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Archive: Issue No. 48, August 2001

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


28.08.01 'online | offline' at the Gencor Gallery, RAU
28.08.01 Patrick de Mervelec's 'Jo'burgers' at the Alliance Française
28.08.01 Jurgen Schädeberg at PhotoZA
28.08.01 Spring Day communal performance in Joubert Park
28.08.01 'Ordinary People' multimedia event in Rosebank
28.08.01 Nuno da Cruz - 'Sunrise' at Spark!
28.08.01 Max Ernst at the JAG
14.08.01 Peter Engblom's 'Zulu Sushi' at Millennium II
14.08.01 Willem Boshoff - 'Writing in the Sand' at the Gencor Gallery
07.08.01 'Unearthed' - Deborah Bell at the Goodman
07.08.01 Walkabout with Absa Atelier winners
07.08.01 'Handwork' - Gwen van Embden at Art on Paper
07.08.01 MTN New Contemporaries workshops
07.08.01 'Threads' and Mandla Mabila at the Standard Bank Gallery
07.08.01 Maitisong's 'Omenana' moves to Tswaing Crater Museum
07.08.01 Joan Abrahams at the Bill Ainslie Gallery
07.08.01 'Digital Images' at Innerspace Exhibitions
24.07.01 Willem Boshoff and Andrew Munnik at Millennium II
24.07.01 Marlene Neumann at PhotoZA
17.07.01 MTN New Contemporaries Award at Camouflage
17.07.01 Martienssen Prize at the Gertrude Posel
10.07.01 Absa Atelier Art Awards 2001 at the Absa Gallery
03.07.01 'Golelanwali' at the Alliance Française
28.08.01 Artists for Children in Distress at the Voortrekker Monument
21.08.01 Toni-Anne Ballenden at Millennium I
14.08.01 'China Today' at the Pretoria Art Museum
07.08.01 'Family Album' - Karin Preller at the Open Window
07.08.01 'Femina' at the Association of Arts, Pretoria
07.08.01 Art appreciation and discussion evenings at the Open Window
03.07.01 'Joburger' by Patrick de Mervelec at the Pretoria Art Museum
26.06.01 Karin Skawran lecture series at the Association of Arts

Lynda Wallace

Linda Wallace
Still from lovehotel

Nathaniel Stern

Nathaniel Stern
Still from
Online work


'online | offline' at the Gencor Gallery, RAU

Having facilitated the first Symposium on South African Visual Art and the Web last year, Marcus Neustetter curated the groundbreaking 'switch on/off' for this year's Klein Karoo National Arts Festival. He extends his growing reputation as the online arts headspace in the country with 'online | offline', curated for the 3rd Annual Conference on World Wide Web Applications.

Like 'switch on/off', the premise behind this show is to draw attention to the relationships between 'traditional' art-making processes and contemporary creative uses of new technology. The range spans everything from sophisticated CD-ROM and live interactive technology to creative e-mail applications.

The interrogation of artistic, personal, invented and interactive identities in webspace seems to be the point of commonality among selected artists. Australian artist Linda Wallace explores the emergence of new desires in a videopiece called lovehotel. In Project #001 - A Digital Seance Christian Nerf invents just that - a means of communicating with the dead in virtual space. Visiting New York artist Nathaniel Stern shows two apieces - and [odys]elicit, the latter picking up on live movement to generate strings of text. Choreographer and dancer Jeannette Ginslov will interact with this piece on the opening night.

Other participating artists include Stephanus Rademeyer, Brad Hammond and Abrie Fourie, as well as by individual and grouped creatives like, Tomato, k10k and

Opening: September 5 at 5.30pm
Closing: September 12

Gencor Gallery, Rand Afrikaans University, cnr Kingsway and University Road, Auckland Park
Tel: (011) 489 2099
Hours: Mon - Fri 9am - 6pm, Sat 9am - 1pm

Patric de Mervelec

Patric de Mervelec
Black and white photograph

Patrick de Mervelec's 'Jo'burgers' at the Alliance Française

Fresh from a showing at the Pretoria Art Museum, master French lensman Patrick de Mervelec brings his social portrait collection of Johannesburg residents to home turf. The book he has produced will be available for purchase. Having done Cape Town, Mitchell's Plain, Port Elizabeth and Pretoria, the inimitable de Mervelec next moves on to Soweto in October and finally Gaborone in November.

Opening: September 3 with guest Don Mattera
Closing: September 22

Alliance Française, 17 Lower Park Drive, Parkview
Tel: (011) 646 1169
Fax: (011) 646 4521

Jurgen Schadeberg

Jurgen Schadeberg
Looking up to a pop star, Johannesburg 1960

Jurgen Schädeberg at PhotoZA

Where Jurgen Schädeberg is concerned, time seems to be in a perpetual state of backwards flux - the older he gets, the more prolific he seems to become. This time he presents an exhibition of photographs at Johannesburg's only commercial space dedicated solely to photography. With shows across the globe during the past year, his spirit is truly astonishing.

Opening: September 2 at 6pm with guest speaker Justice Albie Sachs
Closing: October 5

PhotoZA, The Mews, Rosebank
Cell: 082 533 7143 (Michelle Rock)

Spring Day communal performance in Joubert Park

By far the most interesting Spring Day event to land in my inbox, this is an invitation to participate - voyeurs need not apply. In conjunction with the Joubert Park Project (JPP), performance artist Toni Morkel and make-up artist and photographer Leon von Solms are staging a public performance event in the abandoned fountain in Joubert Park, adjacent to the Johannesburg Art Gallery. The intervention forms part of an ongoing series of collaborations for the JPP, which launches with a spectacular multimedia exhibition in October this year by some 30 local and international artists.

Armed with suntan lotion, a beach towel, inflatable poolside accessories, a bucket and some cash to buy ice cream from park vendors, and wearing funky swimwear, you are invited by Morkel to co-create no doubt the first land-based water ballet the park has seen. Oh, and you need to bring a bucket, or something to put water in. In addition to arriving with the necessary props, you should have a dance step in mind to add to the final choreography, based around the dizzy springtime pleasures of flowers and joy. To be "as absurd as possible and laugh a lot" and "to see if we're clever enough to make art without even trying", the event is part of the independent JPP's mandate to reinvent interest in the area as a crucial social and cultural centre in the inner city. And look out for some inventive local celebrity participants.

The performance takes place from 2.30pm on September 1. Call Toni on 083 754-2030 for more information.

'Ordinary People' multimedia event in Rosebank

Friday August 31 sees one of the most ambitious and mind-bending indie productions to hit the JHB after-dark scene. Worlds End Produktions presents 'Ordinary People', a conceptual multimedia event created around the format of a fashion show.

Staged as a sit-down performance segueing into an all-night stomping party, the event's participants include artists, fashion designers, performance artists, live music, DJs, stand-up comics and VJs with live feeds and pre-edited material on projection screens around the venue, which happens to be a two-tiered parking lot beneath Rosebank's shopping district. A party with built-in secure parking in Johannesburg? Too good to be true!

On the schedule are "new-form fashion shows" from black coffee, rip torn and strange love; video art from con.d; jazz from ziza and the blues trio; hip-hop, kwaito and live electronica from pimp daddi, dr louder, dj brian, hammerhead and +27, binary dredd and billie starr and dubba trubba; catering by the sublime Andrea Burgener from Superbonbon; performance art from Steven Cohen and Elu; "poetic terrorist antics" from muti; insane stand-up from Bevan Cullinan and John Vlismas; art by Tasche Leppard and Chevy; live visual cut-ups from Phosphotek and Y-Fronts, with the evening's host in the form of Amanda Lane "broadcasting from the periphery".

Instead of a mad free-for-all, the evening is being carefully choreographed and scripted, with the promise of good decor and general all-round attention to detail. Additional video pieces by some well-known names on the contemporary art scene will make a quiet appearance, so for your R100 ticket, which can be bought from the rip torn shop in Rosebank or YDE - The Zone, you are guaranteed to get your money's worth. If tickets elude you, give the rip torn store a call on (011) 442 8422.

When: Friday August 31 from 9.45pm. The show starts promptly at 10.30pm

Where: the uniquely constructed double-tiered car park beneath Admirals Court, next to The Firs in Rosebank. Entrance on Cradock Street

Nuno Cruz

Nuno da Cruz
Detail from 'Sunset', 2001
Mixed media on canvas
1m x 3m

Nuno da Cruz - 'Sunrise' at Spark!

Investigating modernist architecture and the people who use it in Gauteng is the point of interest in Nuno da Cruz's latest exhibition, 'Sunrise'. Unlike past exhibitions of Da Cruz's, which usually err on the side of the commercial and sell astonishingly well, this seems to have a tangible conceptual premise. Hopefully the picture here is not much to go by.

For more information and to view details from his new work see

Opening: September 1 at 6.30pm
Closing: September 16

Spark!, 10 Louis Road, Orchards
Tel: (011) 622 8297
Pieter Vorster 082 574 2152; Glynnis Jackson 083 836 1210
Hours: Mon - Sat 10am till café-bar closes, Sun 10am - noon

Surrealist Manifesto

André Breton's Surrealist Manifesto, illustrated by Max Ernst

Max Ernst at the Johannesburg Art Gallery

Brought to Johannesburg by the Goethe Institute, this exhibition of original graphic works by Max Ernst almost passed unnoticed, due to a total lack of publicity. Marred by poor framing and hanging, the show nonetheless features a number of fascinating and seminal works, including illustrations for Lewis Carroll, André Breton's Surrealist Manifesto and other famous texts.

Closing: September 1

     See Reviews

Johannesburg Art Gallery, corner Klein and King George Streets, Joubert Park
Tel: (011) 725 3130
Fax: (011) 720 6000
Hours: Tues - Sun 10a - 5pm

Peter Engblom

Peter Engblom
Mpunzi Shezi with Women
'Zulu Sushi', 2001

Peter Engblom

Peter Engblom
Shezi Family with Mount Fuji
'Zulu Sushi', 2001

Peter Engblom's 'Zulu Sushi' at Millennium II

Any press release that exclaims, mondo-style: "See! Mpunzi Shezi's journey over the tundra ... See! The fabulous beasts of the Yokohama gardens ... See! The luscious geishas of Zululand ... See! The love habits of the new tribes of Japan ..." has got my attention, even if it is to say: "What the hell is that about?" It gets better.

While researching the history of Zululand and his family's presence there since arriving as German missionaries, artist and self-confessed exhibitionist Peter Engblom discovered documents and paperwork that establish the identity of Mpunzi Shezi, the first Zulu missionary to visit Japan at the turn of the last century. Shezi's mission was "to take ubuntu to the Buddhists and bring Zen to the Zulus".

Engblom has painstakingly reintegrated fragmented albums, telegrams, customs documentation and Shezi's own journals in a number of small tribute exhibitions that have had a fair amount of publicity in Durban. Now the show comes to Johannesburg, with a one-night gala benefit event in aid of the Topsy Foundation and a short week-long show for members of the public. 'Zulu Sushi' can also be seen online at

To buy or sell tickets for the gala event, which promises Eastern and African culture combining in a mix of art, fashion, live music, noh theatre, tantric tea ceremonies and exotic girls (R200 per ticket), or for more information, call Ira Halpern on 083 226 8221 or Susan Glanville on 083 379 8584.

The Topsy Foundation is a pilot programme that provides shelter and care to children affected by HIV/AIDS. Visit them online at

Gala event: August 24 at 8pm. Tickets through Computicket or the gallery
Opening: August 25
Closing: September 1

Millennium II, 19 Jellicoe Avenue, Rosebank
Tel: (011) 880 5270
Hours: Tues - Fri 9am - 5pm, Sat 10am - 2pm

Willem Boshoff

Willem Boshoff
'Writing in the Sand'
Floor installation
Collection: Hans Bogatzke

Willem Boshoff - 'Writing in the Sand' at the Gencor Gallery

Dubbed a neo-conceptualist by an eminent international art critic or two, the rarefied work of Willem Boshoff (subject of this month's Artbio) currently features in two Johannesburg galleries. While his other current exhibition is alongside Andrew Munnik at the Millennium II, this show is a solo exhibition of a floor installation that has previously been shown on the 7th Havana Biennale in Cuba (December 2000) and in Copenhagen with the Decembristerne Group in February this year. 'Writing in the Sand' is an ephemeral floor installation of text stencilled in poured sand, paying homage to South Africa's newly recognised official languages and, by implication, mourning those that have disappeared from the vernacular.

As Boshoff says: "The advent of European influence in our land has already witnessed, if not indeed brought about, the extinction or near demise of smaller languages like San, Khoisan, Khoekhoen, Nama and Griqua. Writing in sandy places is easily damaged by water and wind. My work deals primarily with this loss. It points at an abject extinction of a people's collective myth when they no longer share it by word of mouth."

With 'Writing in the Sand', Boshoff creates a perverse polyglot dictionary, explaining obscure English words using indigenous languages. He thus cleverly inverts the dominance of privileged tongues as English speakers are at a loss until a speaker of a "lesser" language is available to translate. As language equals information, Boshoff also marks the silicon connection between the "analogue" medium of sand and the digital computer chip. The gallery will metaphorically hit the delete button when the installation is swept from the floor.

'Writing in the Sand' forms part of the collection of Hans Bogatzke.

     See Reviews

Opening: August 15 at 7pm
Closing: August 29

Gencor Gallery, Rand Afrikaans University, cnr Kingsway and University Road, Auckland Park
Tel: (011) 489 2099
Hours: Mon - Fri 9am - 6pm, Sat 9am - 1pm

Deborah Bell

Deborah Bell
From 'Unearthed' series, 2001
Bronze sculpture

Deborah Bell

Deborah Bell
From 'Unearthed' series, 2001
Bronze sculpture

'Unearthed' - Deborah Bell at the Goodman

Deborah Bell presents a new collection of bronze sculptures that bear more then a passing resemblance to historical objects from Benin.

She says: "I see these figures as resurrections - resurrections of histories and ideas that we have forgotten. At the end of the millennium I became very conscious of history and dates. I started thinking about the legacy of the last 2000 years (our Christian heritage), and our education regarding past civilisations and history. At the same time I found myself drawn to images of our distant past. Recently on my travels, I favoured the museums over the contemporary art exhibits, and found myself less interested in the dialogue of mainstream art. It is the silent images of different cultures and times that speak to me of an alternative history and a spiritual language that we have forgotten - that haunt me.

"These sculpted figures have evolved in a manner that has surprised me. I had no idea that I had the technical know-how to create them. I would start coiling them in a manner of coiling a pot, starting from the feet upwards, with no sense of what personage would appear. In a strange way, these figures made themselves - it was as if I was channelling them or certainly that I knew things I was not aware of knowing. Each figure would suggest what it carried on its headpiece, and what symbolic images would evolve. They did seem to be born from the earth, from the clay that made them. Everyone who has seen them has been reminded of something, recognising different sources for their inception. People have linked them to Egyptian figures, to Sumerian art, to the Chinese warriors, to Ethiopian or West African figures. They are all of these and more. For me it is as if they have been unearthed, they speak of things that have been buried for millennia, and that it is now time for us to recognise how much we have forgotten, and to re-vision who we are, and our history."

The installation strategy is likely to play a crucial part in the show's critical success.

Opening: Saturday August 18 from 9.30am to 5pm
Closing: September 8

Goodman Gallery, 163 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood
Tel: (011) 788 1113
Fax: (011) 788 9887
Hours: Tues - Fri 9.30am - 5.30pm, Sat 9.30am - 4pm

Daniel Hirschmann

Daniel Hirschmann
Suicide, 2001
Still from video

Walkabout with Absa Atelier winners

The winner of this year's Absa Atelier award, Stephanus Rademeyer, will be on hand alongside merit prize winners Daniel Hirschmann and Merryn Singer to field questions and commentary to do with their submitted works. Schools and tour groups are welcome. Phone Merryn on 350-5139/5793 for further information.

August 14 from 10am to 2pm

Absa Gallery, Absa Towers North, 161 Main Street, Johannesburg
Tel: (011) 350 4588
Hours: Mon - Fri 9.30am - 3.30pm

Gwen van Embden

Gwen van Embden
Blue Mary: Handwork for Keeping the Home
Atist's book

'Handwork' - Gwen van Embden at Art on Paper

'Handwork' is Gwen van Embden's first solo exhibition. Born in Pretoria in 1953, she moved to Cape Town after leaving school. She is still based there, with her husband and three children. Engaging with issues of the domestic, the "female" and the personal, the exhibition consists of a collection of found objects, photographs, printed ceramics, embroideries and book pages - fragments she has used to construct a picture book narrative of her family history. Her artist's book Blue Mary: Handwork for Keeping the Home (see June Reviews) will be on view during the exhibition.

Opening: August 11 at 3pm with guest speaker Willem Boshoff
Walkabout and panel discussion: August 14 at 2pm with Gwen van Embden, Brenda Schmahmann, Jillian Carman and Kathryn Smith

     See Reviews

Art on Paper, 8 Main Road, Melville (next to Outer Limits bookshop)
Tel: (011) 726 2234
Hours: Tues - Sat 10am - 5pm

Marlaine Tosoni

Marlaine Tosoni
Infrapsychisme, Party, Personal Pronownz
Video installation

MTN New Contemporaries workshops

Workshops are being conducted at Camouflage by three of the MTN New Contemporaries nominees. Entrance is free but booking is essential as only 10-20 learners will be accepted per workshop. Call Eloise Knoetze on (011) 301 8124.

Workshop by Marlaine Tosoni
Date: Saturday August 11, 10am - noon
Marlaine explores the use of video as a means of disarming the viewer through strategic tensions that are set real and the fictive within the plot of her films. Her workshop will take the form of a talk on how to identify subject how to build a storyboard on video.

Workshop by Usha Seerjarim
Date: Saturday August 25, 10am - 2pm
Usha's video and painting explore the nature of "illusion", as seen in things such as shadow images, video projections and slide images. These are used to examine how reality is perceived. The shadow images captured in her works suggest the passing of time and evoke memory, ritual and the poetry of everyday.

Workshop by Shannin Antonopoulo
Date: Saturday September 1, 10am - noon
Shannin creates installations where the viewer is engulfed with wallpaper-like patterns. These are reminiscent of domestic environments of the Sixties and Seventies and evoke Shannin's early childhood experiences, although they also challenge traditional ideas of space. Her workshop will take the form of a seminar, slides and debate on South African culture.

Camouflage, 140 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood
Tel: (011) 447 5461
Fax: (011) 447 0651
Hours: Tues - Fri 10am - 6pm, Sat - Sun 12pm - 6pm

Mandla Mabila

Mandla Mabila
Leftovers, 2000
Oil and acrylic on chipboard

Faiza Galdhari, Bronwen Findlay and Daina Mabunda

Faiza Galdhari, Bronwen Findlay and Daina Mabunda

'Threads' and Mandla Mabila at the Standard Bank Gallery

Two substantial exhibitions make an appearance at the Standard Bank Gallery this month - Bronwen Findlay's curated project entitled 'Threads', featuring work by herself, Faiza Galdhari and long-time collaborator Daina Mabunda; and Mandla Mabila's collection of paintings entitled 'From Where I Am Sitting'.

Mabila's collection of works has been painted over a two-year period. "I have been working with self-portraits for as long as I can remember. Self-portraits have given me the opportunity to take a closer look at myself and I like what I see in them ... often enough." Mabila is disabled, having suffered polio at a young age. He sees the portraits, which often adopt a surreal language, as a political tool to subvert stereotypical representations of disability as seen in the media, if seen at all.

Mabila is harshly self-critical when speaking about the painting process. While he regards his studio as a safe space, the questions he asks himself have to do with self-awareness and bias: how much has he internalised the stereotypes and merely reproduced them in his paintings? Is the way that he represents himself the way he truly is or does he distort the picture? He also brings the notion of scale under inspection in terms of what he is physically able to achieve. Mabila's paintings have been shown internationally and on numerous group shows locally. His work is strong and frank, with compelling (and at times confessional) narrative content.

'Threads', which debuted in Grahamstown, combines works by three Durban-based women that are distinctive in terms of style and intention, but ultimately complementary when shown in a single space. Well-respected as a painter, Bronwen Findlay has worked with a space hung with long drapes to reference the potential for the sacred in the personal and private. All three women indulge in colour, with Daina Mabunda beading panels that resemble line drawings or Shangaan-tradition safety pins on cloth. Findlay has used paint to simulate safety pins and beads in her work and has produced a series of paintings two metres in length on which a series of paint marks are repeated to reference stitching. Faiza Galdhari completes the cycle of repetition and decoration with her visual responses to the traditions of Islam. Calligraphy and ornamentation play an important role in her decoration on a series of painted plates as well as a hand-painted cloth and a number of prints (etching, screenprints and lithographs).

Opening: August 7 at 6pm with Brenda Schmahman
Closing: September 15

Standard Bank Gallery, cnr Simmonds and Fredericks streets, Johannesburg
Tel: (011) 636-4231
Hours: Mon - Fri 8am - 4.30pm, Sat 9am - 1pm

Maitisong's 'Omenana' moves to Tswaing Crater Museum

'Omenana: Afrikan Arts Through the Ages', previously at the Maitisong Gallery in Yeoville, has moved to the Tswaing Crater Museum, which is where the north-western border of Gauteng meets the eastern border of the North West Province. Based on the Nigerian concept of Omenana - a travelling arts festival - the exhibition will now have "the opportunity to touch base with various villages around the Crater Museum. So we'll be experiencing the philosophical essence of Omenana," says Ozor-Ejike Ezefuna, the Nigerian artist whose work is on the exhibition.

Tswaing is a satellite of the National Cultural History Museum. It is a 2000 hectare site, some 40km north-west of Pretoria, surrounded by settlements such as Winterveldt, Mmotla and Soshanguve which are inhabited by more than a million people. The main features of this site are a 220 000-year-old meteorite impact crater, a marsh area, a variety of ecosystems, and the remains of a factory that once produced soda-ash and salt.

National Women's Day sees a multidisciplinary exhibition Tswaing Crater Museum featuring various artists led by Julius Moeletsi, Gamakhulu Diniso, Tshepo Sibeko, Oupapa Kganticoe and Mogorosi Motshumi, and writers and poets including Saul Molobi and Ntombifikile Molobi, director of the Maitisong Gallery. The exhibition will feature Ndebele beadwork and pieces produced at the Valente Malangantana Art Centre from the Northern Province village of Makumeke.

Visitors to the site can also take guided or unguided excursions through the area. Maitisong Art Gallery will be organising monthly tours to Tswaing on the last weekend of each month starting at the end of August. Money raised from these trips will benefit not only Maitisong Art Gallery and the Crater Museum, but also members of the local community who will be attending the gallery's free workshops in writing, painting, theatre and craft-making.

Opening: August 9
Closing: August 15

For more information, contact:
Ntombifikile Molobi at (011) 487 0937 or 083 528 3090
Ozor-Ejike Ezefuna, Maitisong curator/artist-in-residence, at 072 283 3597

Joan Abrahams

Joan Abrahams

Joan Abrahams at the Bill Ainslie Gallery

Following several local and UK shows of works on paper, Joan Abrahams will be exhibiting a series of oils on canvas entitled 'In the Moment'. Abrahams explores physical and psychic spaces through fluid media like watercolour, gouache and ink. In addition to these earlier small works, she has produced a series of canvases in which architectural forms hold elements of European and African culture. From the media release, she starts to sound like a contemporary version of Irma Stern.

Opening: August 5
Closing: August 12

Bill Ainslie Gallery, Johannesburg Art Foundation, 6 Eastwold Way, Saxonwold
Tel: (011) 486 1368 (Joan Abrahams)

Louis Yudelman

Louis Yudelman
Scorched Earth, Simonstown

'Digital Images' at Innerspace Exhibitions

This exhibition by Frank Ward, Jules Cohen and Louis Yudelman sets out to assert that digital photography can hold its own in a world of fierce critics and sceptical buyers without being accused of usurping the status of traditional photographic processes. Whether one whinges about "hands-off" creative processes, or that it all happens inside the computer, that's not the point. These artists wish to stress that the images they have produced all began life in front of the camera lens. That's fine, but they should also realise that comparing digital and traditional photography is a bit like apples and oranges. And accusations of "manipulation" should be turfed too.

Opening: August 2
Closing: August 13

Innerspace Exhibitions, New Century Art Gallery, Rivonia Cloisters, Rivonia
Tel: (011) 803 9944
Hours: Mon - Fri 10am - 6pm, Sat - Sun 10am - 2pm

Willem Boshoff and Andrew Munnik

Willem Boshoff and Andrew Munnik

Andrew Munnik

Andrew Munnik
Palimpsest, 2000/2001
Oil on canvas

Willem Boshoff

Willem Boshoff
Belemnoid, 2001
Work in process

Willem Boshoff and Andrew Munnik at Millennium II

'Cracked Up To Be' is the title of what sounds like a suitably meditative and aesthetic exhibition by long-time friends Willem Boshoff and Andrew Munnik. This is the first official show for the newly established gallery, featuring installation and other works by Boshoff in dialogue with the paintings of Munnik. Munnik last showed in the early 1990s and attracted attention as a tongue-in-cheek conceptualist - at a time when artists like Neil Goedhals, Wayne Barker and Boshoff, among others, were breaking their own ground.

Post art world absence has Munnik exploring his experience of the last decade in which he has had to redefine himself - politically, philosophically and psychologically and simultaneously engage in a process of accepting his own mortality. A phrase often used by an ex-wife and close friend becomes the leitmotif: "the crack that is always there".

Munnik states: "These works are not intended to be nostalgic - they are about an intrigue with the accident of living in a particular time at a particular place and the schizophrenic experience of simultaneous states of both anger and grace."

Boshoff's installation ostrakon is the first manifestation of a far larger long-term project , but the work is also a synchronistic response to decay and entropy, the endless cycles of history repeated in every generation - the rise and fall of power and the things that are (not) as they are 'cracked up to be'.

The title ostrakon refers to the Greek noun for a shard of pottery, which like the Phesos (the pebble) was used to vote in society's first democracy. With one significant difference, the shard was used not only to appoint but to expel - to vote in and to vote out - the rejected representative often being physically the target of these shards which would be hurled by the angry mob. 'Ostrakon' is the root of the modern English word ostracise.

The focus of Boshoff's new project is the Boer War. At the core of this piece is his fascination at the fact that it was the generation of children that survived the atrocities of the concentration camps (where more than 22 000 of their brothers and sisters died) that became the architects of apartheid. Like their ancestors they have in the historical process again been ostracised.

The installation incorporates the names of all the white cabinet ministers from 1910-1995 inscribed on "ostrakon" and strewn in the gallery space. There are about 2 000 fragments that can be stored in a specially made rosewood box.

In addition a large work referring to and extending the morphology Boshoff explored in the Blind Alphabet series entitled Belemnoid will be exhibited. This piece measures more than 3 metres and the production of this work in black and white marble has been a mammoth task undertaken by stonemason Frans Haarhoff.

Willem Boshoff is the subject of this month's Artbio.

     See Reviews

Opening: August 2 at 6.30pm
Closing: August 23

Millennium II, 19 Jellicoe Avenue, Rosebank
Tel: 880 5270
Hours: Tues - Fri 9am - 5pm, Sat 10am - 2pm

Marlene Neumann

Marlene Neumann

Marlene Neumann at PhotoZA

East-London based photographer Neumann is a graphic designer by profession and currently head of the Art and Design Department at East London College. She holds a Masters diploma in technology, specialising in photography. She has exhibited widely, showing fairly recently at Pretoria's Millennium Gallery. She treats the photographic process in a rather painterly way, drawing from memories of travel, domestic objects and nature. The work carries a strong sense of the ephemeral, but can border on the nostalgic and melancholic.

Opening: August 5
Closing: End August

PhotoZA, The Mews, Rosebank
Cell: 082 533 7143 (Michelle Rock)

Usha Seejarim

Usha Seejarim
Long Distance, 1999

Thembinkosi Goniwe

Thembinkosi Goniwe
Face Value: Bona, 1999
Computer manipulated inkjet poster print
150 x 120 cm

MTN New Contemporaries Award at Camouflage

The nominees for our newest contemporary art prize have been announced. Usha Seejarim, Shannin Antonopoulou, Marlaine Tosoni and Thembinkosi Goniwe will be showing a selection of recent work with a view to walking off with the R20 000 first prize.

Interrogating issues of time, ritual and reality, Usha Seejarim will be showing a new video projection and several paintings from the video, documenting shadows of cars in the early morning traffic on the M1 South into Johannesburg.

Shannin Antonopoulou, a recent Wits Tech graduate, fills architectural spaces with patterns reminiscent of textile and wallpaper design of the 1960s and 1970s - the stuff of her generation's childhood in suburban South Africa. The patterns fill the walls and ceiling, becoming vaguely threatening but ultimately aesthetic. Antonopoulou will be making a new site-specific installation for the exhibition using similar strategies.

Marlaine Tosoni, who we don't see quite enough of, will be showing three new video works, Party, Infrapsychisme and Personal Pronownz. Drawing references from family history and her immediate environment, she creates deliberate tensions between the real and the fictive.

Thembinkosi Goniwe will be presenting a video projection entitled XYZ as well as two inkjet poster works from the 'Face Value' series - Born in 1971 in Cape Town and Thembinkosi in North Wales. Goniwe's work is an attempt to hold traditional rituals (ulwaluko, ukuchaza and ingqithi) up for contemplation and to examine the influence of contemporary art and culture on them. In turning them into subjects for creative investigation, he attempts to present them as visible and consumable as opposed to hidden and secret. The work is intended to have a social conscience - in 'Face Value', popular magazines Drum, Bona, Pace and Thandi are reworked to critique imposed stereotyping.

The judging committee who will select the final winner has also been announced. It comprises Zwelethu Mthethwa, artist; Kiren Thathiah, head of Vaal Triangle Technikon's Department of Fine Art; Rudi Matjokana, MTN Corporate Affairs Manager responsible for the education portfolio; Coral Bijoux, MTN Art Institute's head of education; and Ronel Loukakis, director of the MTN Art Institute. The judges will also be responsible for selecting the curator for 2002.

Says curator Clive Kellner: "The award goes beyond the prize money of R20 000. It is a valuable mechanism for the construction and promotion of a new identity in South African culture.

"The MTN New Contemporaries Award is about defining a moment in the development of contemporary art in South Africa today. The MTN New Contemporaries Award is a curator-driven award that explores relations between curator and artist. The award will offer an opportunity for museums, corporate and private collectors to invest in the next generation of South African artists. It will also be a useful tool for researchers, curators, critics and journalists.

"Each of the artists, although representative of their generation, are not individually preoccupied with major political concerns. They understand their roots and traditions but are comfortable with extending beyond their traditions.

"Their tradition forms a comfort zone from which they explore new media, identity and existence. The notion of 'home', telling stories, being and daily life are predominant themes that recur in the respective artists' works. Theirs is a world of information, transformation and experimentation."

     See Reviews

Opens: Friday July 27
Closes: September 15

Camouflage, 140 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood, 2193
Tel: (011) 447 5461
Fax: (011) 447 0651
Hours: Tues - Fri 10am - 6p, Sat - Sun 12pm - 6pm

Invitation to the show

Martienssen Prize at the Gertrude Posel, Wits

It really blows my mind that all our major art competitions must happen within weeks of each other. The Martienssen, however, is not corporate or open to public entries. Equally coveted and sneered at by the senior Wits Fine Arts students, all of whom are obliged to enter, it is probably the most popular student show of the year.

     See Reviews

Opens: Thursday July 26 at 6pm
Closes: August 31

Gertrude Posel Gallery, University of the Witwatersrand, Braamfontein
Tel: (011) 717 1363
Hours: Tues - Fri 10am - 4pm

Brent Meistre

Brent Meistre
Untitled (Roadkill I)
Colour photograph

Absa Atelier Art Awards 2001 at the Absa Gallery

The work of 83 young artists - finalists for the awards from all regions of South Africa - will be on display at the Absa Gallery from July 19. This year's winner of the coveted six-month residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris and R60 000 cash will be announced on the evening of July 18, as will the names of the four runners-up (see News).

     See Reviews

Opening: July 19
Closing: August 17

Absa Gallery, Absa Towers North, 161 Main Street, Johannesburg
Tel: (011) 350 4588
Hours: Mon - Fri 9.30am - 3.30pm

Avhashoni Mainganye

Avhashoni Mainganye with his work

'Golelanwali' at the Alliance Française

The Alliance features an exhibition of new work by seven well-known Northern Province artists, curated by Kathy Coates. Coates recently co-authored the Taxi monograph on the work of controversial sculptor Samson Mudzunga, published by David Krut Publishing. Mudzunga is a featured artist on this show, along with the inimitable Noria Mabasa and Jackson Hlungwane, Avhashoni Mainganye, Phillip Rikhotso and Albert Munyai.

Opening: Tuesday July 24 at 6.45pm
Closing: August 24

Alliance Francaise 17 Lower Park Drive, Parkview
Tel: (011) 646 1169
Fax: (011) 646 4521

Lad Kalonde

Lad Kalonde
Dire Distress, 2001


Artists for Children in Distress at the Voortrekker Monument Art Gallery

On Youth Day, June 16 this year, some 40 artists created original works in under four hours for an art marathon in aid of the Artists for Children in Distress project. Now the works are being sold and proceeds will go towards Destiny Child Care Action, an organisation involved in the rehabilitation of children suffering from drug and other forms of abuse.

Participating artists include Norman Catherine, Franci Cronj�, Andr� Naud�, Diek Grobler, Reshada Crouse, Lad Kalonde, Tshwane Art Kids and Diane Victor.

Visit the show online at

Opening: September 4
Closing: September 30

Voortrekker Monument and Heritage Site Art Gallery
Tel: (012) 326 6770
Hours: Mon - Sun 8am - 5pm

Toni-Ann Ballenden

Toni-Ann Ballenden
Detail from 'Inside Outside the House'

Toni-Ann Ballenden at Millennium I

'Inside Outside the House' is a collection of "diary images" - painting, photography and drawings integrated with work done in art therapy. Artist Toni-Ann Ballenden studied art therapy at the Technikon Witwatersrand in 1998, and as a result of this experience feels she has "permission to 'play in art' like a child". Describing a body of work she admits is quite different to anything she has produced previously, she says: "I play on the canvas, I put white paint on with my fingers, I play some more, I scribble with crayons, making images which emerge from somewhere, I feel frustrated and scratch on the surface violently, I leave my studio. Later ... I heal the surface gently, touching lightly with more white paint and so the surface evolves, the story emerges in weird exaggerated truth."

There will be a walkabout on September 8 at 11am.

Opening: September 1 at noon with guest speaker Wilma Cruise

Millennium Gallery, 75 George Storrar Drive, Groenkloof
Tel: (012) 460 8217
Fax: (012) 346 5552
Cell: 083 263 5842
Hours: Tues - Fri 10am - 5pm, Sat 10am - 1pm

Chinese ceramic

Chinese ceramic

'China Today - Modern Development of an Ancient Art' at the Pretoria Art Museum

From a country whose name denotes porcelain and ceramics comes an exhibition of contemporary ceramics commissioned by the Ministry of Culture of the People's Republic of China through the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing.

Historically, it was predominantly through its ceramics that Chinese culture spread across the globe. This exhibition, which has already travelled to Spain, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Norway, Italy, France, Czech, Austria and Bulgaria since 1997, extends this history and tracks current developments in contemporary Chinese ceramics.

From its debut in Pretoria, it will move to the Opera Foyer in Cape Town's Artscape Theatre and then on to the Grain Cellar at the Castle of Good Hope. The Pretoria event is a guest show of 'Ceramic Now', the annual ceramic exhibition held by APSA (Association of Potters South Africa) Gauteng Branch. The guest speaker is well-known Australian ceramicist Janet Mansfield with an address by the Chinese ambassador to South Africa, Liu Guijin.

Opening: August 29
Closing: September 24

Pretoria Art Museum, corner Schoeman and Wessels streets, Arcadia
Tel: (012) 344 1807/8
Fax: (012) 344 1809
Hours: Tues, Thur - Sat 10am - 5pm, Wed 10am - 8pm, Sun 12pm - 5pm

Karin Preller

Karin Preller
Chris en Rienie en Vriende, Amanzintoti, 1958, 2000 Oil on canvas

'Family Album' - Karin Preller at the Open Window

Karin Preller moves 'Family Album' to Pretoria, having previously shown the work at the Absa Gallery in Johannesburg. Trompe l'oeuil paintings enlarge and reproduce family photographs that are at once obviously paintings and then not so obviously not photographs. They're rather uncanny and operate, as Preller points out, in the space between romance and reality: "Family photographs, while seemingly mere recordings of events in a family's history, ultimately operate in the same way as any representation. It blanks out what is not represented, and, in so doing, perpetuates myths about what is represented. Photography is never innocent. It is constituted and shaped by the conventions and rules of, in this case, the institution of the family. We compose photographs and project ourselves in terms of a preconceived idea of familial relations. In this sense the family album is always about the family 'romance' and not about actualities."

Opening: August 15 at 7pm with guest speaker NJ Coetzee
Closing: September 1

Open Window Art Academy, 10 Rigel Avenue, Erasmusrand
Tel: (012) 347 1740
Fax: (012) 347 1710
Hours: Mon - Fri 9am - 4pm, Sat 10am - 2pm

'Femina' at the Association of Arts, Pretoria

Curated by artist Franci Cronjé, this show celebrates Women's Day with an opening address by radio and television personality Patricia Glyn, vocalist Geo von Amon and a female string quartet. Cronjé has gathered together works by some 50 artists, which she says "do not convey a feminist theme, but rather a female point of view on society".

For further information, contact Cronjé at 082 557 3647 or Pieter van Heerden at (012) 346-3100.

Opens: Thursday August 9 at 11.30am
Closes: August 30

Association of Arts, 173 Mackie Street, Nieuw Muckleneuk, Pretoria
Tel: (012) 346 3100
Fax: (012) 346 3125
Hours: Tues - Fri 10am - 4.30pm, Sat 10am - 12pm

Art appreciation and discussion evenings at the Open Window

The Open Window Art Gallery presents art appreciation classes by Dr Bertie du Plessis and discussion evenings with guest speakers on Wednesdays from 8pm to 9.30pm from August 8 to November 21 2001. The art appreciation course is for "beginners", and will be presented in an informal way with topics such as "The Impressionists", "Picasso", "Thomas Baines", "San Rock Art" and "Technology and Art". Guest speakers like Tim Mostert, Willem Boshoff, Kathryn Smith, Muffin Stevens and Amanda du Preez will lead the discussion evenings, initiating the discussion with a relevant "issue".

The cost of the art appreciation classes is R50 per class or R400 for eight classes. Discussion evenings cost R40 per person or R320 for the series. Prices include refreshments.

For bookings and more information, contact Elmien or Ilana during office hours at (012) 347 1740/3.

Open Window Art Academy, 10 Rigel Avenue, Erasmusrand
Tel: (012) 347 1740
Fax: (012) 347 1710
Hours: Mon - Fri 9am - 4pm, Sat 10am - 2pm

Patrick de Mervelec

Patrick de Mervelec

'Joburger' by Patrick de Mervelec at the Pretoria Art Museum

'Joburger' is an exhibition of photographic portraits of some Johannesburg residents by French lensman Patrick de Mervelec, who has been in living in the country for around two years. A selection of his work is also currently showing at The Art Space in Fairland.

Opening: July 11
Closing: August 27

Pretoria Art Museum, corner Schoeman and Wessels Streets, Arcadia
Tel: (012) 344-1807/8
Fax: (012) 344-1809
Gallery Hours: Tuesdays to Saturdays 10.00 am - 5.00 pm; Wednesdays 10.00 am - 8.00 pm; Sundays 12.00 pm - 5.00 pm

Karin Skawran lecture series at the Association of Arts

This illustrated evening lecture series by the acclaimed Unisa art history professor is underway and runs until November. Booking is essential, and you can choose to subscribe for the whole series at a cost of R250, or pay R30 per lecture. Lectures start at 6pm or 7pm and are divided into the following areas of research:

'Early Christian and Byzantine Art'
August 1: The cave churches of Cappadocia, Turkey (7pm)

'Early German Expressionism: Two women painters'
August 16: The art of Paula Modersohn-Becker (7pm)
August 29: Kathe Kollwitz: Art as compassion (7pm)

'Two South African artists of the 20th Century'
September 12: Images and Symbols: Walter Battiss (7pm)
September 19: A prophet in his own time: Jackson Hlungwane (7pm)

'Fibre Art Projects in Southern Africa'
November 14: Fibre art in Southern Africa, with reference to the 'Mapula' and 'Kaross' projects in South Africa, and the 'Weya' project in Zimbabwe (7pm)

Association of Arts, Pretoria, 173 Mackie Street, Nieuw Muckleneuk, Pretoria
Tel: (012) 346-3100
Fax: (012) 346-3125
Gallery hours: Tuesday to Fridays: 10am - 4.30 pm; Saturdays: 10am - 12pm; Sundays and Mondays closed