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.

Continue reading “Interview with Mxolisi Vusimuzi Beauchamp (Part III)”

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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.

Continue reading “Interview with Mxolisi Vusimuzi Beauchamp (Part II)”

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.

Continue reading “Interview with Mxolisi Vusimuzi Beauchamp (Part I)”

Interview with Senzo Njabulo Shabangu (Part One): Today, Tomorrow, Everyday

Location: LL Editions Fine Art Printing, The Bag Factory, Johannesburg, South Africa

Date: Friday 28 November 2014 at 09:00

Mmutle Arthur Kgokong: Well I just want to thank you Senzo for giving me the time to talk to you especially here in the studio, not at your home where you will be bombarded with house chores (jokingly).

Senzo Njabulo Shabangu: (laughs) true

Mmutle AK: Yah, here it’s much better because it is your work space.

Senzo NS: Yes we can, …I understand, we can…

Mmutle: At the moment you are here at The Bag Factory neh?

Senzo: Yes

MAK: You are working on a new body of work? Tell me what is the work about actually in terms of the content of what you are dealing with for this new body of work?

Senzo. It’s like, I have been dealing a lot with issues of Joburg pressure because to me it is easy to realize that pressure the city has. So since I came here (in) 2006 I have been feeling that pressure like …at home when you are in the city they have their own expectations and as an artist it is also difficult. It is difficult for everyone the way a city designed because it’s got that pressure and for me as someone who comes outside of the city it’s easy for me to feel that pressure.

Continue reading “Interview with Senzo Njabulo Shabangu (Part One): Today, Tomorrow, Everyday”

Speech: The Nature of an Artist’s journey

ON the 7 February 2015 at about ten in the morning I was about to read the prepared speech below at the opening of Tshwane University of Technology Department of Fine and Applied Arts BTech exhibition while I noticed, in the sea of the crowd nestle here and there serious looks including a couple of people who rolled their eyes upwards in the ‘here it comes’ attitude. This together with the occasional air blows from the nearby air con which ruffled my prepared speech papers in its duel against the onslaught of summer heat convinced me to ditch the speech and speak from an improvised angle. I doubt if anyone ate from my palms. Contrary to popular believe of the little circle I belong to, I am never comfortable speaking in public, even if it’s about what I feel passionate about, art. I find solace in the written text. Presently I hope that the speech below does justice to my improvised performance.

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Diary entry: Interview with Senzo Njabulo Shabangu#28/11/Twenty14.

Senzo@work

Ï spent part of today’s morning at the Bag Factory, LL Editions Fine Arts Printmaking Studio in Newtown, Johannesburg, interviewing Senzo Njabulo Shabangu. He is currently working on a new body of work for an upcoming exhibition next year in September. ‘The exhibition is both here and in New York. I have decided to work in different spaces in order to broaden my horizon as an artist’  he states as he looks around him.

His studio is in Jan Smuts Avenue at David Krut Print Workshop. It is always such an honor to be afforded the opportunity to be immersed in the life of an artist. The next step is to make the interview accessible to you. This means the wordathonian chuchu train will be churning away behind the wordmachiniacon over the next weeks. If there is anything that emerged from my interview with Senzo was a sneak behind the vanishing corner of what theoretically his work could be about; Although I cannot speak with authority at the moment, but what emerged was an interrogation of the dwelling space, the apartment, the urban flatlands, as a contested space between those who rent and those who lease. I hope that later on, your reading of the interview will help us make headway either towards affirming this theoretical perspective or its refutation.

Interview with Senzo Njabulo Shabangu @BagFactoryII 28112014

Summer

28 November

© Mmutle Arthur Kgokong 2014

mmutleak@gmail.com

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Neo Resistance Art and its Fallacy (final edit!)

/a mistaken reasoning which makes an argument invalid/

/the ability not to be affected by something/

/skill, especially human skill as opposed to nature; skillful execution as an object in itself/

 

Take note that…

This is the final edition of an essay that I first published on 23 May, there have been a few omissions and additions made here and there, all done with the effort to zoom clearly on the preoccupation the essay raises. The original  work is still available in this blog.

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I was going to title the present article artwork. That title would not have encapsulated the issues that I would like to tackle presently. In a country that is divided economically and operating along racial lines, though covertly, when one looks at the so call liberal arts, even before consider such art as liberal, we must go to the beginning of the conception of an artwork which is in itself a problematic journey in itself. Yet its locale is quite clear, the conception of an artwork takes place within the exercising of freedom to respond to stimuli either internally or externally to the artist not from freedom of speech. Actually freedom of speech is the desire to share with everyone around you your fundamental concerns.

  Continue reading “Neo Resistance Art and its Fallacy (final edit!)”