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JAGi calls for proposals

Johannesburg Art Gallery Initiative (JAGi) is inviting proposals from artists, choreographers, musicians, curators, directors, film-makers and performance artists for participation in its launch event on October 16 1999. Proposals - with an acceptance deadline of July 31 - are invited around the theme of "Catharsis".

JAGi is aimed at revitalising the Johannesburg Art Gallery through presenting multi-disciplinary art events with popular youth appeal. These events will be geared to presenting dynamic art and arts education projects to the public four times per annum. The events will incorporate dance, plastic arts, drama, literature, film, video, music and electronic media. Each event will be based on a selected theme and will be presented in a unique and dynamic environment, the Johannesburg Art Gallery. JAGi will provide a much-needed platform for emerging and established artists to present their works. The varied facilities of the JAG lend themselves to the introduction of a unique art form and the possibilities of cross-cultural and multi-media explorations.

JAGi wishes to encourage collaborations between artists from different arts disciplines. These collaborations will dismantle the existent boundaries between the disparate artistic genres and encourage the growth of multi-disciplinary art. JAGi is a platform for this new work. It will challenge the traditional norms of exhibition display, thus furthering the growth of contemporary cultural production in South Africa. The events will also build audiences for the gallery.

"Catharsis", the first event, is based around the issue of violence and the inherent need for catharsis and purging that is experienced by replaying or exposing violence and memory. Repressed experiences are in this manner brought to consciousness and the victim or perpetrator is purged ... free of guilt, hate, anger ... or so the psychoanalyst maintains.

The JAGi steering committee consists of Jeanette Ginslov (convenor), Bie Venter, Stompie Selibi and Storm van Rensburg. The committee will review the incoming proposals in conjunction with various consultants in the respective fields (dance, fine art, music, theatre and film). Proposals will be reviewed according to the objectives of JAGi, with an emphasis on experimental work by young and established practitioners, as well as the relevance to the theme "Catharsis".

All proposals must include a Curriculum Vitae of the work's convenor (in case of group participation) or the artist's. A detailed breakdown of intention, technical requirements, concept and budget as well as a visual presentation of the proposed work or most recent works must be included. The presentation could be in slide, photographic or video format. If proposals are posted, please include a self-addressed, franked envelope for its return. The JAGi management does not take any responsibility for any material lost, damaged or misplaced during handling thereof.

Address proposals to: JAGi Steering Committee, PO Box 53257, Troyeville, 2139. For more information, contact Jeannette Ginslov on (011) 615-2982 or 083-522-5145 or e-mail, or Bie Venter on 083-728-5606.

World Congress on Art Deco to be held in Cape Town

The Cape Art Deco Club has secured Cape Town as the host city for the Seventh World Congress on Art Deco, to be held in March 2003. Brent Meersman of the Cape Art Deco Club attended the fifth World Congress, in Napier, New Zealand, in February of this year, and successfully bid for Cape Town at a meeting of ICADS, the International Coalition of Art Deco Societies.

The World Congress on Art Deco is held every second year, and 2003 will mark the first time it has been held in Africa - in 2001 the venue will be Tulsa, Oklahoma.

At the fifth Congress, the talk given on South Africa was by Brent Meersman and focused on the Waalburg and Old Mutual buildings in Cape Town. The talk and slides of these two buildings are available.

It is anticipated that 500 delegates will attend the World Congress in Cape Town in 2003, giving local tourism and business a boost - from hotels, restaurants and tour operators to antique and collectables dealers.

For further information contact the Cape Art Deco Club, c/o Noupoort Guest Farm, PO Box 101, Piketberg 7320; phone (0261) 5754/5856; fax (0261) 5834; e-mail Website:

Centre for Photography newsletter

From: Geoff Grundlingh

There is a sense of expectation as the 'Encounters with Photography' conference draws nearer. I do not have any further details since posting the conference timetable, but interested parties should contact Prof Michael Godby on (021) 650-2685, or Patricia Davidson at the Museum on (021) 424-3330.

The National Gallery is also hosting its 'Lines of Sight: Perspectives on South African Photography' exhibition from July 17 to October 31. This extensive exhibition, assembled by seven different curators, explores different aspects of 20th century South African photography and is the National Gallery's biggest photographic exhibition yet.

Those who have not yet seen the David Goldblatt exhibition at the National Gallery should catch it soon.

I hope to change this monthly mailer into a Listserve which will allow for easier, more accessible, two-way discussion. Listserves allow all members (you sign up to join the group) to post messages, announcements and comments on photo-related events to all subscribers.

Finally, the Centre's own Cape Town Month of Photography is starting to cook. For those in the dark, this first Month of Photography is inviting all SA photographers (and those who like to take photographs) to submit ideas, prints, web-based, multi-media, digital etc to us via e-mail or by post to: SA Centre for Photography, 31-37 Orange Street, Gardens, 8001. Closing date July; opening September 24.

We want ideas which centre around the sea, the century, Cape Town, community etc. We would like to end up with 100 shows and have about 30 pencilled in already, so hurry up. I will post further updates about the Cape Town festival during June.

The curators are myself and Berni Searle for the regular shows; Lien Botha, who likes to curate what she calls the "subversive shows", meaning exhibitions on ships, the mountain, beaches, etc; Jenny Altschuler is setting up the Planetarium (I think Herschel Mair is looking for slides for a planetarium show dealing with the sea and marine life) and will do her live show venues as well. Jenny has a further trick or two up her sleeve to surprise and entertain us.

Watch this space for news on movies at the Labia, ADA magazine as potential catalogue and more. Move over Grahamstown. Dale Yudelman is the web-based shows curator and will connect the Month of Photography with the rest of the cyberworld. All this effort these wonderful, generous and committed people are doing for nothing but the love of it. Thank you, we owe you.

Contact the curators directly for further information and discussion. Berni:; Dale:; Jenny:; Lien:; Herschel:

Call for ACT Award nominations

The Arts and Culture Trust of the President (ACT) will once again recognise individuals and institutions that have supported the development of arts and culture in South Africa through its annual Arts and Culture Awards.

The awards, which were instituted in 1998, recognise excellence in 11 categories, eight of which carry monetary prizes. The winners of the monetary categories will receive R10 000 each.

Closing date for entries for the awards is June 30 1999, and the winners will be announced at a ceremony in Cape Town on September 23 (entrants will be informed of the venue at a later date).

Nominations must state clearly the category for which the person/institution is being entered and include the following:
1. The nominee's name and signed agreement to be nominated;
2. A motivation for the nomination;
3. The name of the company/organisation/person nominating the nominee;
4. A CV of the nominee or a list of activities of the institution.

Nominations should be sent to The Administrator, The Arts and Culture Trust of the President, Suite 126, Private Bag X18, 7701 Rondebosch, or faxed to (021) 689-7589, by 4pm on June 30 1999. No extensions to this date will be considered.

The monetary categories, and to which person or organisation each is open, are as follows:

1. Arts and culture journalist of the year
South African radio, TV or print media journalists, either freelance or permanent, in any part of the country, who writes about/reports on the arts and culture, whether on a daily, weekly or monthly basis;

2. Print publication of the year in support of the arts and culture
Any South African daily, weekly or monthly newspaper, journal, newsletter, magazine, which as a whole, or a section of which reports on, provides information about, offers constructive criticism, provides debate about arts and culture, or any aspect of it;

3. Electronic media of the year in support of the arts
South African radio or television programme or internet service which provides information about, comments or reports on any aspect of the arts and culture;

4. Arts and culture publicists of the year
Any media publicity company, agency or department of an institution whose primary task is to generate publicity and thereby audiences and markets for arts and culture or any aspect thereof;

5. Arts and culture education project of the year
Any agency or organisation involved in advocacy around arts and culture education anywhere in the country, or any formal or non-formal education programme which imparts skills - artistic, administrative, educational, etc - in the arts, at primary, secondary, tertiary or adult level;

6. Cultural development project of the year
Any project or programme undertaken by any formal or non-formal institution in any of the cultural, government, private or business sectors, in any arts and culture discipline, with the primary aim of developing the arts - skills, infrastructure, building audiences, etc - or access to the arts among historically disadvantaged communities;

7. Arts administrator of the year
Any person in cultural organisations, government, the business community or activities concerned primarily with administration, policy, funding or management of the arts and culture or any aspect of it;

8. Lifetime achievement award
Anyone, dead (posthumous) or alive, older than 60 years, who has spent the best part of their lives in service to the arts and culture, not as a practising arts primarily (although they could have practised as an artist in any field), but in other areas supportive of the development and flourishing of the arts and culture in the country.

The three non-monetary categories are:

9. City/town of the year in support of the arts
Any city or town in South Africa which has supported the arts and culture through its vision and policy, its structures, personnel and budgets, its ongoing development and financial support of the cultural personnel and administrators, the range and quality of cultural events held in it and its commitment to cultural tourism;

10. Province of the year in support of the arts
Any province in South Africa which has supported the arts and culture through its quality and vision of cultural policy, the organisational, management and financial soundness, efficiency and competence of the provincial department responsible for the arts, the devising, implementing and quality of cultural legislation in the province and the sustainability of independent statutory structures responsible for arts and culture, and the range and quality of cultural activities supported by the province;

11. International arts sponsor of the year
Any foreign donor, embassy, government department or institution, based in South Africa or abroad, which supports South African arts and culture financially, or through training, exposure or other means.

A list of suggested criteria for each category is available from the Administrator of The Arts and Culture Trust, Suite 126, Private Bag X18, 7701 Rondebosch.

Women and Violence: Conference and exhibition

Twin events of a conference and an exhibition centred around violence against women take place at the Linder Auditorium, Johannesburg College of Education, St Andrew's Road, Parktown on July 20-22.

The conference is entitled 'The Aftermath: Women in Post-War Reconstruction' and the companion exhibition, curated by Gael Neke and Gail Morkel, is 'Art on Violence against Women'.

The exhibition presents the work of eight women artists working around the concept of violence in its broadest sense. It takes its impetus directly from the framework of the conference without being illustrative, and offers a thought-provoking and evocative reading of the notion of violence through photography, sculpture and mixed media installations. Artists include Susie Copperthwaite, Leora Farber, Melissa Goba, Gail Morkel, Gael Neke, Goodness Nhlengethwa, Penny Siopis and Kathryn Smith.

Questions to be raised at the conference include: what happens to gender relations in African societies in post-war reconstruction? For women, a truce does not always bring an end to violence - in several African countries, violence against women rose after the armistice. The conference and exhibition will explore approaches that move beyond the "rights" and "needs" dialectic towards redefining women as active creators of their own reality.

Delegates have been invited from all over the world, but conflict-stricken countries like Angola, Rwanda and Serbia have been highlighted.

For more information, check out: or call Gael Neke on (011) 678-7188 or Gail Morkel on (011) 442-5580.

Black Arts Collective

Meetings of the Black Arts Collective (BLAC) take place on the first Tuesday of the month at 5.30pm at The Granary, Buitenkant Street, Cape Town (opposite Cape College).

BLAC was initiated in late 1998 for the purposes of building discourse around South African art and heritage with particular reference to black people. BLAC encourages networking and the development of projects between people who attend its meetings, but as yet does not have the capacity to initiate, financially support or manage projects. Meetings are open to all who see themselves as black. For the purposes of the collective and its activities, black refers to people who were marginalised/dispossesed on the basis of race by the apartheid government.

Its fundamental reason for being is to aid in the empowerment of black artists, heritage workers, academics and arts administrators towards an African, South African and Cape Town aesthetic. Arts refers broadly to all media: visual, performance, literary, video, fashion etc.

Each session will feature a 10-minute input by a Capetonian arts/heritage worker, and/or an input by a guest speaker on some topic of interest, followed by a 30-40 minute discussion. Important news will also be shared.

The next meeting will take place at the Granary on Tuesday June 1 at 5.30pm; the guest speaker will be Mike van Graan, co-ordinator of the One City Festival (due to open on September 24 1999). Mike is an arts manager of note who has served as advisor to the minister in arts, and has been involved at a senior level in arts programmes in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. He presently runs a consultancy in arts management.

Please diarise the following meeting dates, speakers still to be confirmed: July 6; August 3; September 7; October 5 - guest: Vusabantu Ngema (dance practitioner); November 2; December 7.

BLAC is managed by ONE. Contact Zayd Minty at 465-4996 or e-mail

'Postcards from South Africa'

From: Gary van Wyk

Axis Gallery, located in New York City, plans to hold an exhibition of South African artists during August 1999. Entries are invited from all professional South African artists.

Two museum shows of South African art are being held on the East Coast in the second half of 1999 - one at the Museum for African Art in Manhattan and the other at the Smithsonian National Museum for African Art in Washington, DC. These shows focus on a limited number of artists. Axis Gallery aims to provide a counterpoint by providing a broader view, and offering all artists the opportunity to enter. Axis anticipates that this exhibition will be of considerable interest to New York critics, such as Holland Cotter of the New York Times, who recently positioned Axis Gallery as among the top 20 galleries in the burgeoning Chelsea art scene, which presently numbers more than 100 galleries.

Axis Gallery, entering its third year, initially specialised in African art from southern Africa. This focus broadened to include contemporary South African art, beginning with works on paper by Sam Nhlengethwa, William Kentridge, and others. This expansion reflected the interests of Axis Gallery's director, Lisa Brittan, and curator, Gary van Wyk, who both trained as artists at Wits. Both have a sustained interest in contemporary South African art, and feel that South African art deserves more comprehensive and informed representation than it has typically enjoyed in the United States to date.

After the exhibition closes at Axis at the end of August, it will be installed at the South African Consulate, where it will be opened on September 9 1999 by Consul General Thami Ngwevela, and remain on view through Heritage Day. The closing date in September is still to be confirmed.

Guidelines are as follows:

Entering: The following are eligible: established artists, artists who have completed a formal art degree or diploma, and artists who have participated at a recognized Community Art Centre for three years or more.

Theme: The theme is conveyed by the title, and is open to interpretation. The show aims to represent a wide range of art, and in a sense to represent South Africa. Artists might, for example, view their postcards as messages to America, or focus on the significance of this forthcoming Heritage Day, the last of this millennium.

Format: Postcard-sized works (either 145mm X 110mm or 250mm X 176mm). Artists may submit as many as five works.

Sending work: Artists may choose to send works through any method acceptable to the South Africa Post Office (postcard, oversize postcard, envelope, registered, etc.) or to employ such other methods of getting the work to Axis as international courier service (DHL, FedEx, insured art shippers, etc).

Return of work: Artists may elect whether to have unsold works returned to them by Axis or for Axis to keep the unsold works in a portfolio in order to represent their work in New York. On your entry form, state either "Return" or "Keep". If artists elect to have work returned, Axis Gallery will return them by the same method they were received.

Pricing and gallery commission: Axis suggests a selling price of $99,99 as a guide. This echoes the date of the consular opening (9/9/99), and makes the works affordable to a wide range of potential clients. Artists may, however, choose to price their work higher. Axis takes a 50% commission of the selling price, which is standard in New York. Income from sales will be mailed to your return address at the end of September 1999.

Submission dates/deadline: Axis is prepared to accept submissions immediately. The invitation and other publicity will be based on works received early. The deadline is Monday, July 19. Extensions will be considered if special circumstances apply.

Application form: The following details should accompany the work or, if it is sent through the regular mail as a postcard, be submitted separately: artist's name, return address, telephone, fax, e-mail, number of works submitted, unsold works - return or keep, and (for each work submitted) title, medium, date, price if more than $100, and description to identify work.

All works to arrive at Axis Gallery, 453 West 17th Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10011, USA, no later than Monday, July 19 1999.

If you have other questions, please contact Bernd Ebert, Gary van Wyk or Lisa Brittan at Axis Gallery, e-mail, or refer inquiries to Lorna Ferguson (011 880-5185) or Estelle Jacobs at the Association for Visual Arts (021 854-3461).


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