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Archive: Issue No. 41, January 2001

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


Something to ask? A comment to make on ArtThrob? Email us at All queries answered by Paul Edmunds, Feedback Editor.

From: Sabine Drey
Subject: Nelson Mandela Museum
Date received: January 19

We are a German architectural review and we are very interested in publishing the Nelson Mandela Museum project, so it would be very nice of you if you could help us finding out the contact address of the architects who organized this project (Nina Cohen and Hilton Judin) or of the project leaders who could send us some plans or other construction details.

Sabine Drey

Sabine, Nina and Hilton are currently relocating to Johannesburg from Cape Town, so I can only provide you with an email address -

From: Colin Stuhfelder
Subject: The effect on contemporary art and masculinity of the AIDS epidemic
Date received: January 18

I'm a PhD student at John Moores University in Liverpool, UK in the Social Art History & Theory school. I'm being funded by the university to study the response of African masculinity in contemporary art to AIDS. I would like to hear from artists, male or female, on the effect they believe AIDS has on the representation of masculinity. Or anyone's opinion, anyone who knows anything about AIDS driven art or who simply wants to drop me a line with any information.

Some ideas may be that as AIDS can be claimed as a disease that is the result of masculine virility. And with virility being an important aspect in the creation of masculinity, that this may permanently alter how we view its representation. Or that as AIDS reaches the horrific levels that the statistics show, the energy that has gone into the creation of Apartheid art, Famine and War art will be redirected. Won't there need to be a strong African response to this rather than the West producing art etc to represent the Continent? I am really open to hear your suggestions or links to other sources which my own searches may not have shown.

This PhD is in its infancy so any help will be gratefully accepted.

Thank you,
Colin Stuhlfelder

Colin, I can suggest you look around, using ArtThrob's search engine for anything about Hentie van der Merwe who has addressed these ideas in his work. Visitors to the site, I'm sure also, will be happy to respond to your questions.

Subject: Paleolithic Art
Date received: January 12

Send me information on paleolithic art.


Paleolithic (or Palaeolithic) refers to a period during which stone implements were used by early humans. Palaeolithic art refers to art produced by humans all over the world at that time. Beyond that, a library or the Internet are going to help you more than I can here.

From: Glen John Hoffman
Subject: Photography Courses
Date received: January 06

After searching for courses I find all ads are for Gauteng based schools. I am looking for part time basic photography course with darkroom tuition as well but only can find Cape Tech. Could you please recommend a few schools that I can check out in Cape Town. Many thanks for your help in advance.

GJ Hoffman

Besides the Universities of Cape Town and Stellenbosch who may offer courses as part of a Fine Art degree (I'm not sure about the part-time aspect though), the only other option I can think of is the Ruth Prowse School of Art and Design. I know they are currently restructuring their school and courses, but I suggest you contact them on (021) 447-2492.

From: Nancy Leschnikoff
Subject: A dissertation from the wide blue yonder
Date received: January 11

To anyone who can help me,

My name is Nancy Leschnikoff and I am a student at the Nottingham Trent University in England, studying a degree in Graphic Design. I write to request desperate help, I'm in the latter stages of writing my dissertation about South African Art, which has proven to be very interesting, but I need to obtain primary research, that's an interview, or correspondence with someone related to my topic, to gain a good grade. It would be fantastic if you could mail me back giving your point of view on a couple of questions which follow.

My dissertation is entitled 'Why hasn't South African art of the late 20th century received much exposure internationally?'

Do you think there is some sort of deep rooted racism that exists in the West preventing black artists in general from receiving attention?

Is there a compassion fatigue that exists that presents us appreciating apartheid related artwork?

Thank you very much, yours sincerely,
Nancy Leschnikoff

There are probably many answers to your questions. I feel that South African art of the late 20th Century has received a lot of exposure. Perhaps in all honesty it is the work of a fairly small collection of artists whose work conforms to what international curators expect of Apartheid and post-Apartheid artmaking. It has even been suggested that the "art world" is somewhat enamoured with work from South Africa. There are, however, some signs that this moment is passing. As for the racism issue, perhaps the West is more qualified to answer that. Compassion fatigue? I thought that was strictly a phenomenon arising from watching too much TV, and in light of what I said above, there really are some people who can't get enough of Apartheid related work. I'm sure some visitors to the site will be keen to take up these issues with you.

From: Lorna Ferguson
Subject: Feedback
Date received: December 28

Thanks for a truly wonderful site. If I may make a suggestion to make reading easier and quicker, please review the presentation of pale grey negative ground with white text - perhaps I need gogs but I really have to strain to keep going at the end of a long read. The tonal contrast is beautiful but a bit too subtle for eyes showing signs of middle-age spread.

Strength to your arm in the new millennium.


Perhaps increasing your font size preferences in your browser will help in the meantime. For Netscape users go to "Edit> Preferences> Appearance> Fonts"; for Internet Explorer users go to "Edit> Preferences> Web browser> Language/fonts". Thanks for your suggestions, compliments and wishes

From: Simon Olley
Subject: San Smith
Date received: December 30

I have been referred to you by Justine Lipton. I am trying to find information regarding a South African artist who apparently uses the name San Smith. I am investigating a case where the complainant alleges that a picture (60cm x 60cm nature scene?) by this artist has been stolen by a family member of an SANDF person. The complainant alleges that picture had been in his possession �10-15 yrs and is valued at �R11 000. Complainant cannot produce any proof that such a picture has ever existed and neither is it insured. Can you help?

Simon, we don't often get asked to do sleuth work here. The name San Smith rings no bells with me or any of my colleagues, but perhaps a visitor to the site may be able to shed some light on the issue for you.

From: John-Paul Pietrus
Subject: Bodys Isek Kingelez
Date received: December 18


I would like to find out anything and especially where I can purchase books by or about Bodys Isek Kingelez. Please email me back with any info. I really would appreciate it.

John-Paul Pietrus

Kingelez' work was featured on the Second Johannesburg Biennale which took place here in 1997. A catalogue was pubished, but I'm not sure if any copies are still available. Kingelez also showed on an exhibition in Tokyo called 'Africa, Africa', curated by Toshio Shimizu in 1998. Again, a catalogue was published. You will also find some info about Kingelez in Contemporary Art of Africa published by Thames and Hudson. Beyond that, I'm afraid I can't help, but perhaps a visitor to the site may be able to offer you some more clues.

From: Julie Fiala
Subject: Black bodies
Date received: December 17

Dear Paul

I am desperately in search of contemporary representations of black bodies by black women. I am writing from Queen's University in Canada. I have contacted one contemporary artist, Mabatho Lesele, but I have not been able to see any of her works. Do you know of any other South African black women artists that fit this description. Though many white artists "speak for others" I cannot find any black artists constructing their own representations? Why is this? Am I overlooking some South African artists that deal with this topic.

Julie Fiala

Julie, I have to admit that I feel clueless here. Perhaps a reader will be able to point you in some direction that may help

From: Paco Barragán
Subject: JHB Biennale
Date received: December 2

Just wanted to let you know that although I had not the chance to attend the Biennale, I think it is of great importance to South Africa, and not only to its art world.

Paco Barragán, journalist, Madrid

Thanks Paco, many of us are of that opinion too. Let's hope it gets revived.