Archive: Issue No. 105, May 2006

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5.05.06 William Kentridge's 'Black Box' opens at the JAG
5.05.06 Olaf Bisschoff at gordart Gallery's Project Room
5.05.06 Michelle Harris at gordart Gallery's Project Room
5.05.06 Alfred Thoba at Warren Siebrits Modern and Contemporary Art
5.05.06 Brett Murray at the Goodman Gallery
5.05.06 Members of the Keiskamma Art Project at University of Johannesburg Art Gallery
5.05.06 Chris Diedricks and Musha Neluheni at Artspace Fine Art Gallery
5.05.06 Barend de Wet at the Muti Gallery
5.05.06 Nathaniel Stern at Outlet
5.05.06 Janina Pechova at gordart Gallery
5.05.06 Joachim Schönfeldt and Luan Nel at Art on Paper Gallery

5.05.06 Garth Doyle at The Premises Gallery

11.04.06 Mari Mira at JAG

2.03.06 Colbert Mashile at David Krut Arts Resource


William Kentridge

William Kentridge during preparations
for 'Black Box'
Photo: Petra Helberg

William Kentridge's 'Black Box' opens at the JAG

Commissioned by the Deutsche Guggenheim and first presented there for four months from October 2005, William Kentridge's new opus Black Box/Chambre Noire opens at the Johannesburg Art Gallery on May 7. The curator was Maria-Christina Villaseñor, Associate Curator of Film at the New York Guggenheim.�

�As the commission had been given by a German art institution, Kentridge decided to take as a point of departure aspects of German colonial history in southern Africa, namely, Namibia.�The work focuses particularly on the German Massacre of the Herero people in what was then South West Africa in 1904, an event considered by some historians to be the first genocide of the 20th century. In the following year, 75% of the Hereros were decimated.�

Kentridge works never operate on a single level, and in this case, the term 'black box'� has been reflected upon from� a number of points of view: a black box theatre, a 'chambre noir' as it relates to photography, and the black box flight data recorder used by aircraft to record information in case of a disaster.

The multi-media installation includes animated film, drawings, kinetic objects and a mechanical theatre in miniature.

May 7 to July 9, 2006

Olaf Bisschoff

Olaf Bisschoff
The Road Down (detail) 2006
Oil on paper drawing
12 x 15cm

Olaf Bisschoff at gordart Gallery's Project Room

Olaf Bisschoff presents a series of paintings entitled 'Changing Lanes' that take a fresh look at the idea of movement through the landscape. In this show (which is divided into three parts - 'Commute', 'Contain' and 'Connect' - Bisschoff substitutes the traditional Afrikaner ox wagon with the urban minibus taxi.

Opens: April 26
Closes: May 12

Michelle Harris

Michelle Harris
From the Pink Velvet Pussy with love 2006 performance photograph

Michelle Harris at gordart Gallery's Project Room

Michelle Harris presents this extravagantly titled show - 'From the Pink Velvet Pussy, With Love' - celebrating 'the fantastic life of the Pink Lady, a powerful female archetype created by the collective consciousness of the male species.' Photographic records of this character's adventures in Cape Town, Jo'burg and Swaziland are shown.

Opens: 6pm, May 17
Closes: June 3

Alfred Thoba

Alfred Thoba
oil on board
123 x 190cm

Alfred Thoba

Alfred Thoba
oil on board
103 x 72cm

Alfred Thoba at Warren Siebrits Modern and Contemporary Art

The gallery's second show for the year sees the clustering of a number of important works by well-known South African painter Alfred Thoba in an exhibition entitled 'Tolerating Art with Love'.

With participation in 1988's '100 Artists Protest Detention Without Trial' at the Market Theatre Galleries, and work featured in Sue Williamson's seminal Resistance Art in South Africa (published in 1989), Thoba's reputation as a struggle-era artist is secure. His subject matter runs the gamut of socio-political issues between the late '80s and now, and the show contains examples of his work from throughout this period. However, with this show Siebrits draws attention to Thoba's technique, a painstaking method that includes 'whisking' fresh paint onto the surface with a matchstick.

Opens: April 6
Closes: May 26

Brett Murray

Brett Murray
Little Pig 2005
700 x 400mm

Brett Murray at the Goodman Gallery

Established South African artist Brett Murray has his first show at the Goodman since 2000 this month. Entitled 'Sleep Sleep', the show extends his interest in tragedy and satire. Taking aim at, amongst other things, 'incompetence, greed and buffoonery', Murray packs a few surprises, including some photographic self-portraits and even some paintings. Don't be deceived, however, SA's pre-eminent satirist hasn't lost his edge: the paintings depict Murray's 'favourite politicians' arseholes'.

Opens: April 28
Closes: May 20

Members of the Keiskamma Art Project at University of Johannesburg Art Gallery

Members of the Keiskamma Art Project show at the University of Johannesburg Art Gallery during May. The body of work on show includes the magnificent Take me also for your child - the Keiskamma Altarpiece. This work, which incorporates drawing, photography, embroidery, beadwork and wire-beadwork, 'celebrates the strength of the grandmothers who bear the responsibility for the children in these times'. Based on the 16th Century Issenheim Altarpiece by Grünewald, this work attempts to function as a beacon of hope for those living with poverty, HIV/Aids and other hardships.

The Keiskamma Art Project is supported by the National Arts Festival, the National Department of Arts and Culture, the Eastern Cape Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture as well as indvidual donors. Their 100m long embroidery won a Brett Kebble Art Award in 2004.

A lecture and walkabout will be lead by Carol Hofmeyr, Director of the Keiskamma Art Project, at 10am on May 13. Jean-Claude Laurent will hold a lecture and a demonstration under the theme 'An introduction to iconography' at 10am on May 27. Call (011) 489 2556 to book.

Opens: May 10
Closes: May 31

Chris Diedericks

Chris Diedericks

Chris Diedericks

Chris Diedericks

Chris Diedericks

Chris Diedericks


Chris Diedricks and Musha Neluheni at Artspace Fine Art Gallery

A two-person show entitled 'Crash' is up at the Artspace Fine Art Gallery in Johannesburg. A 'chance' meeting orchestrated by Artspace gallery owner Teresa Lizamore between established artist Chris Diedricks and young up-and-comer Musha Neluheni resulted in the idea of a joint show.

Both inspired by the recent movie Crash, the artists have used this as the central trope for the show, producing different but complimentary bodies of work. Diedricks documented over 500 chance meetings or 'crashes' on a trip to Ghana, and whittled the resultant collection of photos down to the 17 on display here. His work asks, 'Do we, on a deep philosophical level, ever touch each other, and is it not this intense need for human touch that keeps us searching for love, soulmates and happiness?'.

Neluheni's work consists of drawings, prints and photographs which use her own body as a starting point. She then explores how her body 'echoes and contrasts' with those around her, exploring 'the interaction between bodies� that affirms our enfolded existence'.

Opens: May 7
Closes: June 3

Barend de Wet at the Muti Gallery

Barend de Wet's first one-person show in some time is entitled 'Different strokes for different folks' and includes sculpture, painting, videowork and photography. On opening night there will also be a performance entitled Camping. De Wet was a a very prominent figure on the SA arts scene in the 90s but has since only produced work sporadically, always managing to generate a fair amount of excitement around his output. Last year he ruffled a few feathers by erecting a large steel cut-out of the word 'God' on a bridge near Plettenberg Bay in the Western Cape. De Wet took part in the first Johannesburg Biennale and the the Sao Paulo Biennale amongst others, and his work is to be found in several prominent collections including that of the SA National Gallery.

Opens: 6pm, May 11
Closes: June 29

Nathaniel Stern

Nathaniel Stern
Earth 2006
metallic lambda print
50 x 25 cm

Nathaniel Stern at Outlet

Nathaniel Stern presents an exhibition of 'Compressionist prints' this month at Outlet in Pretoria. 'Time and Seeing' exhibits selections from Nathaniel Stern's Compressionism - a 'digital performance and analogue archive'. Stern traverses bodies, spaces and objects with his scanner face, while the head is in motion. After being compressed into digital images the size of a small sheet of paper, the files are then stretched, cropped and coloured by hand. 'Compressionism is an exploration of media and perception, a transfiguration in Time and Seeing', says Stern.

Opens: May 1
Closes: June 12

Janina Pechova at gordart Gallery

Artist Janina Pechova presents a show of works in various media including ink, watercolour, etching and gordart Gallery this month. 'Legends' draws inspiration from what she describes as 'magical� sources including various rural and urban spaces and the work of Czech composer Antonín Dvorák.

Opens: 5pm, May 7
Closes: May 27

Joachim Schönfeldt and Luan Nel at Art on Paper Gallery

Artists Joachim Schönfeldt and Luan Nel present two separate but concurrent shows at Art on Paper Gallery this month. Schönfeldt uses a contemporary idea of how to present context, like an extended happening, as basis for his new show. His happening is a series of events to be staged over two weeks in the north window of Art on Paper Gallery. For these events, Schönfeldt has established a company, Ditta Buon Paese (the Italian for 'Company Good/(Schön) Field'), complete with sculpted furniture, such as tables, shelves and a coffee shop, to host tea parties and lunches.

This exhibition is entitled 'The life and times of Roar' and allows the viewer a comprehensive view of the artist's work and his world. It unfolds around the central sculpture of the emblematic and well-known Roar: lioness in lacquered wood which has evolved over many years. The show also includes wooden panels with deconstructed landscapes in oil paint of places in South Africa he has visited with his family, various wooden maquettes, The death face of Neil Goedhals in painted wood, a series of four full colour vacuum-formed styrene panels and new work on paper.

Luan Nel's exhibition 'New Redruth, revisited' is about found objects, installation and scale. He reconfigures small plastic hobbyist figures on canvas. These figures take on a life of their own. Ironically, their 'lives' are dependent on the shadows they cast, not so much on the actions they portray. At this exhibition, Nel also presents the viewer with banners of enlarged model figures. The found object of the hobbyist figure takes on new dimensions as it is blown up totally out of proportion, the vast difference in scale making any notion of masculinity rather a relative one.

Opens: May 6
Closes: June 3

Garth Doyle at The Premises Gallery

'Syncopations' is Garth Doyle's first solo exhibition of sculptures. Comprising 23 pieces ranging from maquettes for monumental urban works through to sculptures, and 'avant garde objects', this collection may be seen as a percolation of the two decades of protean activity within the fields of architecture and design. The body of work presented marks a subconscious yet carefully considered convergence of formal language and disciplines. It also constitutes a starting point for discourse and further experimentation concerning contemporary object making.

Opens: May 13
Closes: June 3


'Mari Mira' at The Johannesburg Art Gallery

The JAG showcases 'Mari Mira', a series of site-specific installations and events that explore 'the spirit of the fancy shack'. The exhibition is the product of collaborations between Durban-born resident of France Guy-André Lagesse and artists Pat Khanye, Sibusiso Mbele, Jabulani Mhlabini and Doug Anwar Jahangeer.

Opens: March 19
Closes: May 30

Colbert Mashile at David Krut Arts Resource

Colbert Mashile presents 'Monotypes', a series of unique prints and other works on paper, all created at David Krut Print Workshop. Althugh known primarily as a painter, Mashile has produced several series of prints at David Krut Arts resource.

Opens: 12pm, March 4