Archive: Issue No. 52, December 2001

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

12.12.01 Inauguration of Mary Fitzgerald Square
12.12.01 Terry Kurgan and photographers at the Joubert Park Project
12.12.01 William Scarbrough at The | Premises
28.11.01 'Art Basel Miami Parkwood' at the Goodman
28.11.01 'Blindspot - XXX Loves You' at Dry Barry Gallery
28.11.01 Christmas at Spaza Art
21.11.01 Contemporary San Art and Crafts at Art on Paper
21.11.01 Group exhibition at Innerspace
21.11.01 Johan Moolman at Millennium II
07.11.01 'Relationships' photo essay competition at the Bensusan
07.11.01 Wits Fine Art student exhibition
07.11.01 Merely Mortal opens in Jan Smuts Avenue

12.12.01 Unisa fourth-year Fine Arts student exhibition
21.11.01 Tukkies students at the Pretoria Art Museum
14.11.01 Marriana Booyens at the Millennium Gallery
03.10.01 What's on at the Pretoria Art Museum

Patrick Rimoux

MuseumAfrica with lighting by Patrick Rimoux

Inauguration of Mary Fitzgerald Square

The City of Johannesburg and Blue IQ are in the long-awaited process of renovating the Newtown Cultural Precinct and surrounding area. Going on the principle that a well-illuminated city is a safe and desirable city, the French Institute commissioned French lighting wizard Patrick Rimoux to light the area. The opening ceremony will be accompanied by a jazz concert featuring some of the country's best music artists. Musicians billed to perform on the day include Caiphus Semenya, Vusi Mahlasela, Letta Mbuli, Jonas Gwangwa, Johnny Mekoa, Barney Rachabane, Pops Mohamed, Khaya Mahlangu, Winston "Mankuku" Ngozi and Sipho "Hotstix" Mabuse.

The lighting of the area will contribute towards making Johannesburg a 24-hour city. The lighting masts and 99% of the components were manufactured in South Africa and have resulted in an anticipated export deal of an initial thousand units to Europe. The development of Mary Fitzgerald Square, together with the construction of the Nelson Mandela Bridge, M1/Carr interchange and Metro Market and five additional housing projects are some of the major projects underway aimed at enhancing Newtown as South Africa's hub for creative industries as well as contributing to the competitive advantages of doing business in the inner city.

Inauguration: December 17 at 6pm

Mary Fitzgerald Square, Newtown Cultural Precinct
For more information, call the Johannesburg Development Agency on (011) 688 7856

Joubert Park Project

Photographed at the Joubert Park Project

Terry Kurgan and photographers at the Joubert Park Project

Getting ourselves photographed transforms the way we see ourselves. This forms the core of any portrait-making practice. The politics of the photograph and photographic practice is where artist Terry Kurgan locates her creative research and production. With this is mind, she has collaborated with the Joubert Park Freelance Photographers Association in the production of a portable photographic studio that doubles as a piece of public art within the park. Joubert Park is the working ground of over 30 freelance photographers, including John Makua, Varrie Hluzani, Jimmy Moyo, Nkosi Ndlovu, S'phiwe Shandu and Isaac Phakati, who constitute an important aspect of both the economy and the social culture of the park precinct. After futile attempts to get the city to donate an abandoned building to use for a photographic studio, the idea developed to build a sturdy, mobile studio that would easily "roll up" each morning and just as easily "roll down" each evening. And it's fully equipped with props, lights and a selection of backdrops chosen by the photographers reflecting what they think will attract and interest their clients to be photographed against, including the Jo'burg skyline and the Lost City. So join in the launch and have your picture taken. With generous funding by First National Bank and Investec, the studio is now ready to go into business!

The day kicks off with theatre at 11am by the Babupi Dramatic Arts Company and the Lamndino Artists Anti Poverty and AIDS Project.

Terry Kurgan will lead a walkabout on Sunday December 16 at noon.

For any queries phone Dorothee Kreutzfeldt at 083 728 5606 or Terry Kurgan at 083 230 1739.

William Scarbrough

William Scarbrough
'The Trials of Dr Kawalski'
Installation detail

William Scarbrough at The | Premises

Presented in conjunction with independent artist's space Momenta Art in New York, William Scarbrough shows 'The Trials of Dr Kawalski', an installation designed to challenge the media's power to establish historical fact by breaking down its truths, or documents, into its components: words and images. It serves as a vehicle through which one may consider the role of media in constructing our perceptions.

Scarbrough opened the identical show on December 7 at Momenta Arts in New York City. This event was videotaped and uploaded onto Momenta's website (see The | Premises and Momenta will be linked for the duration of the exhibition via respective websites, as well an exchange of printed matter (catalogues, pamphlets etc) between spaces.

The primary components of the exhibition are an interactive large-screen multimedia projection, audio stations and a series of digital prints. Combined, they offer visitors the means to participate in an interactive environment about the events, people and places that surround the life of the mysterious Dr Jason Kawalski. His life story takes us from the tragic childhood death of his twin sister in Itau, Bolivia, to his career as a leading medical researcher, to his controversial conviction in the murder of a young girl in Burlington, Vermont. Scarbrough's artistic hybrid presentation of Kawalski's story is emotionally engaging and intellectually inviting. The interactive display is presented by Dr Regina Garcia, a historian who has been researching the life of Dr Kawalski (see

'The Trials of Dr Kawalski' offers a frighteningly perceptive commentary on the current focus on global terrorist activities, the media's complicity in the production of historical 'monsters' and our desire to treat such figures and events as sensational info-tainment.

William Scarbrough's works 'Suicide: Scarbrough Industries' and 'Prosthetic' have previously been shown in Johannesburg. This is his first solo exhibition in South Africa. In addition to seminars conducted at various institutions in the US, including one at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Scarbrough has been a guest on The Jerry Springer Show.

Opening: December 8 at 6.30pm
Closing: December 22 with meet-the artist closing party

The | Premises, Johannesburg Civic Theatre, off Loveday Street, Braamfontein
Tel: (011) 403 3408 ext 184 (Boy Bangala)
Hours: Mon 10am - 6pm, Tues - Sat 12pm - 8pm

Moshekwa Langa

Moshekwa Langa
Now You Have All of My Attention

'Art Basel Miami Parkwood' at the Goodman

"What?" you gasp, "Art Basel in Jo'burg!" Well, not quite. Artthrob readers may be aware that Art Basel Miami, scheduled to take place now in Miami Beach, Florida, was postponed due to anxieties about terrorist attacks, air travel and general post-September 11 paranoia. The Goodman Gallery was the only gallery from Africa out of 150 exhibitors chosen to participate. So in their inimitable style, they are showing what they would have shown in a "review of the year's shows", now dubbed 'Art Basel Miami Parkwood'. Exhibiting artists on this tiny South African slice of one of the world's biggest art fairs are Moshekwa Langa, Tracey Rose, Zwelethu Mthethwa, William Kentridge, David Goldblatt and Willie Bester.

Opening: December 7
Closing: December 22

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

The gallery closes on December 22 and reopens on January 15 2002


Scenes from the first Blindspot event, Vrededorp, Johannesburg 2001

'Blindspot - XXX Loves You' at Dry Barry Gallery

A few months ago at an artists' studio in Vrededorp, a certain select crowd (ie those who keep their ears to the ground) gathered to view a one-night screening of a selection of new video and digital art, drink good coffee, smoke way too many cigarettes and generally hang out. Some famous South African art faces were there too, including a certain rather well-known figure who makes animated films from charcoal drawings.

Now original instigator Christian Nerf and studio resident Rhett Martyn bring the art and fun-loving public of Johannesburg 'Blindspot � XXX Loves You'. The show features work specifically created for 'Blindspot', and other existing work perfectly suited to the theme; some artists from the first show make a second appearance, joined by new players. The press release says a whole lot about the ecstasies of saints, immaculate conceptions and such, but I have it on good authority that this is nothing but a cheap smokescreen.

Billed as an "Arts and Culture Sextravaganza", the event is "another one-night stand", so if you're keen on an alternative to the monotony of the mid-week dinner date, be at the Dry Barry Art Gallery. There's also a cash bar, good coffee again and a pornographic soundtrack courtesy of DJ Chedda. Entrance is R20 at the door.

December 6 from 7.30pm

Dry Barry Gallery, The Ross Building, corner De La Rey and Eighth Streets, Vrededorp
Tel: 072 375 9599 (Christian Nerf)

Christmas at Spaza Art

Invitation to Spaza Art

Christmas at Spaza Art

Celebrate the silly season by purchasing some local art at even sillier prices. Spaza Art shows a collection of art and objects by local artists.

Opening: December 2 at 5pm
Closing: December 24

Spaza Art, 19 Wilhemina Street, Troyeville
Tel: (011) 614 9354
Hours: Mon - Fri 10am - 5 pm, Sat 10am - 2pm

Xgaiga Qhomatca

Xgaiga Qhomatca
Ostrich and tortoises

Contemporary San Art and Crafts at Art on Paper

Tamar Mason opens an exhibition of paintings, prints, ceramics and textiles by the Naro people (Kuru, Botswana) and the !Xun and Khwe (Schmidsdrift, Kimberley). The intention of the exhibition is to shift the focus from the exclusively historical art forms, like rock paintings and engravings found across southern Africa, to art made by contemporary descendants.

Among the oldest indigenous populations of the world and known to have inhabited southern Africa for more than 30 000 years, the San people's recent history has been characterised by discrimination, oppression and disposession. Today, about 100 000 San people live in small, scattered groups in South Africa, Namibia, Angola, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana. Having had to abandon their traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyle due to loss of land, they were not equipped for the new life in small settlements. Although there is no longer any tradition of painting or rock engraving among contemporary San people, the artistic skills that were part of their traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyle have survived. These contemporary San artists are now responding intimately and creatively to the challenge of their new environment, building on the traditional iconography of the San and extending it by adding their own images and symbols with a more contemporary meaning.

Existing and potential projects of the Kuru Trust and the !Xu & Khwe Trust relate to landuse, culture and income generating. The emergence of a new art tradition has already helped to re-assert human dignity in a marginalised and abused community.

Opening: November 24 at 3pm

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

Group exhibition at Innerspace

Louis Audie, Natasha Barnes, Emile Cronje, Christopher Haw, Willie Strydom, Harry Voerman and Margaret Wagner show a collection of oil paintings, pastels, watercolour and mixed-media works on a commercially orientated, holiday-friendly exhibition.

Opening: November 23 at 7pm
Closing: January 6 2002

Innerspace Exhibitions/New Century Art Gallery, Rivonia Cloisters, Ninth Avenue, Rivonia
Tel: (011) 803 9944
Website: or
Hours: Mon - Fri 10am - 5pm, Sat - Sun 10am - 2pm

Johan Moolman

Johan Moolman

Johan Moolman at Millennium II

With a long career in artmaking and teaching, sculptor and installation artist Johan Moolman now lives and works in Groot Marico, that legendary town so often invoked by Herman Charles Bosman. He refers to himself as a "neo-primitive", using materials ranging from stone, earth, found objects, iron, wood and neon to define a personal visual and symbolic lexicon based on Jungian principles. It is Moolman's concern to reinstate meaningful ritual practices as it is these, he opines, that "provide a catalyst for a cohesive society".

On exhibition will be a body of work consisting of freestanding sculptures, wall sculptures/works, works on paper, computer-processed prints and installation work.

Opening: November 21 at 7pm
Closing: December 15

Millennium II, 19 Jellicoe Avenue, Rosebank
Tel: (011) 880 5270
Hours: Tues - Fri 11am - 6pm, Sat 12pm - 5pm
Millennium II will close on December 15 and reopen on January 15 2002

'Relationships' photo essay competition at the Bensusan

Winning entries from this national documentary photo essay competition, organised under the auspices of the Department of Graphic Design and Photography at the Vaal Triangle Technikon, are on exhibition with a prize of a Leica M6 camera sponsored by Precision Photo Systems.

Opening: November 18 at 3pm
Closing: January 27 2002

Bensusan Museum of Photography, MuseumAfrica, 121 Bree Street, Newtown
Tel: (011) 833 5624
Fax: (011) 833 5636
Hours: Tue - Sun 9am - 5pm

Wits Fine Art student exhibition

The invitation

Wits Fine Art student exhibition

The annual Wits Fine Art student exhibition shows the best of this year's student production.

Opening: November 15 at 5.30pm with guest speaker Dr Rayda Becker
Closing: February 22 2002

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

Merely Mortal

Merely Mortal

Merely Mortal opens in Jan Smuts Avenue

A design studio/artspace/venue and showroom for some of South Africa's most titillating craft and art objects is now officially open to the public. The brainchild of Charles Storr of Kiteworks (who gave us 'Changing Screens' last year) and partner Heather Greig, the space is one " where the tastebuds and the grey matter converge." The space is available for hire for events or exhibitions. They have a range of themed evenings planned, from cookery and cocktail demonstrations to talks and tastings. Get there, especially if you're at a loss for what to by that special person for Christmas.

Merely Mortal, 356 Jan Smuts Avenue
Tel: (011) 326 3280


Erica Lüttich

Erica Lüttich

Unisa fourth-year Fine Arts student exhibition

This exhibition of student work from artists around the country runs the gamut of both traditional and experimental media familiar to art fans everywhere. Identity and redefining identity seems to be the main focus of most of the work, which has been produced by part-time and distance learning students. Work from outside Gauteng and Mpumalanga will be represented photographically.

Artists include Karin van Niekerk, Karolina Kucharzak, Lynette Lloyd, Elsabe Moolman, Paula Louw, Bronwynne Hanger, Herster Nash, Marianne Van Schalkwyk, Molefe A Mosenye, Frank Mlombo, Heidi Weber, Rudi Carstens, Erica Lüttich and Karin Driescher, among others.

Opening: December 5
Closing: January 31 2002

Unisa Gallery, Theo van Wijk Building (Gold Fields entrance), Unisa
Tel: (012) 429 6255/6823
Hours: Tues - Fri 10am - 4.30 pm or by appointment
The gallery is closed between December 24 and January 8

Tukkies students

Invitation to final-year show

Tukkies students at the Pretoria Art Museum

Final-year students from the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Pretoria show work produced during the academic year.

Closing: December 14

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

Marriana Booyens
Marriana Booyens

Marriana Booyens at the Millennium Gallery

'OER' is the title of Marriana Booyens' exhibition towards completion of her Masters Degree in Fine Arts at the University of Pretoria. Booyens, who has just returned from a two-month stay at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, examines painting's position within contemporary art, which has become dominated by video, installation and performance art. According to the press release, she "embarks on a search for the original, primeval appeal of painting as an art form. ... Booyens questions man's controlling position over primal nature. The human figure in the paintings is obscured, partly erased, overlaid and interwoven with the landscape. Man's dominance is subtly subverted and shown to lead to chaos or desolation."

Opening: November 7
Closing: December 15

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

What's on at the Pretoria Art Museum

'Contemporary Art from the Museum Collection' is on view in the North Gallery until May 2002; 'SEEINGBlind' is a tactile experience in the West Gallery which ends on October 14; 'Paintings of Pretoria' runs until December 2001 in the South Gallery; art by artists featured in the high school syllabus is displayed in the South West Gallery until March 2002; and the Henry Preiss Hall features South African graphics from the collection dealing with mystique, myth and mythology until January 2002. The Pretoria Art Museum also now holds the Corobrik ceramic collection that used to be housed at the Sandton Civic Gallery in Johannesburg.

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