Review of the Year
by Gabi Ngcobo
Best Local Show(s)
'One Zero One' by Bronwen Vaughan Evans at the NSA gallery. Her first solo show since finishing her masters, rendered intensely and sensitively the interrogation by the artist of her past, reconciling with it by approaching '101' issues relating to her identity and existence both personal and collective.
Also worth mentioning is 'a city' a collaboration which was part of the curated Young Artists Project (YAP) at the NSA between Dean Henning and Rike Sitas. The duo collaborated to create an intriguing yet playful interactive experience, playing with shifting urban spaces and tensions.
Thando Mama, who has been creating the most intriguingly engaging work this past year, winning the Community of Belgium Prize at the Dakar Biennale in Senegal and creating '1994' a work, featured in the much talked about 'Personal Affects'.
Visual Arts Network of South Africa (VANSA), a body that endeavours to represent the interests of visual arts practitioners to government, statutory bodies, the media and the general public, has had a successful 2004. The partnership formed with CAPE Africa Platform saw CAPE playing an integral facilitating role in seeing to it that VANSA receives funds to launch its provincial meetings to discuss and collect recommendations for the upcoming Visual Arts conference targeted for May/June 2005 in Cape Town. Also, VANSA established a healthy relationship/partnership with the Department of Arts and Culture represented by Ms Lindi Ndebele-Koka. The hard working provincial and national VANSA steering committees must also be congratulated for their hard work during this process.
The appointment of Khwezi Gule as Johannesburg Art Gallery's Contemporary Art Curator was also an undoubtedly positive move by the new director Clive Kellner, affirming the institution's commitment to change its course.
The National Arts Council board which has been dissolved by minister of Arts and Culture Pallo Jordan once again faces allegations of mismanagement and corruption.
The Young Artist Project (YAP), curated by Storm Janse van Rensburg has produced a fine catalogue providing a platform for young artists like Khwezi Gule and Jan-Henri Booyens, whilst at the same time encouraging critical writing by including contributions by Zama Dunywa and Michael Macgarry.
Also worth a mention are catalogues by Theresa Anne Mackintosh from her show at the NSA titled 'Jackie the Kid' and the catalogue from the Zayd Minty-curated 'A Place called Home'.
Best Art Book
'10 Years 100 Artists' is undoubtedly one of the most important books to come out of South Africa. The book highlights the critical writing of black voices at this time, and the variety of choices made represent a dynamic creative first decade of a unique democracy.
Also Kagiso Pat Mautloa's TaXi catalogue.
One to watch for 2005
Dineo Bopape is one of the most dynamic artists and warrants watching over the next year. This year she obtained her B Tech from the Durban Institute of Technology and mounted a show entitled 'I could feel that space in your heart'.