Archive: Issue No. 85, September 2004

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17.09.04 Hentie van der Merwe in Koln
17.09.04 Frances Goodman on group show in Slovenia
01.08.04 'Afrika Remix' opens in Düsseldorf
01.07.04 Rust and Charles in Germany
01.07.04 Kendell Geers gets sexy in France
01.07.04 South African focus at Museum Bochum
01.07.04 South African and Swiss artists collaborate in Bern
01.06.04 Van Den Ende Collection in Holland shows 57 South African artists


17.09.04 Clinton Fein at Axis Gallery
17.09.04 Kendell Geers at Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati
17.09.04 Claudette Schreuders in San Diego
17.09.04 South African Printmakers in Illinois
03.09.04 Personal Affects: Power and Poetics in Contemporary South African Art
01.08.04 Abrie Fourie in New York
01.07.04 Ian van Coller at the University Of New Mexico Art Museum
01.05.04 Big name South Africans in Washington DC


Hentie van der Merwe

Hentie van der Merwe
Image from invitation

Hentie van der Merwe in Koln

In his new exhibition, 'Graph', Hentie van der Merwe explores the issue of identity. It will consist of a room installation with drawings mounted on black and white Vichy-patterned textile alongside which are photographs that the artists took or collected. The exhibition title refers to the recurring grid pattern within the exhibition and the diagram motif that Van der Merwe uses to depict the interaction between two variables, two realities or two worlds.

Opens: September 11
Closes: October 21

Frances Goodman on group show in Slovenia

'Double Check: Re-Framing Space in Photography: The Other Space, Parallel Histories' is a group show that features artists chiefly from Europe, including South African-born, Belgian resident Frances Goodman. The show aims to analyse relations of art, action and technology in the field of artistic representation. The show is produced by The Gallery of Contemporary Art, Celje, Slovenia and Camera Austria in Graz and is curated by Marina Grzinic and Walter Seidl.

Opens: September 10
Closes: October 16

Jane Alexander

Jane Alexander
African Adventure (detail), 1999-2002
Mixed media installation

'Afrika Remix' opens in Düsseldorf

Billed as 'the largest exhibition of contemporary African art ever to open in Europe', 'Afrika Remix. Contemporary Art of a Continent', which opened at the Kunstpalast in D�sseldorf on July 24, has a participation of 88 artists from 25 countries. Film, literature, music, architecture and design are all represented alongside visual art, with the focus on work produced during the last decade.

The lineup includes a number of established and influential figures who are showing alongside younger artists who have not previously shown in Europe or America. The whole continent of Africa, from Egypt and Morocco to South Africa, is represented, as well as the diaspora (the criterion for inclusion was whether an artist had had direct and formative experience of living in Africa). The exhibition includes newly commissioned works and live performances.

Organising institutions are the Museum Kunst Palast in D�sseldorf, the Hayward Gallery in London, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, with a curatorial team headed by Simon Njami of Revue Noir, and including Jean Hubert Martin, curator of the iconic 'Magiciens de la Terre' at the Pompidou in 1989, criticised at the time for exoticising art from the non-western world, but also later recognised as the first show to stage 'globalisation' as its core theme.

On 'Afrika Remix', South African artists include the ubiquitous William Kentridge, sculptors Jane Alexander and Andries Botha, and photographers Zwelethu Mthethwa and Tracey Derrick.

Opens: July 24
Closes: November 7

Imke Rust

Imke Rust
Mugabe's Men, 2003
Digital Print
95,5 x 84,5cm

Imke Rust

Imke Rust
16 acts of power, 2003
Mixed Media on paper on canvas, 16 panels
each 29 x 42cm

Rust and Charles in Germany

Imke Rust, a young Namibian artist, has been invited by the GTZ (Gesellschaft fuer Technische Zusammenarbeit) to participate in their annual exhibition, to be held at their head office in Eschborn, Germany. Rust is one of 7 African artists, and the only Namibian artist, who has been invited to exhibit in this prestigious event. South Africa's Clifford Charles was also invited.

'An unobstructed view: new art from Africa', also features the artists from Uganda, Namibia, Senegal, Benin, Togo and Ghana. The pictures provide an insight into the contemporary African art scene; they bear the spirited message of African culture and politics. Around 100 pictures will be on display, and all are for sale.

Rust will be exhibiting works concerned with socio-political issues. Says the artist: "In my work, I frequently make use of the dog as a metaphor for human behaviour and characteristics. Although the works are conceived from a Namibian perspective, the concepts are of a universal nature".

Rust won the first prize for painting and a merit award for sculpture at the Standard Bank Namibia Biennale in 2001, and has participated in several group exhibitions in Namibia, Cape Town and Italy.

Opens: June 28
Closes: September 10

Kendell Geers

Kendell Geers

Kendell Geers gets sexy in France

Sexus is the title of a novel by Henry Miller. 'Sexus' is an exhibition titled after the novel by Henry Miller. Like Miller, Geers claims an association with "the family of materialist hedonists, whose origins lie in the mists of philosophical and mythological time, and contrast with rationalist or mystical ascetics".

Less cryptically, 'Sexus' was specially designed exhibition by Geers for Les Moulins Albigeois, in Albi, southwest France. It will include one or two old works, hitherto never exhibited in Europe, as well as many new ones. The show is Geers' first devoted entirely to eroticism.

The point of departure for this project is the historical context of the area of activity of the art centre. Albi is both the city of Toulouse Lautrec, famous painter of Parisian nightlife in the 19th century, and the city of the renowned cathedral of St. C�cile, which exalts the victory of the Catholic church over the Cathar heresy, after a fierce struggle which put the whole region to fire and sword in the 13th century.

It is a city whose present-day identity and sphere of influence are represented by the art of painting brothels, on one hand, and, on the other, by the memory of the spiritual quest of two religions, at once kindred in their understanding of the physical body, and clashing in the way they established the predominant path and praxis.

The Cathars regarded the body as the handiwork of Lucifer, and advocated abstention from all sexual relations, thus going beyond the Catholic injunction, which authorised sexual intercourse solely for procreation.

In the press release to this show, it is argued that 'Sexus' "has its place in the maturing work of an artist whom we might describe as an actual philosopher, experimenting with philosopher George Bataille's "conna�tre en br�lant" (literally: knowing by burning) principle, to do with not separating art from social life and private drives or instincts, or, more accurately, not separating thought from body� Through transgression and taboo, Geers strives to lend visibility to the energy of liberation and individuation, contained in the erotic act, here likewise broached in its poetic dimension".

The opening will be held on July 2, at 7 pm.

Opens: July 3
Closes: October 31

The Museum Bochum

The Museum Bochum

South African focus at Museum Bochum

An easy train ride from Düsseldorf, the museum in the small town of Bochum chooses a different focus for a major exhibition each year. In 2004, linking with the 10th anniversary of democracy in SA, 'New Identities: Contemporary South African Art' opened for a four month run on July 31. The last time anything as comprehensive was seen in Germany was the survey 'Colours: Art from South Africa', an exhibition in the House of World Cultures in Berlin in 1996.

In 'New Identities', 16 artists present work that reflects on identity, urbanisation and multiculturalism as well as the pressing topic of AIDS. Internationally known artists such as Jane Alexander, Kay Hassan, Zwelethu Mthethwa, William Kentridge and Santu Mokofeng, the last two who were participants on 'Dokumenta X' in Kassel, are showing work together with artists and members of artistic initiatives who are less well known in Germany. Classical artistic disciplines such as painting, sculpture and sketch are represented just as are new media, photography and video.

Traditional forms of artistic expression - Esther Mahlangu's wall paintings, percussion objects by the Venda artist Samson Mudzunga and Rossina Maepa's embroideries - will be shown in this exhibition as contemporary artistic expressions characteristic of the creative force and vitality of South Africa. Other participating artists are David Koloane, Johan Louw, Sam Nhlengethwa, Berni Searle, Penny Siopis, Andrew Tshabangu, Minnette Vári and Sue Williamson.

An accompanying programme with theatre and music events, lectures, discussions, readings and films will present the art and culture of South Africa in its breadth and diversity for the entire duration of the exhibition. The exhibition and the cultural programme is organised in cooperation with Dr. Ralf Seippel, Seippel Gallery, Cologne.

After Bochum, the exhibition will move to the Pretoria Art Museum in South Africa at the beginning of 2005.

Opens: July 31
Closes: November 7

South African and Swiss artists collaborate in Bern

"Underneath the impressive and powerful layer of future-orientated optimism, a sensitive, irritable and most unpredictable soil is hidden," reads the opening salvo of the press release to a show presenting the work of artists who deal with their direct political and social context from many different perspectives.

Featuring Berni Searle, Thando Mama, Santu Mofokeng, Alison Kearney, William Kentridge, Moshekwa Langa, Brett Murray, Robin Rhode, Penny Siopis, Nontsikelelo "Lolo" Veleko, Jo Ractliffe and Nicholas Hlobo, 'min(e)dfields' defines itself as a co-operation between South African and Swiss curators.

The project is built up on a number of stages: the venue of the Kunsthaus Baselland, the STAGA-Pavillon of the Stadtgalerie Bern, the public realm and site-specific locations in Bern, a website, a catalogue and a lively theoretical stage including a reading room, public talks and discussions. All of these elements play their own individual part in creating a common notion of relations between South Africa and Switzerland today.

Jointly curated by Sabine Schaschl-Cooper, Stephen Hobbs, Beate Engel and Katrien Reist van Gelder, this exhibition is not only as a reflection on the South African situation ten years on, but serves as a metaphor for a north/ south dialogue and the very specific communication that emerges out of this exchange, with all its richness as well as confusing misunderstandings. As a visual art project 'min(e)dfields' wants to open up common fields of debate in both countries, regarding international relations, social and cultural development.

'min(e)dfields' will travel to Johannesburg in 2005.

Swiss artists participating in the project are Monika Dillier, Mario Sala, Mo Diener, Markus Schwander, Dias/ participating Riedweg and Samuel Herzog.

Opens: August 8
Closes: September 19

Van Den Ende Collection in Holland shows 57 South African artists

Janine and Joop Van Den Ende of Stageholdings in Holland have put together an impressively large show of South African art entitled 'The ID of South African Art'. The show is informed by issues of identity in South African society and works were purchased from different venues in the country in January 2004. The show will run in conjunction with the musical 'The Lion King'� which will play for approximately two to three years. The show will be on exhibition for the same length of time.

All the works shown were purchased for, and form part of the Van Den Ende Collection. There are 57 artists whose works were chosen for this exhibition and over 108 works of South African painting, prints, drawings and sculptures. The accompanying 300-page catalogue has been put together by Sharlene Khan and also features an article by David Koloane and Sharlene Khan.

The exhibitor lists includes: David Koloane, Stephen Maqashela, Colbert Mashile, Bongi Bengu, Paul Blomkamp, Anton Smit, Collen Maswanganyi, Norman Catherine, Sam Nhlengethwa, Robert Hodgins, Tracey Rose, Deborah Bell, Kay Hassan, Dominic Tshabangu, Sotiris Moldovanos, Mmapula Mmakgabo Helen Sebidi, Velaphi Mzimba, Lucky Sibiya, Amos Letsoalo, Vincent Baloyi, Sharlene Khan, John Baloyi, Gavin Younge, Pippa Skotnes, Jane Alexander, Roderick Sauls, Katherine Bull, Penny Siopis, Phillip Rikhotso, Wayne Barker, Karl Gietl, Sipho Ndlovu, Ricky Dyaloyi, Willie Bester, Xolile Mtakatya, Zwelethu Mthethwa, Beezy Bailey, Lallitha Jawahirilal, George Pemba, William Kentridge, Cecil Skotnes, Walter Battiss, Brett Murray, Philip Barlow, John Murray, Kevin Brand, Wonder Marthinus, James Reed, Jennifer Lovemore-Reed, Nkoali Eausibius Nawa, Gary Frier, Velile Soha, Marlene Dumas, Sandra Kriel, Andries Botha, Stephen Inggs and Fritha Langerman.

All the artists from the show were invited to attend at the expense of the Van Den Endes, although only 40 artists were available to make the opening.

Opens: April 3
Closes: 2005/6 - see above


Clinton Fein

Clinton Fein
'Things Go Better'
Digital Archival Print

Clinton Fein at Axis Gallery

Clinton Fein's New York solo debut, 'WARNING!', features photo-based work reflecting on the last four years of the Bush Administration. Fein employs digital photocollage techniques to construct critical images in a wide variety of media, from fine art prints to T-shirts and street posters.

Fein uses digital technology as an art form and makes web-based art for social critique. A noted First Amendment advocate, Fein maintains a barrage of social commentary through his website, He has been involved in a number of First Amendment and censorship disputes, some of which are documented in the exhibition, including his landmark 1997 Supreme Court suit against the Attorney General of the United States.

Fein was born and educated in South Africa. According to his gallery the South African tradition of resistance art 'has coloured his view of art as a social and democratic phenomenon capable of addressing the man in the street and promoting social and democratic values, which he does now as a patriotic American'.

Opens: August 31
Closes: October 2

Kendell Geers

Kendell Geers

Kendell Geers at Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati

South African Conceptualist Kendell Geers will be showing in a solo show, 'Hung, Drawn and Quartered' in the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati. The show is curated by Matt Distel.

Opens: August 27
Closes: November 7

Claudette Schreuders

Claudette Schreuders
Enamel on Jacaranda and Karee wood.

Claudette Schreuders in San Diego

The first solo exhibition of sculpture and prints by Claudette Schreuders in an American museum is currently touring. 'The Long Day' features 11 new sculptures, lithographs and drawings. Known for her autobiographical figurative sculpture inspired by family photographs and memories and by the specific social experience of growing up white, female and Afrikaans in the broader political context of South Africa, the exhibition will show works that are assembled from carved and painted wood along with other materials such as iron, leather, nails and found objects, reflecting the influence of African sculpture.

Opens: September 13
Closes: October 13

Francisco Mora

Francisco Mora

South African Printmakers in Illinois

Sipho Hlati, Velile Soha and Ernestine White, as well as recent visitor to our shores Jesus Macarena-Avila, are showing on 'Memorias de un Mexicano: Homage to Francisco Mora' at Elgin Community College in Elgin, Illinois. The exhibition features prints in tribute to Francisco Mora, a socio-political artist who was a member of the Taller de Grafica Popular, a collaborative of printmakers based in Mexico City. The title, translated as 'Memories of the Mexican', refers to a series of prints by Mora.

Opens: September 2
Closes: October 9

Steven Cohen

Steven Cohen in the window of Chasama
'The Weight of the Media - the Burden of Reality' (improvisation with restriction)
New York's Times Square, January 2004

Personal Affects: Power and Poetics in Contemporary South African Art

The much talked-about and much-anticipated New York Show 'Personal Affects' opens at two separate locations: the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and the Museum for African Art. Probably the last big '10 Years'-type survey show, it will feature 17 of the most significant South African artist who will all show new or recent work. Unquestionably a 'blockbuster'.

As part of 'Season South Africa: Contemporary Visual and Performing Arts from South Africa' the Museum for African Art and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine will present an exhibition 'Personal Affects: Power and Poetics in Contemporary South African Art' at their two respective locations in New York City.

'Personal Affects' presents newly commissioned and recently produced works by 17 South African artists. The works represent artists' responses to a weeklong stay in New York and visits with the international team of curators. The exhibition features an extraordinary lineup of artists working in diverse media, including sculpture, drawing, photography, painting, installation, video, performance and dance. Participating artists are Jane Alexander, Wim Botha, Steven Cohen, Churchill Madikida, Mustafa Maluka, Thando Mama, Samson Mudzunga, Jay Pather, Johannes Phokela, Robin Rhode, Claudette Schreuders, Berni Searle, Doreen Southwood, Clive van den Berg, Minette V�ri, Diane Victor and Sandile Zulu.

Abrie Fourie

Abrie Fourie
Installation view
Museum for African Art, New York

Abrie Fourie in New York

Photographer Abrie Fourie, winner of the photography section of the Brett Kebble Art Awards last year, is currently showing a new series of work in the Focus Gallery of the Museum for African Art in New York. Entitled 'End of the World', the DVD/photographic installation looks at points where land meets water. Curated by Laurie Ann Farrell.

Opens: July 9


Ian van Coller at the University Of New Mexico Art Museum

Ian van Coller will be holding a solo exhibition at the University Of New Mexico Art Museum. Entitled 'Natural Africa', the exhibition presents a series of digitally manipulated photographs of the African dioramas in the Museum of Natural History in New York. "The work is an interrogation of American's exotic view of Africa," remarks the artist.

Van Coller received his National Diploma in Photography from Technikon Natal (1991), before obtaining his BFA from Arizona State University (1996), and MFA in Photography from the University of New Mexico (2003). Van Coller currently resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Previous shows include solo outings at Durban's BAT Centre, The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, The Print Center in Philadelphia, and The Museum of Southeast Texas, among others.

Opens: August - date still to be confirmed

Candice Breitz

Candice Breitz

Candice Breitz on WOW

Advance Notice: How does a work of art work on us? Henry Art Gallery Chief Curator Elizabeth Brown has been developing a concept of 'The Work of the Work' (WOW) over the last two years to probe the way certain works of art actively engage the viewer. Our connection to artwork might be intellectual or visceral or kinaesthetic; it is often multiple, involving some change in bodily sensation at the same time it provokes emotions or mental associations. Such responses are critical to the effectiveness of most, if not all, works of art.

'WOW' presents a selection of works by a small group of international and multi-ethnic artists. By featuring more than a single work by these artists, the exhibition increases audience attention. Viewers are encouraged to focus and therefore more productively engage with the works. Aside from Candice Breitz, the artist line-up includes Catherine Yass, Anne Appleby, Hannah Villiger, Callum Innes, Steve McQueen, Kim Sooja, Gary Hill, and Olafur Eliasson.

'WOW' is curated for the Henry Art Gallery by Chief Curator Elizabeth A. Brown.

The show opens in three parts:

Gary Hill: Tall Ships: August 13, 2004 - February 13, 2005
WOW Stroum Gallery: September 18, 2004 - February 13, 2005
WOW North Galleries: November 6, 2004 - April, 2005

Big name South Africans in Washington DC

The show 'Insights' features the work of nine contemporary artists from the National Museum of African Art's collection. These artists are: Sokari Douglas Camp, William Kentridge, Jeremy Wafer, Zwelethu Mthethwa, Georgia Papageorge, Ezrom Legae, Iba N'Diaye, Gavin Jantjes and Sue Williamson.

By displaying ensembles rather than individual works, the exhibition reveals the artistic process and play of experimentation, continuity and change in each artist's chosen subjects and materials. The artwork on exhibit reflects the collection's strength in contemporary South African art. As artist Sue Williamson suggests, "Art has several lives - it has one life when you are actually making it, and that process is important for the artist� Then when that's finished, the art begins the second phase of its life, where people react to it in a particular space - in a gallery."

Artists' insights are presented in quotes that illuminate and personalise the works on display, while the curators' comments impart the broader cultural and political themes that inform each artist's work. Together, these insights reveal the artists' varied use of visual metaphor, allegory, myth and even movement to evoke a range of experiences - the joy of masquerade, the resiliency of community, pride of place and the physical and psychic violence of political oppression.

The exhibition, co-curated by Kinsey Katchka and Allyson Purpura, reflects museum director Sharon F. Patton's interest in fostering inventive approaches to exhibiting the museum's collection by including newer staff members in the curatorial process.

Closes: November 28