Less than we had hoped for but a lot better than nothing. That pretty much sums up the position on the evolution of TransCape into Cape '07, opening on March 24. With promised funding still not in hand, director Gavin Jantjes has resigned, sending out a letter to artists expressing regrets about the turn of events, see NEWS
, but encouraging them to participate in the new reduced format. The foreign visitors who are expected will still find plenty to see - read Sue Williamson's lengthy interview with the new Cape Africa team of Gabi Ngcobo and Jonathan Garnham.
There will still be seven major venues, and more than one hundred events on XCape, the fringe. There'll be Marlene Dumas prints in a Khayelitsha B&B. Plus the stunning new Goodman Cape opens on March 22, and all the other galleries will have their best artists forward. So please come visit. An update of venues and artists will appear mid month, on March 18.
A little further north, the KKNK - the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees opens in Oudsthoorn, and much further the announcement regarding the African participation at the 52nd Venice Biennale has finally been made. Read NEWS to see who got the nod.
Next full update: Sunday, April 1
We bring you the latest listings for the 'Cape '07' biennale which opens later this month despite budgetary woes, with venues in the city centre, Khayelitsha and Stellenbosch boasting the cream of contemporary African artists. Simultaneously 'XCape', the biennale's fringe event, has inspired galleries around the city. The launch of Linda Givon's Goodman Gallery Cape featureses a star-studded line-up, whilst Michael Stevenson's 'Afterlife' engages with the resurgence of spirituality in contemporary art. Solo exhibitions by Dorothy Kreutzfeldt, Cameron Platter and Lizza Littlewort promise much. Other Capetonians need not feel left out of the creativity as blank projects offers them a tabula rasa upon which vent their creative spleen in their drawing project. We also include listings for The Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees, with the Chris Diedericks-curated 'FLESH!' promising to be one of the highlights.
As March arrives, we find the Gauteng art scene once again in full swing.
Numerous shows open at the various galleries. Big names like Minnette
Vári and Robert Hodgins open shows, while Jacques Coetzer's 'Alt Pop'
moves on to the JAG.
The 'Visiting Artists Programme' gets underway at the DUT Gallery with Angela Buckland, while UCT Master's students open 'Come' at the KZNSA. Award-winning art director David Gaylard shows photographs at Bean Bag Bohemia and Grace Kotze presents her latest paintings at artSPACE Durban.
This month the international artworld recognises a number of big name South African artists. An exhibition of work by William Kentridge, Sam Nhlengethwa, Pat Mautloa and Claire Gavronsky opens in London, Frances Goodman takes part in a three-person show in Denmark, and Kendell Geers is featured in a group exhibition in Berlin. Meanwhile Ed Young exhibits his video piece It's Not Easy in a show in Zurich.
In 'The Interview (A Transcript)' Mustafa Maluka processes images spawned by the mass culture industry infusing his personal iconography with the vocabulary of the popular. In these portraits, Maluka identifies with the object of the gaze, seeing in them a common response to the persistent visual examination conducted on a black man in Cape Town. Tavish McIntosh reviews. Daunted by the prospect of reviewing work by someone as famous as Brian Eno, Linda Stupart takes Eno's own advice and thinks both 'inside the work' and 'outside the work'. 'Outside', she finds, is a more complex fascinating place, but 'inside' is by no means unpleasant.
Nathaniel Stern's 'Call and Response' reveals that his 'is a position of productive paradox, of signalling his debt to the historical archive of creativity yet resisting the impulse to politely replicate its terms'. Michael Smith comes to terms with the digital prints and etchings produced using the artist's favoured technique that he labels 'Compressionism'. In her new show at the Goodman Gallery, Minette Vári articulates links between colonised sites such as the Southern African landscape, the female body and an urbanised future, resulting in work which is 'eerie, ominous and strange', says Landi Raubenheimer.
Dale Yudelman's 'Reality Bytes' shown alongside Postmortem 2010', finds the photo-journalist turned artist poised on the cusp between artistic expression and photographic excellence. Carol Brown has mixed feelings about these two bodies of work.
With issues around notions of a Johannesburg underground raised by December's opinion piece, and also by Rat Western's January response in the Feedback section, Michael Smith though it appropriate to broaden the debate. He approached leading art educator David Andrew for his opinion on the status and potential of art education initiatives that sometimes escape mainstream attention. Rat Western too has contributed her thoughts on the Johannesburg underground, which reflect more on early professional practice than educational experience.
We give the text of TransCape director Gavin Jantjes' letter to artists. What is happening instead of TransCape? Read the interview with the new team at Cape Africa Platform. We reflect on the life and achievements of Madi Phala, artist, designer and educator, who was tragically murdered on March 2, 2007. Meanwhile, a new major visual arts event is launched at Spier. The Goodman Gallery Cape opens in March, writes Tavish Mcintosh, while two recent art auctions in Cape Town raised large sums of money, further confirming the bouyancy of the art market here. Michael Smith reports on a new complete digital archiving service offered by Pexicon in Johannesburg, and he writes about a new downtown gallery space where Africa's first Photomarathon which took place. From Durban we hear news that Mlu Zondi has been nominated for an MEC Award. From Venice: the announcement of the curatorial team for the African exhibition.
Artist and former ArtThrob techie Ralph Borland writes this month's diary, where he reveals, amongst other more important things, that he placed second in a frisbee long-throw contest and that you may remember him from the trance floor at the Safari Camp party where he was wearing black hotpants and a t-shirt tan. He is now based in Dublin, Ireland, where where he is pursuing a PhD with a cross-disciplinary research group within the Electronic and Electrical Engineering Department at Trinity College. We miss you Ralph.
We feature Emma Bedford, former curator of the South African national gallery now with the Goodman Gallery Cape. Sue Williamson examines her achievements over the years.
Website of the month is www.documenta.de which heralds Documenta 12, due to open in June
Read how you too can participate in Documenta 12
First Call for Papers: 23rd Annual Conference of the South African Visual Arts Historians
Michael Smith responds to Rat Western's letter last month, which was in turn a response to Smith's Opinion piece on the state of art criticism in South Africa.
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Two striking photographs from Nontsikeleo 'Lolo' Veleko's signature Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder series of bold, funky street fashion portraits captured on the streets of Johannesburg. Memorable and powerful, Veleko's images pose questions around how identity is perceived, and often assumed, and at the same time of how her subjects use their clothes to construct their guises of identity.
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