All things are relative: turn to Carine Zaayman's Project page and see how much truth there is - or is not - in fiction. This issue sees a world full of complexities and confusions and conundrums. It seems as we attend to this now fateful month (9/11 jangling in our ears just as we see the winding down of '10 Years of Democracy' celebrations) that artists are becoming ever more uncomfortable with the idea what they know and experience needs to be dished out by the marketers. We all know that the medium is the message but have we lost touch with the medium of the media?
A giant show opening in New York this month, 'Personal Affects', will probably serve as a useful gauge for the temperature of South African art. All those decade of democracy celebrations have come and gone (leaving only their catalogues and the 10 Years 100 Artists book behind) and I have not seen any of the expected '10 Years of Hypocrisy' or even a 'Pornography X: Celebrating Ten Years of Lax Censorship'. Maybe in our earnest desire to appear to be celebrating we have lost our sense of humour.
Several of the reviews and even news stories in this month's ArtThrob take a decidedly personal line: perhaps evidence of the fact that when we are in confusing times the personal is the one refuge that cannot be argued with. This issue marks the beginning of my tenure as editor.
Next Update: October 4
Special Listings Update: September 15
Follwing on from the previous exhibition of three women artists at Michael Stevenson Contemporary, three men, Walter Oltmann, Kevin Brand and Samson Mudzunga now take over. Zayd Minty's exhibition highlighting artists from the South Asian diaspora, 'A Place Called Home' opens at SANG. 150 African artworks acquired by Iziko will be on view in 'Ilifa Labantu: Heritage of the People', curated by Carol Kaufmann, also at SANG. Paul Weinberg launches a new book and holds an accompanying exhibition at Photographers Gallery ZA.
'Negotiate', a series of four separate monthly exhibitions opens the second installation at JAG this month. Celebrating 10 years of democracy, these exhibitions will showcase the work of younger up-and-coming artists. Veteran black and white photographer Jürgen Schadeberg shows 'On the Beach', a series of new colour work at Gallery @ 157. The lighter side of the darker side of life can be expected with a new show from the ever-young Robert Hodgins at Goodman. Warren Siebrits shows eight video works by Konrad Welz.
Educator and artist Pascale Chandler will show an installation of painted and photographic works, 'Down to Earth', at the NSA. The annual 'Comics Brew Festival of Comic Art' comes to Durban this month and is accompanied by Andy Mason's edgy compilation, 'Comix, Bru!', both at the NSA. An installation by Pam Morgan and paintings by Caroline Birch are at artSpace Durban.
Everybody's talking about it. The biggest international South African show in ages comes to New York in two separate venues with 'Personal Affects: Power and Poetics in Contemporary South African Art'.
Printmaker Paul Emmanuel continues to investigate his identity as a young white male in post-apartheid South Africa with his latest exhibition called 'After-image'. Having gone to review a show of three women artists at Michael Stevenson Contemporary, Lloyd Pollak focuses on one of them, Deborah Poynton, seeing a brilliant marriage of beauty and terror in her work. Daphne Prevoo's latest show at the NSA causes reviewer Gabi Ncobo to identify with her own past. Joseph Manana and Mthembiseni Shange examine masculinity and form at the African Art Centre. Photo.za puts the Lomo's idiosyncrasies to a trend-test, and Lomo comes up trumps, as Robyn Sassen discovers. A major retrospective of Norman Catherine's works, at the Pretoria Art Museum gives pause for thought to Robyn Sassen who struggles with the issues raised by Ryan Arenson's current show at The Premises Gallery. Beautiful post-modern gestures and sophisticated woodblock skills don't seem to tally comfortably here. In international reviews Rima Geffen examines three decades of Jenny Altschuler's production. New reviewer Ruth Sacks offers a nuanced view of Abrie Fourie's show at the Museum for African Art in New York.
How trendy is too trendy? A new gallery in Parktown North toes the line. Two Spanish women will direct the 2005 Venice Biennial. Four exhibitions (one a month) will attempt to renegotiate the complex space that is the Johannesburg Art Gallery. The Handspring Puppet Company are collaborating once again. A film festival deals with the 10 years theme. The Annual Tollman Award goes to Mustafa Maluka, recently back in South Africa after a long period abroad. Robert Weinek explores the complexities of cultural mapping. ArtThrob's new editor courts controversy with a back-to-front curatorial intervention. Robyn Sassen wrestles with the deep complexities and binaries that she detects in the Swiss/South African show 'Min(e)dfields'. Rather than taking the easy option and giving a glib report of her all expenses paid junket she digs deeply....
What motivates curators and art buyers to purchase artworks? This simple question is the premise for Gallery Choice, a monthly feature that aims to reveal who (public museums/corporate collections) is buying what (artist), and why.
Suzette Bell-Roberts and Deborah Weber of Bell-Roberts Gallery choose a painting by our Artbio subject of the month, the up-and-coming artist Matthew Hindley.
While on a visit to Berlin in Germany, Sue Williamson has a brush with The Law.
Versatile artist Matthew Hindley always seem to walk a fine line between the macabre and the humorous. His works deal with the trappings of contemporary life: spy cameras, the media and the mechanisms of success, but also show that these things give us no more control over the forces of the world than before. With a prodigious output, the quality of his work speaks for itself.
Mike Mike, Istanbul-based and South African-born, makes fictional cross-cultural portraits.
A 'dear' relative's conspiratorial theories about pirated DVDs leads Carine Zaayman to explore the domain of the real in relation to recent events in Iraq; truth in a time of war; and how to deal with recalcitrant family members.
In Exchange this month Art South Africa looks for interns, call for submissions for a show at Video Centre Tokyo and studio space available in Cape Town.
Nothing new or noteworthy this month I'm afraid.
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Penny Siopis is the latest artist to join our Editions for ArtThrob programme. Her work 'Cultivate Love' was produced in collaboration with Randy Hemminghaus, master printer from New York's Galamander Press, and is a distillation of her most recent work, from her Shame series.
Available now: outstanding prints by William Kentridge, Robert Hodgins, Zwelethu Mthethwa, Hentie van der Merwe, and Tracey Rose.
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