Archive: Issue No. 64, December 2002

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

16.12.02 Africa Apart opens in Berlin
01.12.02 Conrad Botes and Zwelethu Mthethwa at Italy's 'Fuori Uso'
01.12.02 Joachim Schonfeldt at Forum d'art Contemporain
01.11.02 Berry Bickle: A Rock and a Far Away Place
01.10.02 South African Family Stories in Amsterdam

01.11.02 Contemporary SA Art in Australia

15.10.02 On The Field's Edge: Africa, Diaspora, Lens

01.09.02 Julia Tiffin : 'Body Art' at the Arthotheque, Reunion

Sue Williamson

Sue Williamson
From the Inside: Andre Steyn, 2002
Digital print
90 x 200 cm

Africa Apart in Berlin

The diverse ways in which the artists of Africa are confronting the cultural and social dimensions of HIV/AIDS in their continent is the theme of an exhibition which opened at the Neue Gesellschaft f�r Bildende Kunst (New Society for the Visual Arts) in Berlin on Friday, December 13.
The exhibition is part of a series calledInterrupted Careers.

The New Society for the Visual Arts (Neue Gesellschaft fue�r Bildende Kunst, NGBK) is a non profit organisation with a long and established tradition of exhibiting contemporary art, and its gallery in the choice area of Oranien Street is considered to be one of the most interesting of Berlin's wide choice of venues.

Curator Thomas Michalak has chosen work by artists from a number of African countries, and the participants are Akinbode Akinbiyi, Jane Alexander (Cape Town), Blaise Bang, Tamsir Dia, Le Groupe Amos, Cape Town news photographer Fanie Jason, Luis Meque, Lemming Munyoro, Gail Neke, of Johannesburg, Cheri Samba, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Zephania Tshuma and Sue Williamson (Cape Town).

Says Michalak, "For a Berlin public we will try to show interrelations between social conditions in Africa, artistic reflection and political struggle.
Documentary material has been incorporated in the exhibition to form a context and to show the historic development of the fight against AIDS, inequality and exploitation".

Opening: December 13, 2002
Closing: February 9, 2003

Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst, 25 Oranien Str, 10999 Berlin
Tel: (030) 615 3031

Conrad Botes

Conrad Botes
Reversed glass painting

Conrad Botes and Zwelethu Mthethwa at Italy's Fuori Uso

Conrad Botes, an iconic visual artist and joint founder of Bitterkomix, has been selected by European curator Sandra Chia to appear on 'Fuori Uso', an exhibition hosted in Pescara, Italy. 2002 sees the 12th edition of 'Fuori Uso', and showcases work from a range of young international artists all tipped for great things. Aside from South African photographer Zwelethu Mthethwa, curator Teresa Macr� also selected Carlos Amorales, a maverick Mexican artist who has previously created wrestling masks depicting images of his own likeness on the mask. 'Fuori Uso' has been jointly curated by Mario Codognato, Teresa Macr� and Sandro Chia and includes the artists G�ls�n Karamustafa, Marcello Maloberti, Sislej Xhafa, Langlands & Bell, David Batchelor, Canecapovolto and Alberto Di Fabio, amongst others. 'Fuori Uso' is Botes's second group show in Italy in recent times. Last year he exhibited on 'In Fumo', curated by Giacinto Pietrantonio.

Opens: November 23
Closes: December 23

Ass. Culturale Arte Nova, via Umbria 44, 65122 Pescara, Italy
Tel: +39. 085 297 206
Fax: +39. 085 422 1688

Joachim Schonfeldt at Forum d'art Contemporain

Pretoria-born Joachim Schonfeldt is no stranger to the international art circuit. Between November 1999 and February 2000 he participated on Okwui Enwezor's Mirror's Edge group show, presenting work alongside the likes of Rei Kawakubo, Steve McQueen, Olu Oguibe, Raymond Pettibon, Yinka Shonibare, Thomas Struth and Hiroshi Sugimoto. For this short residency in the Swiss town of Sierre-Siders, Schonfeldt will present illustrations that recently formed the subject of a novella, The Model Man. Supported by a grant from the Arts and Culture Trust, the novella was based around Schonefeldt's illustrations. The Model Man involved Johannesburg-based Ivan Vladislavic, author of the award winning The Restless Supermarket. The artist opened his residency with a presentation on November 29.

Opens: November 30
Closes: December 13

Forum d'art Contemporain, Ave du Rothorn 10, CH-3960 Sierre-Siders, Switzerland
Tel: 027. 456 1514 E-mail:

Berry Bickle: A Rock and a Far Away Place

Berry Bickle, the Zimbabwean artist who trained at Rhodes University and now lives in the Mozambique capital of Maputo, has a solo show at Château De Petit-Leez. The show is titled 'A Rock and a Far Away Place.'

Opening: October 16, 2002
Closing: January 12, 2003

Château De Petit-Leez, Rue de Petit-Leez 129, B-5031 Grand-Leez (Gembloux)
Tel: +32 (0) 81 640 866
Fax: +32 (0) 81 640 672
Hours: Wednesday to Sunday from 10 a.m - 7 p.m.

David Goldblatt

Popo Molefe, Tsholo Molefe, Boîtumelo 'Tumi' Plaatje

Foto: David Goldblatt, 2001

South African Family Stories in Amsterdam

The rich narrative history of nine South African families is revealed in a significant exhibition opening at the KIT Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam.

'South African Family Stories: A Group Portrait' describes the origins of South Africa through the experiences of nine individual families. Each family story unfolds across four or five generations, with one or two persons representing each generation. Some of the families selected for the exhibition include well known public figures, such as Sol Plaatje, Marthinus Steyn and Dolly Rathebe, but in general most of the families claim no special public significance. The exhibition is presented as a multimedia presentation, using artwork, photography, film, sound, original documents and objects. A different team of South African artists, photographers, writers and designers was employed to produce each of the nine family stories.

Penny Siopis and photographer Ruth Motau worked on the Plaatje family, while Sam Nhlengethwa and photographer Mothlalefi Mahlabe present the family story of the singer Dolly Rathebe. David Goldblatt paired-up with Claudette Schreuder to profile the Steyn family, Berni Searle interpreting the experiences of the Manuel family from Simonstown. Andrew Verster worked on the Juggernath family from India, while photographer Paul Weinberg and artist Langa Magwa focussed on the family of Zonkezizwe Mthethwa, a respected sangoma living near Ngudwini. The overall composition of the families selected aims to be representative of the social, cultural and geographical variety of people in South Africa.

The exhibition is complemented by a 240-page publication featuring the output of nine writers-researchers interpreting the major moments in the respective families' lives. Each contribution is illustrated with the individual artworks and photographs commissioned for the project. The book also features an introductory essay by Cape Town University's Njabulo Ndebele.

In an effort to offer audiences as comprehensive a portrait as possible of South Africa, the exhibition includes an independent exhibit known as 'the archive'. The installation, supervised by Penny Siopis, offers visitors a chance to browse through a variety of books, magazines and audio-visual material, the hope being that the archive will offer a contemplative space for visitors wishing to answer questions raised during the exhibition.

South African Family Stories: A Group Portrait appears at KIT Tropenmuseum from 4 October 2002. After is closure on 21 September 2003, the show will travel to South Africa where it will run at Johannesburg's Museum Africa from January 2004. For more information about the exhibition, visit

The KIT Tropenmuseum is open daily from 10.00 -17.00, Linnaeusstraat 2, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Berni Searle

Berni Searle
'Cap-ture', 1998 from the Colour Me Series

The Field's Edge: Africa, Diaspora, Lens

'The Field's Edge' explores contemporary uses of the camera lens that are inscribed by, and respond to, the legacy of colonial and ethnographic photography. The exhibition brings together a decade of contemporary lens-based art from Africa, the Caribbean, and the US, including traditional photographic prints, digital images, video, and multi-media installation.

During the colonial era, postcards brought images of Africans back to centres of imperial power. Stereotypic photographs of Africans highlighted their physical and cultural differences from Europeans. Using a selection of historical postcards from the Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives at the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, The Field's Edge considers the indelible mark that colonial ethnographic photography has left on the image world.

The Field's Edge focuses on major themes around narratives of domestic life. These lens-based images straddle the intimacy of 'home' and the shared experiences of 'community,' and provide an important opportunity to interrogate the questions of migration, Diaspora, and identity.

According to curators Amanda Carlson and Rory Bester, "African cultures continue to expand beyond the geo-political boundaries that have defined the continent of Africa. There is a new urgency to explore the relationships between these dynamic communities. While photographic technologies are grounded in specific cultural histories, bringing these works together reinvigorates the photographic discourses that include Africa, the Caribbean, and the US."

Participating artists include South Africans Thembinkosi Goniwe, Teboho Mahlatsi, Colin Richards and Berni Searle. Other participating artists include, Odili Donald Odita, Lorna Simpson, Fatimah Tuggar, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons and Carrie Mae Weems.

Opening: October 19
Closing: December 21

See News

USF Contemporary Art Museum
Institute for Research in Art
College of Visual & Performing Arts
4202 E. Fowler Avenue, Tampa, Florida
Tel: 813 974 4133
Fax: 813 974 5130
Hours: Monday - Friday 10 a.m - 5 p.m, and Saturday 1 - 4 p.m


Contemporary SA Art in Australia

'Intersections', a show featuring work from the BHP Billiton collection, opens at the RMIT Gallery this month in Melbourne, Australia. Curated by Kendell Geers, the exhibition showcases work from one of South Africa's foremost corporate collections. The show will feature work by Moshekwa Langa, David Koloane, Bernie Searle, Tracy Rose, William Kentridge, Willem Boshoff, Marlene Dumas, Zwelethu Mthethwe, Hentie van der Merwe, Sue Williamson, Jane Alexander, Lisa Brice, Gavin Jantjes, David Goldblatt, Minette Vari, Johannes Phokela, Willie Bester, Siemon Allen, Penny Siopis, Robert Hodgins, Robin Rhode, Paul Stopforth, Ezrom Legae, Elza Miles and Wayne Barker. The exhibition is complemented by a fully illustrated catalogue, which includes texts by former ArtThrob editor Sophie Perryer, as well as Kendell Geers and Nikos Papastergiadis.

Opening: November 14
Closing: March 2 2003

RMIT Gallery
Storey Hall, 344 Swanston Street, Melbourne 3000, Australia
Tel: +61 3 9925 1717
Fax: +61 3 9925 1738
Hours: Monday - Friday 11 a.m - 5 p.m, Saturday 2 - 5 p.m


Julia Tiffin

Julia Tiffin
'Buried Alive'

Julia Tiffin : 'Body Art' at the Arthotheque, Reunion

South African Julia Tiffin, last seen on a well received solo show at João Ferreira in Cape Town, is showing together with the Chinese artist Qiu Zhijie and Thierry Fontaine of France on an exhibition entitled 'Body Art' at Artothèque of La Reunion Department of France which opened at the end of August and continues till December.

Curated by Caroline de Fondaumière, 'Body Art' seeks to investigate the complicity between the photographic medium and the body of the artist as revealed by the experiences of three plastic designers of different origin and culture.

What is a body, what is matter? Modern science is still wondering about it. The artist can also perceive this indecisive, fragile notion. By choosing to use a two-dimensional surface as a means of expression, the artist invents a new reality.

Opening: August 30
Closing: December 20

Artotheque du Departement de la Reunion
34, Rue Roland Garros, 97400 Saint-Denis, Reunion
Tel: ++ 262 41 7550
Gallery hours: Tuesday to Saturday 9am to 6pm; Sunday 9am to 5pm