Intraparadox: Interview with Nthabiseng Rachel Montshiwa

Refilwe Art Reach

6 February 2016 at 11:00, Pretoria Art Museum

 

Mmutle Arthur Kgokong: good afternoon Nthabiseng Montshiwa it is a pleasure to have the opportunity to interview you again after five years, exactly five years because the last interview we had was in 2010 and we are now in 2016 and today is the 6th of February and we are here talking about your…the project that you are currently working on which is Refilwe Art Reach. So I want to welcome you to Intraparadox, uhm following our first interview many years ago which is ehh five years really, how has the art industry treated you up to this point?

Nthabiseng Rachel Montshiwa: ehh firstly hello Mmutle I am grateful that you could make time to do this interview with me again. The art industry is very fluid. You can never say you are holding ground on a specific project, [otherwise when you are faced with a challenge] and things do not go well you become more frustrated. I have learned that you must always find concepts or avenues to explore especially based on the maturity level that one finds herself in these years so it has been ups and downs because clearly you can’t put food on the table every month and you can’ sustain your self the way you would like to  

Mmutle AK: …uh-hum…

 Nthabiseng RM: so you must constantly explore funding you must be selling things. But also not shooting your self on the foot by doing wrong concepts which might mislead you in this career. So from being a curator or an arts administrator at the time…I am still an administrator respectively…but we are not concentrating on art exhibitions any more because we would like to find other vocabulary to define what art exhibitions should be and what they should actually address. We have moved to art education programs for children in public schools specifically

MAK:  …Yes…

NRM: So that’s the change I find my self in now and it has been fantastic.

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Intraparadox: Interview with Nthabiseng Rachel Montshiwa (Audio Version)


14 March

© Mmutle Arthur Kgokong 2016

© Refilwe Art Reach Project 2016, Nthabiseng Rachel Montshiwa  2016

This work was commissioned by Refilwe Art Reach Project, Nthabiseng Rachel Montshiwa. Tshwane. Pretoria.

This work’s written format, dialogue, together with its audio version is a shared copyright work of the aforementioned persons herein, it cannot be reproduced in any form without consent of the copyright holders.

 

Intraparadox Interview with Thato Seboko: Dye my Memories

12 April 2016

Pretoria Art Museum

 

Prologue

I spoke to Thato Seboko on the morning of 12 April ahead of the opening of his solo on 16 April at the Mellow House Factory in Tshwane, Hatfield. The artist was excited about his first upcoming solo exhibition which would feature a new body of work comprising of 16 artworks. For that exhibition he had been working with a new media – Hair Dye, which is a non traditional art making material and can be looked upon as a new vehicle for artistic expression and thematic enunciation as far as new media is concerned. However since the artist retains a figurative approach in dealing with his subject matter something of fine art tradition is retained with regard to form but the accepted media of delivery is challenged

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Intraparadox: Interview with Elizabeth Balcomb

Auguries of Innocence

4 September at 09:40, Pretoria Art Museum

 Elizabeth Balcomb standing next to 'Son of Man, 2015' (3)

SELF PRESERVATION

Mmutle Arthur Kgokong: I hope you are ok this morning

Elizabeth Balcomb: I’m good very good, yes, yes

Mmutle AK: You slept in Pretoria or in Johannesburg? (laughs)

Elizabeth B: No in Pretoria, geeze just up the road, very closed. I’m fresh

MAK: …yah well I am glad that you are…

EB: close, close

MAK: fresh, you know, after last night’s busy evening.

EB: yes-yes

MAK: And thank you for agreeing to speak to me Elizabeth. Ehhm, I just want us to start right at the beginning. Where were you born, and you know, what was it like growing up where you were born?

EB: Alight, I was born in Westerneria, but ehhm when I was not even three months old my parents moved to Howick in KZN, ya, and then we moved to Pietermaritzburg after, …my father was a minister of a church, but this was during apartheid days, and he was part of the underground [movement] to overthrow the government and in his church he wanted black people to come…and and just start changing South Africa but [the church] elders kicked him out as a result and so we had to leave Howick and moved to Pietermaritzburg and he started lecturing Theology and so yah that was very part of my life was that experience, Yah…

MAK: So (interrupts)

EB: but, about, I wanted to beno, I was told the moment I started drawing pictures that I was talented and I had always had that encouragement my whole life and when I was about eleven years old I saw a sculpture and I wanted to start sculpting from about that age

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Interview with Mxolisi Vusimuzi Beauchamp (Part III)

Location: Pretoria Art Museum, Tshwane, South Africa

Date: Tuesday 17 February 2015 at 09:00

Part Three:

Identity /Ideology Bamboozled

 

Mmutle. So would you say the idea of identity in terms of the content of the work started to take shape somewhere during this period, as you were exposed to the work of Spike Lee in comparison to the work of John Singleton?

Vusi. There was another artist, an English-Nigerian who used Elephant dung in his artworks. I forget his name. But like in identity, interrogating the idea of identity you know in the arts Spike Lee’s ‘Bamboozled’ sort of put at rest my anger towards the way blacks were excluded. You know that movie it made sense in a way that entertainment and such things were not something that was reserved for black people in a way. Entertainment wise it was mocking them. That was the entertainment industry and I just wanted to find a way for escaping or teaching [myself] or finding a way to express my anger through specifying that there is a difference between an artist and a black artist. They are two different things.

Mmutle. You mean the difference between a white artist…?

Vusi. No-no, the difference between an artist and a black artist. You know if you are black you are not an artist you are a ‘black artist’. So there is that thing…

[Mmutle. So you are not an artist pure – you are a black artist.]

Vusi. That’s what helped me to interrogate this thing. I have always saw myself as an artist…

Mmutle. And now this dichotomy of

Beauchamp, Mxolisi Vusimuzi. New Industry, 2015. Mixed Media.

Beauchamp, Mxolisi Vusimuzi. New Industry, 2015. Mixed Media.

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Interview with Mxolisi Vusimuzi Beauchamp (Part II)

Location: Pretoria Art Museum, Tshwane, South Africa

Date: Tuesday 17 February 2015 at 09:00

 Part Two:

Intellectual Rebellion/No holes on the Walls

Mmutle. You’ve now moved into an interesting period where you are now studying at University level, at Tshwane University of Technology. If you were to compare your training at Tshwane University of Technology and your exposure to fine arts at high school. What were the differences in these two institutionS?

Vusi. There is a difference, the difference was that in high school I was left to my own devices to achieve freedom that I had and I was passing, I was marked for doing what I was doing naturally. With TUT they were teaching me techniques now, that’s the first time I explored oils, you know, and I was taught how to mix, using oils and the techniques, and applying oil and all those sorts of things and exploring different dimensions that I’ve never experimented with as in using acrylic paints to oil, actually layering the artwork – scumbling and [the] glazing of the artwork. I really enjoyed the paintings of Rembrandts, the van Gogh style, the Vermeer, Dutch painters and stuff. Well, like I said we were exposed mostly to the Europeans [artists]

Mmutle. Of course

Vusi. Style of painting a subject in a way a still life and figurative type of thing…

Mmutle. Did it bode well to you that your training at Tshwane University of Technology tended to focus more on Western Art than it exposed you to African Art or South African Art?

Beuchamp, Mxolisi Vusimuzi. The Future, 2015. Mixed Media.

Beuchamp, Mxolisi Vusimuzi. The Future, 2015. Mixed Media.

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Interview with Mxolisi Vusimuzi Beauchamp (Part I)

Location: Pretoria Art Museum, Tshwane, South Africa

Date: Tuesday 17 February 2015 at 09:00

 Part One:

Childhood and Exposure to Arts Education

 

Mmutle Arthur Kgokong: Good morning Vusi Beauchamp, thanks for giving me the opportunity to interview you.

Mxolisi Vusimuzi Beauchamp: Thanks Mr. Mmutle

Mmutle AK: I just want us to start a little bit at the beginning of your life, when were you born?

Mxolisi VB: 1979 the third of May

MAK: and where did you grow up?

MVB: I grew up in Mamelodi Pretoria and I spent most of life there.

Mmutle: So you are a Pretorian

Vusi. Yes, I was made in Pretoria (Jokes)

Mmutle. (Laughs), if you can just tell me about your early childhood experiences. What was it like growing up in Mamelodi?

Mxolisi Vusimuzi Beauchamp at work. Image source, the artist facebook profile.

Beauchamp at work on The Great Maestro. Image source, the artist facebook profile.

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