Archive: Issue No. 121, September 2007

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Nandipha Mntambo

Nandipha Mntambo
Lelive Lami, 2007
cowhide, cow's tails, resin, polyester mesh
180 x 290 x 200cm


Nontsikelelo Veleko

Nontsikelelo Veleko
From Chinese/Japanese series: Madame Lolo let them eat fruits, 2006
archival pigment print on cotton rag paper
48 x 33cm


Simmi Dullay

Simmi Dullay
As yet untitled, 2007
photographic print
variable dimensions



   [11.09.07] Nandipha Mntambo at Michael Stevenson Gallery
Despite the fact that the 'conflation of cowhide and female forms risks entrenching the idea of woman as passive, reproductive commodity' and risks an essentialist reading of her work, Nandipha Mntambo takes up this challenge in 'Ingabisa', her first solo outing at Michael Stevenson. The result, argues Tavish McIntosh, takes on these associations 'hyperbolically', and deflates their power.

   [11.09.07] Student review: Esther Mahlangu and Speelman Mahlangu at 34Long
Student Amy Miller reviews Esther Mahlangu's show at 34Long. While critics struggle to locate the artist's position somewhere between the traditional and the contemporary, Miller feels that here - while Mahlangu's importance is never in doubt - she fails to address the complexity of both this moment and AmaNdebele cultural production as a whole.


   [11.09.07] Nontsikelelo Veleko at the Goodman Gallery
In a fairly scathing review Anthea Buys, writing for ArtThrob for the first time, takes issue with Nontsikelelo 'Lolo' Veleko's 'Mute!Scream!Mute!', which she decries as theoretically underdeveloped and unprofessional on a number of levels. She concludes by saying, 'Veleko need only flip through a good local design magazine to see that she has been outdone by a number of contemporary fashion photographers who are not enjoying a fraction of her publicity.'

   [05.08.07] Ann-Marie Tully at Gordart Gallery
Brenden Gray reviews Ann-Marie Tully's 'Non Facturé' at Gordart Gallery, a show of paintings which bases itself on digital and filmic images, capitalising on 'notions of flawed representation'. The watercolours in particular, seem 'to wrestle with the fate of painting in an age of surveillance and spectacle'.

   [05.08.07] 'Africa Remix' third panel discussion: 'On African contemporaneity, aesthetics, practices and debates: a conversation with African intellectuals'
Landi Raubenheimer attended the third 'Africa Remix' panel discussion. The evening's contributions revealed a project fraught with difficulty, with all of its terms of reference - 'African', 'Western', 'identity' - turning out to be vague, contested and problematic. 'Can anyone', she asks, 'get beyond the problematic legacy of African colonialisation? Not yet it seems, and not anytime soon.'

   [05.08.07] 'Africa Remix' at the Johannesburg Art Gallery
Michael Smith somewhat reluctantly adds his voice to the commentary on 'Africa Remix'. He examines, the politics of such large survey shows, the juxtapositions that result and the kind of work they favour. He sees the show as a 'large-scale statement of intent for future modes of production and curation of African art on African soil'.


   [05.08.07] 'Breathing Spaces' at Durban Art Gallery
'Breathing Spaces' showcases a partnership between photographer Jenny Gordon and historian Marijke du Toit, examining Durban's South Basin, where a working class community lives in the shadow of large industry, and whose health has been acutely affected by this over the years. With contributions from affected parties and an archive of viewers' comments, this project, Carol Brown contends, is 'an excellent example of how art can be genuinely socially committed and where the voices of the curators are shared with those of the subjects in a manner which is empowering and still satisfies the aesthetic demands of a fine exhibition.'

   [05.08.07] Right before your eyes at the KZNSA Gallery
'Right before your eyes', a group show held at the launch of Durban artist and journalist Peter Machen's Durban - A Paradise and its People, should have, according to Julian Brown, 'been a mess'. Rather it is a highly successful showcase of work by numerous Durban-based and -associated artists, carefully hung with thought-provoking juxtapositions throughout. He calls it 'a delicate and restless display'.


   [11.09.07] Look at Me: Women for Children catalogue
Carol Brown reviews Look at Me, a catalogue documenting Art for Humanity's 'Women for Children' project, which featured collabrations by visual artists and poets which were published on billboards. The catalogue serves as an important resource both for art and social science researchers.