On February 4, Senzo Njabulo Shabangu shared a series of images from his studio via social media. From what I saw, it looked like the artist had just finished working on what appeared to be a new piece. A closer look at the images revealed a compelling triptych. Curiously I reached out to him… my interception with him goes live on Friday, 26 February 2021.
At certain points in our life we meet people who influences how we see things. At the very best such moments are not really prolonged. It could be a conversation lasting for a few minutes or under fortunate circumstances it can turn out to be a philosophical exchange that lasts for years. However such finer moments in our lives are not really marked by their prolongations. They are marked by the exchange itself. They are marked by what one take away from them. From there on wards it really doesn’t matter how often one can be exposed to the one who have insight into things that we wrestle with. They have cleared the cobwebs. We return to them to iron whatever creases that may remain. This might be an extended privilege on our part because we already know what needs to be done.»»
» Sometime in 2005 the exhibition Take Me To The River (TMTTR) took place at the Pretoria Art Museum¹. That exhibition featured a group of international artists amongst them South African artists, Nicholas Hlobo, Sharlene Khan and Churchill Madikida (now Songezile Madikida). At that time the Genesis II exhibition was at its infancy. I recall how at the opening of that exhibition on the evening of Wednesday 25 May Together with some of the Education Assistants (Museum Volunteers) of that time, Thami Msimango, Nthabiseng Rachel Montshiwa and Mxolisi Xaba, we looked at what the TMTTR as a project had achieved; which was the group exhibition as well as the incorporation of art made by learners from Gatang Secondary School. This left us with a satisfied feeling that the learners eventually when they arrived that evening to for the opening would see where art can take them and where it eventually belonged when an artists is established; when their work became heritage.
Mohlokomedi wa Tora
»On the 30 August 2018 at the Pretoria Art Museum I had the privilege of interviewing Lebohang Kganye on her solo exhibition Mohlokomedi wa Torai. The body of work that she has produced for this project gives two matriarchical perspective of her family narratives from where Ke Sa Le Teng her SASOL New Signatures winning video installation left of.
Mmutle Arthur Kgokong: Thank you Lebohang for agreeing to talk to me once more. Uhm, it is a very interesting exhibition from the winning work last year. When I first saw that it is an installation I was struck by the fact that you have included your old man in this exhibition to give us that familiar element in your work. I just wanna ask you, you know, how has it been for your to create a new body of work for this solo project? Having won the prize last year, how did you produce this work?
Lebohang Kganye: I think it is daunting, I think even when I won it, I have been thinking about working in a particular way or experimenting with something very particular which was installation. I have already done it but I have never really resolved it, I have been doing it for the animation pieces and for the photography element uhm people should experience the work in that was, but I have never resolved it how to… because it was temporal, because it was softer cardboard. How to make it stand. Or be more permanent if you can say so was not really resolved. So this was great because it allowed me the time I had a good budget to kinda figure out and experiment with that. So I think it was great because I already had an idea of what I wanted to do was an installation, even though I wanted it to move, and this and this and that, but it was just such a great starting point and I am extremely excited about how this part of it is resolved
Mohlokomedi wa Tora
»Lebohang Kganye, SASOL New Signatures 2017 overall winner’s exhibition is up at the Pretoria Art Museum. Her 2017 winning work was groundbreaking in terms of the animation approach she used to make the video installation in telling her family’s journey to Johannesburg. The pop-up book animation effect was pervasive in twofold. While on the one hand it nuanced story telling by way of mimicking leafing through a book during reading it also recalled a stage play mode of representation. Now the results of her winnings which has to be translated into a solo project exhibitions are ready to be perused by all and sundry.
» Zyma Amien’s solo exhibition at the Pretoria Art Museum, ‘Real’ lives and “Ordinary” objects: Partisan art-making strategies with garment workers of the Western Cape – Continuation is part of the SASOL New Signatures Art Competition’s previous winner for 2016 continues the journey from where the winning work Paying Homage left off. The exhibition is a grand gesture of what the artist was preoccupied with then in a discursive journey that has also fed into her Masters studies. Presently she goes on an all out assault discourse tackling the reality of the garment factory worker. This is the exclusive interview I conducted with her on the morning of 31 August 2017•
Zyma Amien’s solo exhibition at the Pretoria Art Museum, ‘Real’ lives and “Ordinary” objects: Partisan art-making strategies with garment workers of the Western Cape – Continuation is part of SASOL New Signatures Art Competition 2016 overall winner’s solo exhibition and accompanies the main 2017 art competition exhibition. A competition which historically speaking this year takes a step in an uncharted territory in South Africa with regard to this year’s winner Lebohang Khanye. Of course art by its internal nature of conception is very individualist and subjective. And as I have always said somewhere in my many conversations with both of those within the circle of this industry and those at the peripheral – it is an unfair affair from the context of competition as the artist is a product of social circumstances. The artist has to battle with social circumstances of their birth and art education in order to emerge amongst the best in a hostile industry that can proclaim you a contemporary artist at this instance only to replace you with another artist a few month later if not weeks or days. However Kganye’s win of this year’s edition of SASOL New Signatures has its merit. Talk of the charm of using a medium that was already there but pushing it further in an attempt to see what can be achieved with it. Encapsulate it with a personal anecdote and what you have is a balanced piece with both content and form intact. Although video as an art form in this country has not really taken off with the mainstream art supporting society its presence is being significantly felt here and there for its performative mode. Like the late Dot Vermeulen before her, we are about to find out where Lebohang Kganye will take video installation come 2018 this time of the year.
|>>>/ There is something daring about art when it becomes a personal reflection; when it’s thematic considerations are meditations of its maker on themselves. This mode of working which is a tenant of contemporary art is a brave leap as the artist leads the viewer into a personal space both in imagery and a nuanced psychology of the self. If the body of work produced in this frame of mind sees the artist sharing personal anecdotes with the viewer through art making discourses then the viewer can be seen as accessing what can be akin to a memoir through a strewn body of a work that represents a ‘particular period’ in the artist’s life and career. The reader should note that I am saying that the memoir access that they will be subjected to with regard to the artist only represents a ‘particular period’ in the artist’s life because surely the artist focus, if they are constantly searching for new forms of artistic expressions, will shift in time and come to bare on something else \<<<|
26 September 2016 at 09:00, Pretoria Art Museum
• [Mmutle Arthur Kgokong: Good morning Nelmarie]/[Nelmarie Du Preez: Good morning Mmutle/[Mmutle AK: It might have been great to see you immediately after the opening of SASOL New Signatures but we know that it is a very busy time with regards to the press the following day and obviously you might be having some works that you need to go back to the following day and so on ]/[Nelmarie dP (Smiles, nods and chuckles)]/[Mmutle AK: yah congratulations on the exhibition, something very different…]/[Nelmarie Dp: Yes (chuckles)]/[Mmutle AK: from what we are used to uhm you are focusing on automation and other things I see
Uhm… automation mostly and how automation influences the way that we as humans communicate with each other and also how we extend our bodies via these machines that are automated or just you know programmed to enhance our daily lives and, so I am interested in what impact that has on our bodies but also on our relationships
Ohh,… it is very interesting that you talk about relationships between machines and human beings and you know I feel when I look at your uhm your artist statement I came across this word which maybe it’s a simple word •
12 April 2016
Pretoria Art Museum
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•
One of the most interesting, unapologetic and provocative contemporary artist of our generation, Mxolisi Vusimuzi Beauchamp, shows a new body of work in his home town this season. His solo exhibition opens in Tshwane this Saturday, 16 May, at the Pretoria Art Museum at 1030 for 11:00.
The charm of Beauchamp’s present work is in its generous scale, laden with innuendo that straddles political commentary and our preoccupied mass consumer culture.
The body of work exhibited under the title Paradyse of The Damned shoves the viewer around dizzyingly and then suddenly by the collar, enacting a paucity of self opinion in as far as the viewer’s opinions are concerned towards a re-reading/viewing of our global political sphere and mass consumer culture from afresh.
It’s a tour de force– mmutleak.com¶