Archive: Issue No. 71, July 2003

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DURBAN
01.07.03 Lomofsky, Gouws and Kotretsos at NSA
18.06.03 Danca and Duma at Menzi Mchunu Gallery, BAT Centre
01.06.03 MacKenny, Moe and Webb at the NSA - Shows Extended
01.06.03 'Adornment | Artefact | Art': South-East African Beadwork at DAG
DURBAN

Lynne Lomofsky

Lynne Lomofsky
'Untitled', 2002
Collage

Andries Gouws

Andries Gouws
'Wrapped Objects on Cupboard', 2002
Oil on Board

Georgia Kotretsos

Georgia Kotretsos
'Photo', 2003
digital image


Lomofsky, Gouws and Kotretsos at NSA

Lynne Lomofsky's 'Body of Evidence', Andries Gouws' 'Meditations on the Everyday' and Young Artist Project participant Georgia Kotretsos open at the NSA later this month.

In the main gallery, Lomofsky's 'Body of Evidence' consists of videos, paintings in wax and oil and an archive of collages and photographs. Through the different media, the artist confronts the vulnerability of her own diseased body, the transience of life and the struggle with mortality.

Curator and critic Emma Bedford stated that: "This body of work documents the artist's refusal to be a passive patient. Instead she claims agency in her life and inspires others to do so. Loss of hair, loss of bodily integrity and loss of dignity are embraced in life and examined fearlessly".

Since her diagnosis of lymphoma in 1993 and her successful 1997/8 exhibition 'Cancer Ward: LE 32', Lomofsky has continued to document, collate and investigate her experiences of cancer and the "complex issues of representation of the 'sick' body" (Kathryn Smith, 1998) through a range of medical imaging technologies, video recordings and photographic documentation, which have been distilled into a collection of images and videos, the latter made in collaboration with editor Koeka Stander (Playroom).

The artist states: "whereas 'Cancer Ward: LE 32' was more a display of trauma and loss, this work is less confrontational, yet still highly personal, with my body as both subject and object. It is an ongoing exploration of the 'interiority' and 'otherness' of my own diseased body".

Lynne Lomofsky graduated with a BA from UCT in 1980. She then completed a National Diploma in Fine Art through the Cape Technikon, with a distinction in painting. After extensive travels throughout Europe and time spent in Canada, where she received a number of awards and public grants, she recently completed a Masters in Fine Art at the Michaelis School of Fine Art (UCT). This exhibition consists largely of work submitted for her MFA in 2002.

The exhibition was made possible by the generous assistance of Teljoy, Playroom, Moving Hands Theatre Company, Melize van der Merwe & Associates Attorneys and Conveyancers.

The artist will present a talk on her work on Wednesday July 9 at 6:30pm, at the NSA Gallery's monthly discussion forum 'Hot Topic'. Entrance is R15.

In the Mezzanine and Park galleries Andries Gouws' painting exhibition 'Meditations on the Everyday' exemplifies his continuing fascination with the particular in the quotidian. The philosopher Wittgenstein once remarked that nothing is harder to notice than what is always before one's eyes - the simplest and most familiar is also what is most hidden. When Gouws paints an object, it is alternatively banal and numinous, the everyday becomes transfigured, and the hidden is revealed. Gouws' process is a meditative one. He paints slowly and patiently, in search of "a silent clarity beyond chatter about meaning".

Gouws has participated in numerous exhibitions in South Africa and in the US. He studied at the Rijksakademie voor Beeldende Kunst in Amsterdam as well as the Staatliche Kunstakademie D�sseldorf. He currently lectures in philosophy at the University of Natal. This is his second one-person show at the NSA.

From the NSA Gallery, the exhibited paintings will move on to the US for shows at the Cecile Moochnek Gallery in Berkeley, California, and Gescheidle Gallery in Chicago. For more images of Andries Gouws's work visit his website www.andriesgouws.com

Georgia Kotretsos appears in the multimedia gallery. He is the second artist in this year's Young Artists' Project (YAP), funded by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund.

Kotretsos is returning 'home' temporarily to present her installation. A graduate from the Technikon Natal Fine Arts Department in 2000, Kotretsos is currently completing her Masters in Fine Art at the Art Institute of Chicago. Working within the critical terrain of investigating and challenging the public art display institutions and the autonomy of art objects, she utilises 'playful' interventions where the audience is seen as an integral part of the conceptualisation of the artwork. Her aim is to make audience-specific work, rather than site-specific work.

Kotretsos has participated in numerous group exhibitions locally, as well as projects in the US, including "Art-o-Mat", as an 'artist in cellophane' for a vending machine art project in New York.

Opens: July 8
Closes: July 27

See Reviews

NSA Gallery, 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood
Tel: 031 202 3686
Fax: 031 202 3744
Email: iartnsa@mweb.co.za
Website: www.nsagallery.co.za
Hours: Tues - Fri 10am - 5pm, Sat 10am - 4pm, Sun 11am - 3pm


Sibusiso Duma

Sibusiso Duma
untitled, 2002
oil painting


Danca and Duma at Menzi Mchunu Gallery, BAT Centre

Recently deceased Trevor Makoba's legacy lives on in the students he tutored. Young Durban artists Welcome S'phiwa Danca and Sibusiso Duma were both inspired and informed by his teachings and have learnt well from his critical eye.

Danca is currently pursuing a degree in Graphic Design at the Durban Institute of Technology. His work focuses on the traditional Zulu way of life with works entitled The Newborn, Fetching Wood and Grinding Maize, celebrating everyday rituals and customs.

Duma paints the daily life of both the rural world and the city. His work often contains an uneasy element that belies the banality of the subject.

Opens: June 19

BAT Centre, 45 Maritime Place, Small Craft Harbour
Tel: 031 332 0451
Fax: 031 332 2213
Email: info@batcentre.co.za
Website: www.batcentre.co.za
Hours: Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm, Sat - Sun 9am - 4.30pm


Virginia MacKenny

Virginia MacKenny
'Sleepers (sightlines)', 2001-2003
oil on acrylic on canvas
each canvas 70 x 70cm
invitation image

Ledelle Moe

Ledelle Moe
'Collapse', 2002
reinforced steel and concrete
invitation image

James Webb

James Webb
'Phonosynthesizer', 2003
installation detail
speakers
installation size variable


Virginia MacKenny, Ledelle Moe and James Webb at the NSA

Three new shows open at the NSA. 'Sleepers (sightlines)', Virginia MacKenny's installation of 43 paintings, is conceived as a single work. The exhibition is presented on two opposing walls in the gallery. On the one wall are three small paintings of the heads of passengers sleeping on trains. Resting upright, caught between destinations both geographical and internal, the sleepers face a grid of paintings that reflect different states of consciousness between waking and dormancy.

Dominated by blue, the paintings become a colour field where large and small events gain equal prominence. Insignificant objects such as a child's paper boat, a string of fairy lights or the image of the test block of an apprentice Egyptian scribe learning to render the ear in a single line, are juxtaposed with the floral tribute left at the robots of a local hijacking, an image of the path of subatomic particles and contemporary media images of world events, such as the September 11 attacks on the US.

The separate images, some iconic and emblematic, shift between different visual codes and are ultimately subsumed into a complex matrix where MacKenny engages with perception and ways of constructing meaning. Allusions to the eye, sight and blindness encourage speculative engagement with the capabilities of intuition and insight. Mixing reverence, nostalgia, irony and a sense of wonder the work encourages viewers to reflect on memory and memorialising.

MacKenny, a Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at the Durban Institute of Technology is a past winner of the Volkskas (now ABSA) Atelier Award (1991) and has work in a number of public collections.

In the Park Gallery, returning local artist, Ledelle Moe, currently living and working in New York, captures memory in another form in her exhibition 'Collapse'. Filling the gallery with drawings and large photographs of her own monumental sculptures she engages with the idea of entropy and breakdown. The destruction of some monumental landmarks in the recent years have added particular relevance to the ideas that Moe has been exploring for the last few years.

Collapse a large-scale sculpture, was made on site in Queens, New York, and the background for this photographed piece is the Manhattan skyline in New York City. The events of September 11 changed that skyline irrevocably creating a different backdrop for the piece to work against.

Moe's exploration is most often couched in animal form. Common to so many stories and myths, animals are often seen as vehicles to the unconscious and a means by which we may articulate and confront the darker sides of the human psyche. Moe states that "the animal image combined with the human, for me, represents not only the irrational non-verbal - a symbol of the unconscious - but also a vehicle for the expression of contradictory human emotions.

"My materials are rough and speak to a sense of decay behind the brutal show of strength. The violent treatment of the surfaces over exposed steel, refer both to power and powerlessness. It is my intention that my monumental 'figures' - animal or human - reveal this vulnerability� redefining what it is to be 'heroic' through a critique of the monumental".

Moe was born in Durban, South Africa in 1971. She studied at Technikon Natal and was a founding member of the FLAT Gallery, an alternative space in Durban. After graduating in 1993 she left for the United States where she embarked on a period of study at the Virginia Commonwealth University Sculpture Department Masters Programme. She has exhibited widely in the United States and elsewhere, including the Kulturehuset (Stockholm, Sweden) and The Washington Project for the Arts.

In the Multimedia gallery, now getting more regular use for its intended function, is James Webb's 'Phonosynthesizer'. Webb, a Cape Town-based sound artist, lecturer and YDEsire curator was a merit award winner of the 2002 Absa L'Atelier and has exhibited both locally and abroad on a number of group shows.

Originally Webb's solo debut, the first incarnation of 'Phonosynthesizer' was presented in the US Art Gallery, an old deconsecrated Lutheran church in Stellenbosch. 'Photosynthesizer' is a generative sound installation created by the accidental meshing of sounds made by asynchronous CD players. The sound material used is a careful collection of sonic "mistakes" gathered through a process of destroying old audio work.

Each exhibition of 'Phonosynthesizer' is constructed out of the destruction of the previous 'Phonosynthesizer' work. This is done by scarring the rear of the CDs and allowing for the disks to skip and jump in the machines. New work is birthed out of the debris of the old. With this composting of previous work and the chaotic nature of the "out-of-synch" CD players (the audio will never be heard the same way twice, and the random combinations will only loop every thousand years or so), 'Phonosynthesizer' is always fresh and unpredictable. This is a continuous work-in-progress that due to its haphazard, organic properties is both complete and open-ended at any given time.

'Phonosynthesizer' takes error and malfunction as its starting point. It celebrates irregularity and transition, and through its generative nature is able to recycle itself in many diverse and rich forms. 'Phonosynthesizer 100603' has been sponsored by Compact Disc Wherehouse.

Opens: 6.00pm, June 10
Closing: Saturday July 6

See Reviews

NSA Gallery, 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood
Tel: 031 202 3686
Fax: 031 202 3744
Email: iartnsa@mweb.co.za
Website: www.nsagallery.co.za
Hours: Tues - Fri 10am - 5pm, Sat 10am - 4pm, Sun 11am - 3pm


Adornment | Artefact | Art

South East Africa beaded gourd snuff container (late 19th century)


'Adornment | Artefact | Art': South-East African Beadwork at DAG

While not strictly contemporary art, this exhibition, based on the collection of South-East African beadwork owned by art dealers Michael Stevenson and Michael Graham-Stewart, is an appropriate and perhaps serendipitous accompaniment to the 'Engaging Modernities' exhibition in the next gallery. Highlighting the non-African origins of what has come to be seen as a quintessential signifier of Africaness, the show sheds light on the currently hot topic of the formation of cultural identity.

The collection showcases works dating from 1850 to 1910 and focuses on pieces made by the women of the Zulu Kingdom and the Colony of Natal, as well as examples from the Xhosa-speaking women of the Eastern Cape, the Sotho women of the Drakensberg and the Yao people of the Eastern Zambian region.

The exhibition delves into the history surrounding the origins of beadwork, the inherent symbolism of the various pieces, their functions, the changing status of an art form, previously considered as mere craft, successive white governments reliance on it for ethnic identification as well as the underlying gender issues involved in the making and wearing of beadwork.

Guided tours of the exhibition will be given on Thursday June 12 at 1.00 pm.

Opens: May 22
Closes: July 13

Durban Art Gallery, 2nd floor, City Hall, Smith Street
Tel: 031 311 2262
Fax: 031 311 2273
Website: www.durban.gov.za/museums/artgallery
Hours: Mon - Sat 8.30am - 4pm, Sun 11am - 4pm

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