The title belies his process itself whereby the images, be they X rays, colour prints or black and white photographs are printed as negatives. Subjects are skulls which turn black, x rays in which the human form becomes more tangible, and cuts of meat in eerie blue tones. To mark the exhibition, Hodgkiss embraces the world wide web with the launch of his website on July 1. With a view to expand, the site will initially feature Hodgkiss' own work, with photo-related literature and guest artists included at a later stage.

This artist's website is that of Rob Moonen, a Dutch conceptual artist known to many South Africans after he participated in a Cape Town workshop in 1996. He is currently working with Kevin Brand on a collaborative textile piece to be made up at the Textile Museum in Tilburg, Holland. But his website is listed here because of its good design and the insight given into the artist's fine work.

"These years, I've been thinking of creating a nice and multi-functional container for art communication," Shanghai artist Shi Yong introduces his site, presenting his solution - "a handcart and a transparent suitcase." The artist goes on to present a variety of images in categories such 'background' from which readers are to select the most appropriate to go into the suitcase to make up their idea of the "New China".

A year and a half ago, the same artist had a different website where he invited people to choose what hairstyle and clothing he should wear to successfully represent the New China. Engaging and fun.


Cape Town's Association for the Visual Arts is one of the oldest galleries in the city, and under the directorship of Estelle Jacobs, provides space for a continuous round of exhibitions decided upon by a Committee. The AVA also serves as a clearing house for art information and has an outreach programme which benefits less privileged artists. Their website has recently been upgraded, and now carries news of current shows, and information and images of the artists who have exhibited there in the past.

McCabe Fine Art was launched in 1997. There is no fixed gallery space, and the director Paul Frank McCabe, works as an independent art dealer. His new online site is well designed, with features like a monthly featured artist and interview, and a bookshop. A few of the gallery artists: Erik Laubscher, Cecil Skotnes, David Crookes. On reading the gallery's mission statement, one doubts, however, whether 'the gallery's determined vision has helped to transform the lives of both the artists and collectors that make the McCabe Gallery.'

Another website of excellent design - this one of a major new exhibition which has opened recently in Europe, and features a number of artists from Africa (see international listings). Click on an artists name to bring up samples of the artist's work, then mouse over the black line at the base of the pictures to reach other related information.

Isn't it a little strange to plan an exhibition of internet art and place it in a museum space instead of cyberspace? Well, that is what renowned curator Peter Weibel did, and you can see it on the net anyway. Check out net-condition on the very elegantly designed website of

Museums Online: South Africa presents all the current activities and exhibitions of local museums. Two recently added sections are an Events section which enables anyone in the museum of related community to announce relevant activities on the internet, and a by-subscription mailing list which will allow one to be e-mailed regularly on museum activities.

Another South African museum goes online - this is the website of the King George VI Art Gallery in Port Elizabeth, with news of current exhibitions and activities and a virtual tour of some of the gallery's highlights.

If you're up to grappling with questions of 'critical thought around the whole subject of how culture and technology are interweaving at the end of this century', you could click on the Frame site to read essays by contributors from around the world. Frame is an e-zine emanating from the UK. It's edited by Sue Thomas and Simon Mills, who are calling for contributions for the next issue which will appear in February on Love and the Web and Digital Love.

One of the better exhibition websites around is this one, which shows a number of works by each of artists on New York's Museum for African Art show, 'Liberated Voices: Contemporary Art from South Africa'. It's a good place to go for all those matric essayists constantly seeking information on local artists.

Published biannually in India, is the gorgeous online version of a global ideas magazine. Four issues old, it has won seven national and international awards for excellence addressing issues that are of universal concern through the arts, performing arts, essays, poetry, photo-essays, socio-political stories of communities and people.

Chinese artists are attracting more and more notice on the world art scene - check this well designed site out for a look at what's going on on that side of the globe.

Lapses and Erasures

Inspired by Robert Rauschenberg's Erased De Kooning drawing, Sawad Brooks has transported the concept of erasure from the analogue to the digital domain. Erasure always leaves its own traces, and Brooks raises the question of how we can decipher digital erasure with four elegant projects: Shuttle Shutter, Focus, Annotator and Register. It is the viewer that must perform the erasures. This is interaction at its most evolved.


A New York-based website which is one of the best and the biggest, constantly updating current information on exhibitions, and offering excellent reviews and magazine coverage.


Focusing on an interchange of material about Africa, this fresh-looking Dutch-based site has a particular emphasis on the arts and culture of this continent, and searches for new virtual exhibitions to host online.


Newly online is the website of the monthly 'Red Eye' art-for-all event at the Durban Art Gallery, described here as a "kick in the pants art initiative". A sharp design in black and red characterises the site, with some nifty flash animations and sound effects, only slightly marred by repeated requests, a la Telkom, to 'please be patient' while various bits download.

The site gives the philosophy of 'Red Eye', a history of the multi media event, galleries of past highlights, and tells you how to send in a proposal for a future 'Red Eye'. Trying to check out what is in store for this month, the Forthcoming Events page announced only: 'This is where you will be informed of future events', but no doubt this will be sorted out soon.

This is the website of Cape Town's fledgling South African Centre for Photography, and gives images and information about current photographic events.


Every artist deserves a business card on the net, the Artslink webmaster TJ de Klerk believes. And galleries can have a whole page, free. This local site becomes more and more useful, with its e-mailing of arts-related press releases available to anyone through its Acemail programme. Won the Arts and Culture award for best art site in the country last year.

This cool site by "professional garage futurist" Bruce Sterling puts out a wittily worded general appeal for "communications paleontologists" to set up a site listing dead media - in this age of cyber communication, all those earlier devices that have fallen into disuse. Ever heard of the electric lantern? Contributions from a number of sources are listed, and you are invited to contribute.

E-flux bills itself as the "the first electronic mailing company devoted exclusively to serving the international art world." Working from a data base of cutting edge critics, collectors, consultants, galleries and museums, e-flux will email information about exhibitions to its subscribers at "a small fraction of the usual mailing costs". Logging on to the site will provide information about a wide range of current exhibitions in the States and Europe. The curators of "Translation/Seduction/Displacement", the show of South African artists opening at the White Box this month used e-flux to send out pix and info on the show.

The Thami Mnyele studio in Amsterdam, established in 1993, is a home from home for two visiting artists a year, providing an air ticket and living and working space. In a recent policy change, the foundation is also considering artists from other African countries. The website tells how to apply for a fellowship and the conditions.



A site of truly wondrous projects. Breathing Earth, for instance, is a visualisation of earthquakes that have happened worldwide in the past 14 days. A globe with a map of the world comes into view, and on each of the 14 dates, swellings bubble up indicating the location of the seismic activities. Other projects involve the number of kilometres the world has swung round the sun while you have been busy on the website, and the sounds of the web itself.


One of the best - great artist projects, articles, news.


Intriguing initiatives especially designed for the web from a variety of artists. All of them are worth checking out.

Stroom is an organisation in Holland which not only has its own gallery but also sponsors numerous public art projects by such artists as Vito Acconci. Their site lists and shows many such projects. At present, the site is in Dutch only, but that shouldn't be too much of a problem for South Africans.



Indispensable daily reading for anyone who wishes to keep up with the the best of local cultural happenings. Under the rigorous editorship of Sophie Perryer, the site also features lively interviews and reviews taken from the Mail & Guardian.

New York artist Joy Garnett has started a website of interest to artists. Newsgrist,"where spin is art" has images and prose and poetry and articles. Not all that much there yet, but worth checking out.