Archive: Issue No. 107, July 2006

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7.07.06 Andries Botha at the Beaufort Triennial by the Sea
7.07.06 Kendell Geers and Robin Rhode in Florence
7.07.06 Candice Breitz in Berlin
7.07.06 Jane Alexander in Belgium
7.07.06 Robin Rhode in Germany
7.07.06 Gregg Smith in Paris

2.06.06 Penny Siopis in Belfast


7.07.06 'Snap Judgments: New Positions in Contemporary African Photography' in Miami
7.07.06 'Body of Evidence' at the National Museum of African Art in the USA
7.07.06 Jane Alexander in California
7.07.06 Four SA artists selected for Sao Paulo Bienal


2.06.06 South African artists in Bethlehem


7.07.06 Santu Mofokeng in Taiwan
7.07.06 Robin Rhode in Japan

5.05.06 'Africa Remix' opens at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo
5.05.06 'Off the Record' in Tokyo


Andries Botha

Andries Botha
Ungayithenga inhlizyo nomongo wami - (African curios) 2006

Andries Botha at the Beaufort Triennial by the Sea

Andries Botha takes part in both the 'Beaufort Inside' and 'Beaufort Outside' components of the second manifestation of the Beaufort Triennial, '2006 Beaufort: shore hosts art'.

For the 'Outside' segment of the exhibition, Botha was commissioned to design and manufacture, with a group of carvers from KwaZulu-Natal, a herd of 9 life-size elephants for the Flemish beachfront. The piece is entitled Ungayithenga inhlizyo nomongo wami - (African curios), which translates as 'you can buy my heart and soul'. For the 'Inside' part of the show at the PMMK, Museum of Modern Art by the Sea in Ostend, Belgium, Botha has created Afrikaaner Circa 1600 which he describes as a 'biopsy into the heart of masculinity'.

Botha, who is resident in Durban, rose to prominence in the early 90s. Although he is still very active internationally, he seldom shows work in South Africa.

Opens: April 1
Closes: July 30

Robin Rhode

Robin Rhode
He Got Game 2001

Kendell Geers and Robin Rhode in Florence

Kendell Geers and Robin Rhode will be participating in 'Human Games. Winners and Losers' at the Stazione Leopolda in Florence. The exhibition is curated by Francesco Bonami and features artists, fashion designers and the like, ranging from Jeff Koons to Adidas.

The exhibition, and accompanying book, aims, to find the crucial link between sport, in the sense of a recreational pastime, and social, political and cultural life. Human Game examines the metamorphosis of sport as it has changed from play, competition, discipline and body care to universal spectacle that encompasses technology, fashion, art, business, medicine and communications.

Opens: June 21
Closes: July 23

Candice Breitz in Berlin

Candice Breitz features in the 'Sonambiente Berlin 2006' an exhibition throughout Berlin intending to 'make the city itself a work of sound art'. For the second time since 1996, the Berlin sound art festival offers a platform to acoustic art of all varieties: sound art, performance, video art and music. The festival aims to explore the increasing significance of sound in visual art, staging the interplay between visual artists and sound artists at some dozen different locations.

Opens: June 1
Closes: July 16

Jane Alexander

Jane Alexander
African Adventure 2002
installation detail

Jane Alexander in Belgium

Jane Alexander shows amongst a long list of internationally acclaimed artists in the opening exhibition of a new contemporary art space in Brussels, la Centrale Électrique. The exhibition is titled 'Zoo' and takes on the question of the animal in contemporary art, a recurring topic in the history of art since the very beginnings of humankind. More than 30 artists, Belgian and international, put forward the ambiguity of the relationship between man and animal; humanity and animalism. The exhibition will be accompanied by a book published in English, French and Dutch with contributions from art historians and anthropologists.

Opens: June 23
Closes: August 8

Robin Rhode in Germany

Robin Rhode exhibits along with the three other recipients of the 'ars viva 05/06', a competition organised by the Cultural Committee of German Business. In spring 2005 Jason Dodge, Takehito Koganezawa, Michaela Meise and Robin Rhode were awarded this prize, given to artists dealing particularly with issues of identity. After exhibitions in Rostock and Antwerp, KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin shows works by the four artists that have partly been conceptualised for this venue.

During the past few years all four artists have moved their life and work to Berlin and thus this show in their new hometown will focus on the impact that Berlin and its artistic and social contexts have on the creative process in terms of personal and historical histories.

Opens: June 25
Closes: August 20

Gregg Smith

Gregg Smith
The End 2006
video installation (detail)

Gregg Smith in Paris

Gregg Smith will be exhibiting a recently completed video installation, The End at Le Plataeau's Experimental Space, a gallery space aimed particularly at artists currently in residences in France. The End follows in the line of Smith's previous pieces, taking a personal dilemma from everyday life as its starting point. The artist is currently in residency at Paris' Cité Internationale des Arts.

Opens: July 7
Closes: August 20

Penny Siopis

Penny Siopis
My Lovely day 1997

Penny Siopis in Belfast

'Migrations' is part of a multi-stranded project being developed in Belfast exploring different experiences of migration. The show will will feature major works on the subject of migration by well-known contemporary artists and researchers including Anthony Haughey, Andrea Lange, Breda Beban, Penny Siopis and Terence Wright.

Penny Siopis is to show 1997's My Lovely Day , a piece which combines spliced sequences of 8mm home movies that the artist's mother shot in the 1950s and 1960s in South Africa with sound and visual text which tell an elemental story of migration, displacement and exile. The narrative text is that of of Siopis' maternal grandmother telling her grandchildren of her emotional and literal journeys between Europe, Greece and South Africa in the early part of last century. The moment of her telling is apartheid South Africa, as are the scenes captured on film, yet her references to social turmoil and catastrophe are those of an earlier time and another place. The quality of the found footage - the jumps, sprocket tracks, scratches, light flares, camera movements, frail focus and intrusion of peripheral images - dramatises the quality of the film as artefact and in a way stand for the fragmentary nature of memory.

Opens: June 15
Closes: August 25


Nontsikelelo Veleko

Nontsikelelo Veleko
Cindy and Nkuli 2003/4

'Snap Judgments: New Positions in Contemporary African Photography' in Miami

'Snap Judgments' moves from New York to Miami this month. Organised by Okwui Enwezor, the exhibition is the first major US presentation to focus on photo-based artwork from the African continent since 1996. More than 200 works by 35 artists from across Africa, the majority of whom will be exhibiting in the US for the first time, will be presented. The show's four sections - Landscape, Urban Formations, The Body and Identity, and History and Representation - reflect important themes being addressed by African artists today. A number of South Africans are exhibiting, including Mikhael Subotzky, Guy Tillim, Hentie van de Merwe, Moshekwa Langa, Zwelethu Mthethwa and Nontsikelelo Veleko.

Opens: June 30
Closes: August 17

'Body of Evidence' at the National Museum of African Art in the USA

'Body of Evidence' is a new show at the Smithsonian Institute's Museum of African Art. The long running show is an exhibition of works by contemporary African artists from the museum's collection who deal with ideas of 'The Body' with varying levels of explicitness.

The artists use the human body, and its absence, as a site for issues of race, identity, gender and geography - all issues that are often integral to artists from this continent. South African artists Kay Hassan, Gavin Jantjes, Rudzani Nemasetoni, Georgie Papageorge, Johannes Phokela, Berni Searle, Sue Williamson and Jeremy Wafer are included.

Opens: June 14
Closes: April 6

Jane Alexander

Jane Alexander
Bomboy 2000

Jane Alexander in California

Jane Alexander is one of the 88 contemporary artists from 25 countries to have contributed artworks for an exhibition inspired by the messages, vision and values of Tibet's spiritual leader the Dalai Lama. 'The Missing Peace: Artists Consider the Dalai Lama' at the UCLA Fowler Museum explores themes of peace, compassion, patience and tolerance. Participating artists have considered the Dalai Lama in a broad array of new and existing works made in a variety of media expressing their personal interpretations of and reflections on his philosophies and ideals.

Many artists, including Bill Viola, Mike and Doug Starn, Sylvie Fleury, El Anatsui, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Michal Rovner and Chuck Close, have created new works for the exhibition which also includes art superstars like Marina Abramovic and Laurie Anderson. Jane Alexander is the only South African taking part.

Opens: June 11
Closes: September 10


Four SA artists selected for Sao Paulo Bienal

Following a visit to South Africa some months ago, Lisette Lagnado, chief curator of the 27th Sao Paulo Bienal, has selected Jane Alexander, Guy Tillim, Mustafa Maluka and Pieter Hugo to participate. For the first time, national representation has been discarded, and the 119 chosen artists have been selected purely on the merits of their work. Well known artists from other countries include Cildo Mereiles, Tacita Dean, Loulou Cherinet and Thomas Hirschhorn.

This year's theme is 'How to Live Together' and the Bienal will run from October 7 to December 17, 2006.


Sonya Rademeyer

Sonya Rademeyer
IRAQ 2005
tracing paper, Mercurochrome, human hair

South African artists in Bethlehem

South African artists Alison Williams, Sonya Rademeyer and Miss C. Johnson are some of the 200 artists participating in this month's 'Self Portrait: A Show for Bethlehem' at the Al Kahf Art Gallery at the International Centre of Bethlehem. The show is focused on using new media to explore notions of self portraiture, and is curated by internet artist and curator Agricola de Cologne.

Opens: July 7
Closes: July 30


Santu Mofokeng

Santu Mofokeng
Winter in Tembisa 1989
black and white photograph on Baryth paper
100 x 150cm

Santu Mofokeng in Taiwan

Santu Mofokeng is participating in an international exhibition entitiled: 'Exorcising Exortism' curated by Sandy Hsiu-chih Lo at the Taipei Hsinyi New Life Square, Taiwan. The show is presented by Taiwan Institute of Culture Industry, Taipei Artist Village and Shin Kong Mitsukoshi in association with Taiwan Institute of Urban Design and Youth Literacy. The exhibition won the main curatorial prize awarded by the National Culture and Arts Foundation, Taiwan.

Mofokeng will be presenting his exhibition 'Township Billboards: Beauty, Sex and Cell-phones' and will also take up residency for 3 weeks while presenting workshops at the institution.

Opens: July 15
Closes: August 13

Robin Rhode in Japan

The Shiseido Gallery hosts Robin Rhode's first Japanese solo show this month. The exhibition features a wide selection of work from Rhode's oeuvre, including Untitled (YoYo), New Kids on the Bike and a selection of new video and stop motion animation pieces. After garnering considerable attention at the 2005 Venice Biennale, Rhode made his debut in Japan at the Yokohoma Triennial and has participated in a string of international exhibitions leading to this particular achievement in Japan.

Opens: June 6
Closes: July 30

'Africa Remix' opens at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo

The mega show of contemporary art from the continent of African and the diaspora, 'Africa Remix', opens at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo on the fourth leg of a world tour which opened at the Kunstpaleis in Düsseldorf and continued to London's Hayward Gallery and the Pompidou in Paris.

Under the artistic direction of Simon Njami and a team of international curators and featuring the production of 88 artists showing work made over the past 10 years, the show also includes furniture design, music, literature and fashion.

South African born artists make up 14 of the total - Jane Alexander, Andries Botha, Wim Botha, Willie Bester, Tracey Derrick, Marlene Dumas, David Goldblatt, Jackson Hlungwani, William Kentridge, Moshekwa Langa, Santu Mofokeng, Zwelethu Mthethwa, Rodney Place, Tracey Rose and Guy Tillim.

Marlene Dumas' work is a sober grid of ink and wash portraits of blindfolded or hooded figues, Jane Alexander shows her African Adventure mixed media installation, Tracey Derrick presents a commissioned series of photographs of Western Cape farm workers, Tracey Rose is represented by her seminal video, TKO, in which cameras concealed in a punching bag record her attack on the bag, and Jackson Hlungwani exhibits one of his majestic carved wooden figures.

The exhibition is divided into three categories, with somewhat unoriginal titles - History & Identity, City & Land, and Body & Soul. This may not have been the curator's fault, however. Njami's original title for the entire exhibition was not the one the show now carries. His choice was the much more interesting 'Chaos and metamorphosis', but institutional pressure insisted on the inclusion of 'Africa' in the title.

In London, some critics took the attitude that while what was on offer was undoubtedly art from Africa, it could not be called 'contemporary' in terms of the British art world's understanding of the term. In Tokyo, the Mori is under the direction of David Elliott, curator of the first major show of art from South Africa in Britain, with his 'Art from South Africa' at the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford in 1990.

Elliott's framing of the show for a Japanese audience will, one imagines, be an important factor in the reception of the show in Tokyo. Next stop for 'Africa Remix': the Johannesburg Art Gallery.

Opens: May 27
Closes: August 31

Off the Record

An X-cube locker

'Off the Record' - Shibuya and other stations, Tokyo

Timed to coincide with the opening of 'Africa Remix' at the Mori, is a project much lighter in weight and more ephemeral in concept: 'Off the Record', devised by Belgian artist Eric van Hove, now based in Tokyo, will hi-jack X-Cube storage lockers found in subway stations in the city.

These lockers are opened not by a key but by utilising a cell phone number designated by the storer. Invited artists will make an artwork to fit into one of these lockers, which measures 30 x 30 x 60 cm. An SMS to a friend inviting him/her to come and view the artwork will set the process in motion. The invitee will then invite someone else in turn, setting the new cell phone number as the new code. 'Think of Chinese whispers', says Van Hove.

Participating artists include Lara Baladi (Egypt), Federico Herrero (Costa Rica), John di Stefano (New Zealand) and Sue Williamson (South Africa).

Will the artwork be stolen by a viewer? Will the next invited viewer take the trouble to pay a visit? Will an earthquake destroy Tokyo and all the artworks? The agenda is open.

More information?

May 2006 - until such time as the project ends itself.