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Archive: Issue No. 43, March 2001

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


27.03.01 Edoardo di Muro at the BAT
27.03.01 'KwaZulu Natal ABSA Atelier Selection 2001' at the Technikon Natal Art Gallery
20.03.01 Deryck Healey: 'Object Trouvé' at the NSA
13.03.01 Programme at the BAT Centre
06.03.01 Trevor Makhoba' and Linda Jones at the NSA
06.03.01 Dogtroep goes public in Durban
06.03.01 'Amagugu III - Treasures' at the African Art Centre
27.02.01 Red Eye @rt at the Durban Art Gallery
27.02.01 Documenta X artist at the Durban Art Gallery
27.02.01 At the Technikon Natal Gallery: Adolf Born, etchings and lithographs, and screening of animated cartoons and films from the Czech Republic


Edoardo di Muro at the BAT

'Street Life' - an exhibition of lithograph drawings by Edoardo di Muro is on at the BAT Centre's Menzi Mcunu Gallery. Born in Cuneo, northern Italy in 1944, Di Muro worked as a gamekeeper, agricultural worker and sailor, before devoting himself entirely to his drawing. His works are semi-documentary records of people and places. In them one can examine the architectural details of the magnificent 'Brazilian' houses in Lagos, or the solid colonial structures of Douala. The minutia of specific locations is rendered with almost obsessive attention to detail situating the drawing precisely in time and geographical space. Beneath Edoardo di Muro's pen, urban Africa flows onto the drawing with all its diversity of living quarters, hair styles, ritual scarring, ethnic influences and social contrasts.

A long-time resident of Dakar, Di Muro currently lives in Italy. His works have been exhibited in Africa as well as in France, Italy and the United States. An initial series of drawings was published in 1990 under the title 'Afrique' (Editions Hatier) and a second one came out in 1995 in a book entitled 'Afrique Capitals' (Editions, Sepia, Paris).

For further information, please call Njabulo Hlongwane on (031) 332 0451.

Closing: 16 April

BAT Centre, 45 Maritime Place, Small Craft Harbour, Durban, South Africa
P O Box 6064, Durban, 4000, South Africa
Tel: (031) 332 0451 (Franki Hills)
Fax: (031) 332 2213
Website: Gallery hours: Monday - Friday 9:00 - 17:00; Saturday and Sunday 9:00 - 16:30

'KwaZulu Natal ABSA Atelier Selection 2001' at the Technikon Natal Art Gallery

Technikon Natal Gallery will be hosting this year's ABSA Atelier Selection for the KwaZulu Natal region. The competition, sponsored by ABSA and the South African National Association for the Visual Arts (SANAVA) is one of the most eagerly anticipated on the calendar as it holds the largest prize of any competition in the country. The overall winner receives R60 000 from ABSA as well as a return air ticket to Paris, France. The prize money must be used for a time of study of at least three months, but not more than six months, in the studio apartment in the Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris. Four additional merit prizes of R10 000 will be awarded. Held annually for artists between the ages of 21 and 35, works are selected from the various regional exhibitions at eight collection points and then sent to the ABSA Gallery in Johannesburg for final adjudication.

Mr Conrad Theys, National President of the South African Association for the Visual Arts describes the ABSA Atelier as a "barometer of art in our country". It is, he says, "a bubbling spring of hope for aspiring young artists seeking a niche for themselves in a hard and competitive art world".

Virginia MacKenny, a lecturer in the Fine Arts Department of Technikon Natal, will open the exhibition at Technikon Natal Gallery on April 2 at 6 p.m.

Opening: April 03
Closing: April 11

Technikon Natal Gallery, Technikon Natal, First Floor Library Block, 51 Mansfield Road (Gate No. 2)
Tel: (031) 2042207
Gallery hours: Mon - Thurs 8:30 am to 4 pm; Friday 8:30a.m. to noon

Deryck Healey

Deryck Healey
Object Trouvé 2001
Installation view

Deryck Healey: 'Object Trouvé' at the NSA

Three years in the making, Deryck Healey's new installation at the NSA continues work initiated at his previous exhibition here in 1998. Then he started collecting objects found on a stretch of Glenashley beach; a shattered fragment of colour that once was a plastic bowl or bucket, a bright red lid of a coke bottle, tangled fishing line, the leg of a Cindy doll, a bamboo root, the sole of a shoe and countless cigarette lighters - rubbish that would not, for most people, carry any value.

For Healey, however, these found objects have travelled through time. Although their sell-by-date has long since gone, and they are disposed of and forgotten, they carry an aura - the memory of prior, purposeful existence. Relocated in the NSA gallery, the discarded and mundane is rendered special and accredited with implicit value.

For Healey the act of collecting is integral to the meaning of the final installation; "by picking things up, collecting fragments from the beach, stories and thoughts about these objects are created ...I dream of other worlds and distant horizons". Transported into the garage studio ("the magic room") the artist sorts and assembles what he has found. Suspended in the gallery the objects become a curtain/maze, through which the visitor must negotiate. In this stuffed and tangled mass of overlapping strands there is enmeshed the possibility of something new and unpredictable.

The influences of Duchamp, Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Magritte and Jackson Pollock amongst others are evident in the work - chance, juxtapositions which create new meaning and a reevaluation of the hierarchies of value are some of the connecting themes. Accompanying this web of objects will be a series of large inkjet image/text pieces on canvas and a series of colour-manipulated images.

Deryck Healey currently spends time in equal measures between Durban and London, working on exhibitions. He is returning to England to complete an exhibition of four letter words in June/July, and is currently negotiating to travel a show to Los Angeles.

The exhibition will be opened by Louis van Loon.

Opening: Tuesday, March 27 at 6:00 pm
Closing: April 15

     See Reviews

NSA Galleries, 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood, Durban, South Africa, 4001
Postal address: P.O. Box 37408, Overport, Durban, South Africa, 4067
Tel: (031) 202-2293

Programme at the BAT Centre

Isaac Sitole's Exhibition 'Time of Life' at the BAT Centre's Menzi Mcunu Gallery has been extended until 16 March.

Next up at the BAT Centre's Menzi Mcunu Gallery is 'Street Life' - an exhibition of lithograph drawings by Edoardo di Muro. Italian-born Di Muro's works depict urban Africa. A long-time resident of Dakar, Di Muro's first series of drawings was published in 1990 under the title 'Afrique' (Editions Hatier, Paris). His second, published in 1995, was titled 'Afrique Capitals' (Editions Sepia, Paris).

The exhibition will be opened by Mr Jean-Philippe Roy, Director of the Alliance Francaise, at 6 p.m. on Friday 23 March.

Opening: March 23
Closeing: April 16

Art Attack!

If the monthly fix of Red Eye is not enough for you go to the BAT Hall every Thursday evening at 7 p.m. where 'Art Attack!' will keep you entertained. Tickets: R5 at the door. Presented by the Friends of Chaka Network 'Art Attack!' is a weekly gathering of visual and performing artists, musicians and patrons of the arts that creates an arts happening every week. Providing exposure, entertainment and inspiration, 'Art Attack!' features resident DJ Eric 'Coolfire' Hadebe, invited DJs, invited local and other acts, as well as a mini flea market with food, drinks and artworks. For further information, please call Eric 'Coolfire' on 083 364 8312, Sizwe Sikhosana on (031) 303 1915 or Danny Naidoo on 072 180 3610.

BAT Centre, 45 Maritime Place, Small Craft Harbour, Durban, South Africa
P O Box 6064, Durban, 4000, South Africa
Tel: (031) 332 0451 (Franki Hills)
Fax: (031) 332 2213
Website: Gallery hours: Monday - Friday 9:00 - 17:00; Saturday and Sunday 9:00 - 16:30

Trevor Makhoba

Trevor Makhoba
Studio visit

Linda Jones

Linda Jones
Inside: Looking In
Mixed media
Installation detail

Trevor Makhoba' and Linda Jones at the NSA

Trevor Makhoba is well known for his societally critical, satirical and narrative paintings. Concerned with the underbelly of society, social ills and the contradictions inherent in contemporary South Africa, Makhoba's show 'Rebound' promises to be both engaging and provocative. Working in the narrative manner that has spawned a number of imitators, Makhoba's visual style often mixes acute observation with a surrealistic reality.

The title of the exhibition, 'Rebound', indicates Makhoba's return to the public arena: this is his first solo exhibition since he won the Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year Award in 1996.

Makhoba is showing at the Mezzanine and Park Gallery

'Inside: Looking In', an exhibition by Linda Jones of photography, video, sculptural objects and installations, guides the viewer into the most private of spaces: inside the body. The artist states that the exhibition explores "an inner space as well as an outer space. These images speak of a defining of my own space - a reclaiming and negotiation of space". Looking inward the artist investigates the innards of the body (contaminated) in relation to domestic spaces (clean and safe) whilst at the same time contesting such neat binaries.

A section of the exhibition comprises an installation where the artist recreates a middle-class lounge, complete with dirty-pink carpet, coffee tables and reproduction Victorian chairs covered in pink velour. Juxtaposed with this ensemble (symbolic of bourgeois values and taste) are photographs and a video which shows the camera moving into body orifices, bringing to light the unseen and unseemly, the repulsive and the hidden within the apparent security of the home.

Linda Jones recently completed her B. Tech degree (cum laude) at the Technikon Natal in Durban, and is showing in the Main Gallery and the Media Room

Opening: Tuesday March 6 at 6:00 pm
Closing: March 25

N S A Galleries, 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood, Durban, South Africa, 4001
Postal address: P.O. Box 37408, Overport, Durban, South Africa, 4067
Tel: (031) 202-2293



Dogtroep goes public in Durban

Finally, after some tantalising publicity, Dogtroep Theatre Company from Holland will present the results of its four-week laboratory in Durban. Organised in association with the NSA Gallery eight Dogtroep members worked and shared ideas on a one-to-one basis with eight Durban based artists, actors and musicians during February and now in March they present the results of their labour.

Originally started 25 years ago, Dogtroep was a raw street-theatre-event collective presenting performances, one-off events, concerts and parades in grotesque costumes. Later becoming well known for big-scale performances at events such as The World Expo in Seville, the Winter Olympics in the French Alps and in the Royal Carr´┐Ż Theatre in Amsterdam, Dogtroep now travels, engaging and interacting with other artists from around the world.

Working widely in foreign countries, Dogtroep eschew the use of words in their performances as alienating. Relying instead on the impact of images, music, inventive costuming, video and ingenious props, they create innovative theatrical events that speak to a wide public.

Keen to create illuminate the bizarre and absurd in contemporary society, they create site-specific work in which they react to what they see and hear in their direct environment. Such work allows them to engage with contemporary, urban issues embedded in the sites they choose to work on. In the winter of 1999-2000 for instance, Dogtroep made and played the production Atom Tattoo at the Amsterdam Passenger Terminal, the brand-new liner terminal in the port of Amsterdam which apparently opened the eyes of the original architects to the myriad, previously unthought, possibilities their building had.

This is Dogtroep's third visit to South Africa - the first was in 1994 at the Arts Alive Festival in Johannesburg whilst the second visit, in 1997, was to the Klein Karoo Kunstenfees in Oudtshoorn. Now in Durban they intend to present work that focuses on an exchange of theatrical languages and working methods as well as a sharing of personal fascinations and knowledge. The emphasis will be on the research and not the result.

The workshop in Durban is supported by the Royal Dutch Embassy in South Africa, Fonds voor de Podiumkunsten. In cooperation with the BAT Centre, Fantastic Flying Fish Dance Company, Vuma Art Centre and Technikon Natal. Local artists participating are Masha DuToit, Zama Dunywa, Thando Mama, Brendon Bussy, Dean Henning, Welile Thembe, Thami Sikhosana and Jodi Georgiades. Initiated by South African artist Cathy Henegan, co-ordinated by Storm Janse van Rensburg and Jay Pather this production is not to be missed.

Friday March 9 at 7 p.m., Saturday March 10 at 3.30 and 7 p.m.
Venue: Gunners Arms (Moth Hall), Cnr. of Wyatt and Old Fort Road
Tickets available (R15.00 per person or R30.00 and sponsor one ticket!) at the NSA Gallery (031) 202-2293 or (031) 202-3686 - speak to Storm Janse van Rensburg

'Amagugu III - Treasures' at the African Art Centre

Each year at the African Art Centre a real treasure trove of an exhibition occurs - a show of historic and rare traditional African art. Over 800 pieces cover everything from Zulu beer pots from the Pongola area dating from the 1920s, bead work from 14 areas in Kwa-Zulu Natal as well as particularly rare items from the Thembu people of the Cofimvaba area, beer baskets, spears, ceremonial dancing sticks and headdresses. This is a real collectors' show with pieces for sale to museums and public collections on March 6 from 10 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. and to private collectors on March 7, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The exhibition will be open to the general public March 7 at 6 pm by Professor Ptika Ntuli

Opening: Tuesday March 07, 6pm

For more information: Anthea Martin
African Art Centre, First Floor, Tourist Junction Station Building, 160 Pine Street, Durban 4001
Tel: (+27) 31-3012717/ 3046369/ 3047915
Gallery hours: Monday to Friday 8h30 - 17h00; Saturday 9h00 - 13h00

Eric Coolfire

DJ Eric Coolfire with Reggae Dancers Thembi Myataza and Manu Ndlovu
in the Durban Art Gallery.

Red Eye @rt at the Durban Art Gallery

The second Red Eye @rt of the year 2001 kicks off with two new exhibitions on display at the gallery. The ever popular KZN Schools Exhibition, an annual event, is on show - it features work from some of the best students in and around Kwazulu-Natal and always provides surprises. In addition, the work of Australian artist George Gittoes will probably prove controversial as he works in the 'hot spots' of the world, documenting and recording violence and death in a quasi comic style. For one night only, freelance photographer Sean Stretch will present a photo/slide installation of some of his more recent work.

On the music front, one of Durban's hottest new bands, described as "hiphophardrock-sonic terrorists", AK Massive will breach the boundaries of aural experience. For more mellow vibes, DJ Eric Coolfire will be spinning his tunes along with his newly formed Reggae Dance Group.

The Uyaba Dance troupe, who recently performed at the Elizabeth Sneddon theatre, will present an excerpt from their latest piece and there will also be a photography and video installation on 'Shifting Rites'- a forthcoming attraction of the Playhouse which showcases both local and international dance companies. If you are familiar with the bunch of crazy individuals who are in the habit of playing with fire, then you may be interested to see the slightly less dangerous, if no less psychedelic version- indoors for a change!

Red Eye @rt takes place on Friday the 2nd of March, 6:00pm sharp Entrance is R15 or R10 for students and members.

Durban Art Gallery, 2nd Floor, City Hall, Smith Street, Durban
Box 4085, Durban 4000
Tel: (031) 311 2262
Fax: (031) 311 2273
Gallery hours from 09:00am to 12:00pm

George Gittoes

George Gittoes
Night vision, 1994
Oil on canvas
120 x 80 cm

(During night patrols in Baidoa the soldiers use night glasses - which give them a weird greenish view of the scene through mini TVs over each eye.)

George Gittoes

George Gittoes
White Earth, 1994
Oil on canvas
138 x 168 cm

George Gittoes

George Gittoes
Across the Lines (detail), 1994
Oil on canvas

Documenta X artist at the Durban Art Gallery
George Gittoes : 'Lives In the Balance'

Opened this week at the Durban Art Gallery is 'Lives in the Balance' an exhibition by Australian artist George Gittoes (b.1949). Representing Australia at Innenseite, Documenta X in 1997, Gittoes is an artist who has worked in a variety of the world's better known trouble spots: Somalia, Rwanda, Congo, Bosnia, the Middle East, Cambodia, the Philippines, Russia and South Africa. Since the mid-80s he has been drawn to places of cultural conflict and change. Working over the last two decades Gittoes has carved out a unique practice, blurring the lines between art and journalism. Always alone, he travels light, with his portable studio -a small artist's satchel, paper, pencils and a good camera, creating his work in mud huts, bamboo houses, river boats, crowded buses, refugee settlements and military encampments.

Interested in accessing "screened-off" aspects of the contemporary world during the 80s, he worked at numerous Australian industrial sites resulting in a two-year Regional Gallery touring exhibition entitled 'Heavy Industry'. In 1993, in order to gain entry to the devastated country of Somalia, Gittoes negotiated access through the Australian Army's Peacekeeping Unit. Working as unpaid artist-observer, he gained admittance to restricted regions and was subsequently dubbed by the Australian media as "Australia's unofficial peacekeeping artist". The resulting 'Peace' exhibition, toured for over two and a half years to State and Regional Galleries throughout Australia. In 1999 Gittoes contributed several months of his time to assist the Australian Network, International Campaign to Ban Landmines. He traveled to Cambodia, Thai-Burma Thai-Cambodia borders, Pakistan and Afghanistan finally showing 'Minefields' at Sydney University and in the UN Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland, in 2000. The show is currently running in Berlin. Also currently on, Gittoes' 'World Diary' is touring Australia until 2002.

Along the edges of his drawings, and often intended as part of the work itself, Gittoes writes diary notes, conveying the circumstances in which he finds himself as well as the personal stories of individuals he meets along the way. Returning to his studio, Gittoes uses his drawings and photographs to create oil paintings, which combine the narrative, metaphorical and documentary elements of his experiences in a single image conveying the larger context. Mainly depicting humanity in extreme situations, he engages the human face of politics and history by telling visual stories in a particularly graphic style.

He is one of Australia's most media-profiled artists and a regular award winner. In 1997 he was awarded the Order of Australia, AM, for his services to the arts and international relations and was, in that same year, invited to represent Australia at Innenseite, Documenta X, 1997. He is represented in most national, state and regional collections in Australia.

Gittoes has visited South Africa several times in the last decade. His major body of works on South Africa come from his experience of the period prior to Mandela's election in 1994.

This exhibition includes work from 1989-2000

Closing: April 08

George Gittoes Workshops

The Durban Art Gallery is also hosting a number of George Gittoes workshops. These will be held in the Durban Art Gallery (print room) on the following dates:

Thursday March 1
'Learners workshop' 10 a.m. - 12 noon

Friday March 2
'Learners workshop' 10 a.m. - 12 noon

Monday March 5
'Educator's workshop' 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Tuesday March 6
Walkabout of George Gittoes exhibition 1 p.m. - 2 p.m.

Also on March 2: Slide show / evening lecture of George Gittoes work at Howard College Theatre, University of Natal, Durban 7 p.m. - 11 p.m.

Durban Art Gallery, 2nd Floor, City Hall, Smith Street, Durban
Box 4085, Durban 4000
Tel: (031) 311 2262
Fax: (031) 311 2273
Gallery hours from 09:00am to 12:00pm

Adolf Born

Adolf Born
Kindgdom of the Mouses

At the Technikon Natal Gallery: Adolf Born, etchings and lithographs, and screening of animated cartoons and films from the Czech Republic

Sponsored by the Czech Republic, Adolf Born, one of the leading founders of the modern Czech cartoon, is showing a small selection of his work at the on-campus Technikon Natal gallery. A master painter, graphic artist, imaginative illustrator, stage designer and creator of animated films, Born has illustrated more than 220 books, social satire being his favoured subject.

From the mid 1950's to the mid 1970's Born devoted his time to cartoons and became a world-renowned cartoonist, winning numerous awards and having many international exhibitions. After censorship by the Czechoslovakian Communist regime prohibited the publication of his cartoons in 1973, Born concentrated on the making of animated films and graphics. Film graphics and animation enabled him to enrich his graphic expression with movement, sound and music. In this medium he could freely apply his sense of the absurd narrative, the grotesque and the irrational and also his ability to perceive the comic element in the tragedy and folly of life. Hallmarks of his work are his cosmopolitan sense of humour and a sense of fantasy which embraces the world of animals and the picturesque.

In addition to Born's work two Czech photographers, Vlastimil Kvapil and Margita Pechova-Mancova, will show "Prague : Intimate Portraits" and the film production company Kratky Film Praha is screening an extensive collection of famous animated cartoons and puppet films. During this mini festival audiences will have the opportunity to view the works created by the Czech animation studios which are so well known to the rest of the world and which have won countless international prizes and recognition at various festivals. These videos, several of which are designed and directed by Born, are not only characterized by their mastery of animation, but also their critical political eye and ethical stance.

Besides on-going video shows in the gallery throughout the duration of the Exhibition, animated cartoons and films will be shown on a big screen on the evening of Tuesday March 6 and Thursday March 8 at 7.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m.

Opening: March 06
Closing: March 22

For more information contact Frances van Melsen
Technikon Natal Gallery, First Floor : Library Block, Technikon Natal
51 Mansfield Road (Gate No. 2), Berea, Durban
Tel: (031) 2042207
Gallery hours: Mon - Thurs 8:30 - 16:00; Friday 8:30 - 12:00