[I] have tried not to be persuaded by my experience of talking to the artist and working on the transcription of our conversation not to read too much on his life’s impact on his work. However as I worked through the text I could not help but notice the symbols at work in his artistic output. These symbols are noticeable in the work Comfort (2020) which is also the title of the solo exhibition on show at BKhz Studio at the moment.(more…)
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.
23 March 2016
[Mmutle Arthur Kgokong: Good morning Banele Khoza]/[Banele Khoza: Hello Mmutle, how are you?]/[Mmutle AK: I am very well thank you, uhm welcome to Intraparadox, ehh I am glad you were able make time and see me ahead of your exhibition at the art museum which has something to do with your feelings, but we get to that point ehh towards the end of our interview. How are you doing man?]/[Banele K: I am good,
sorry, I am pretty…I am good. I think for me it is such a huge honor for me for this to be happening cause you have mentioned so many times that you will be interviewing someone, interviewing someone and, I think the past years when I heard I was like, ….yoh, I wish I could be in that spot as well, just the same exhibition I think when I saw Vusi’s one last year I was like …woh… I wish I could do this. So for me, I think I am really excited that it has come to my side as well.]/[MAK: Well I am glad to hear that because everybody has a fair chance to show to the world their artistic contribution and I think for someone who works hard like yourself ehh this is a well deserved opportunity. And ehh maybe we can even say that, as they say, things happen at the right time and at the right moment. Yah uhm with the formalities out of the way I just want us to go back to the beginning of your life so that we can sketch your portrait. Uhum where were you born?]
The Quadrille of Torture, Pain, Steel and Paint
14 May 2016
Pretoria Art Museum
I spoke to Ilandi Barkhuizen on the morning of 14 May ahead of a group exhibition that will feature her work at the St. Lorient Fashion and Art Gallery on 15 May 2016 until 4 June 2016.
Mmutle Arthur Kgokong. Good morning Ilanda Barkhizen, I hope I am pronouncing your name correctly there
Ilandi Barkhuizen. Oh its fine I heard worse (Laughs)
Mmutle AK. yes, so my pronunciation is on spot?
Ilandi barkhuizen. Yes!
MAK. Thank you, welcome to Intraparadox a platform for interviewing artists of all calibers it really does not matter whether the artist sees themselves as a fully practicing artist or whether as a beginner. The idea of the platform is to try and reveal the person, the artist, the person behind the work and …at the moment I hope you are excited with the exhibition
The preoccupation with the surface area in art making is an integral part of art practice as much as the development of new media is. It is an area that we often don’t give attention to when we look at works of art, yet it is there. It is a pedestal unto which ideas are communicated to us. The ancient artists, the San Hunter Gatherers, understood this; for instance they would use the bulge of the inside of the cave’s surface to express the bump of an antelope in an attempt to mimic form∇
I spoke to Thato Seboko on Tuesday 12 April ahead of his solo exhibition opening at the Mellow House Factory in Tshwane, Hatfield. The artist was excited about his upcoming exhibition which will feature a new body of work comprising of 16 artworks. Presently he is 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. 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 and thus the boundary of art production process pushed further.
What follows is a speech prepared to open officially the For Sale Project Exhibition 2012. Due to the hype around the exhibition at the evening of 1 August and the throng of people who responded to the opening I never gave this speech. Avoiding the heavy burden of history I instead improvised and picked up the most salient ideas around the exhibition and its aims. The speech as it is reproduced below serves to pay homage to my contemporaries in Pretoria/Tshwane within the visual arts who have been involved in this project over the last decade. It is reproduced herein for all to gain an understanding of our attempts to move visual art forward in the City of Tshwane.
Good evening ladies and gentleman. Artists. Thank you for joining us this evening as we open this year’s installment of the For Sale Project Exhibition. My name is Mmutle Arthur Kgokong, I am a Culture Officer for the City of Tshwane and I am responsible for Education and Development at the Pretoria Art Museum. I feel honored to share this evening with you. I shall not give a critical commentary on the work that is on show for I believe that criticism in itself is designated to individual speculation as to what art concepts work better than others or which artwork is successful in a given context. Tonight I let you, in your personal capacity to be the judge – to be the connoisseur of fine art.
The Visual Arts in our country needs an overhaul in terms of the behavior of state apparatuses (Educational Structures) specific to foster their continuance. Today the war that is being fought at the political level fetters down to the important structures that have been put in place to guarantee the smooth running of the country.
The war at play is that of opposing ideals in terms dealing with socio-economic challenges, with education as a point of departure. Cohesion is implied not practice. These attitudes, which are indexical to the opposing political parties in South Africa, erect an iron curtain between systems which should be working together for the country’s development. In institutions and government departments each is concerned only with specific area that they are expert in. Lack of acknowledgement of interrelatedness of our varied structures achieves nothing except a growing cynicism. Should the various systems involved in the same area adopt a more positive role and acknowledge their interrelatedness the results will be tremendous in terms of a positive development of our country.
It is a privilege for one who has not dedicated one’s self to the pursuit of art practice, one who gathers joy in its consumption through the activity of looking to be afforded the opportunity to be familiar with those who are engaged in the production of the visual art object.
Visual Art Production like any other art form attains its full expression as a unique form of individualistic artistic expression now and then when a new talent emerges. It is a duty of those involved in its pursuit of visual art practice to unveil a new artistic language unique to their production in order that they are discernible from the multitudes of other artists. An artist achievement is unquestionable when, through hard work and prolonged search for individuality, arrive at a new artistic language to communicate ideas.
The triumph of an artist is in two respects. First, the artist must contend with their context in their pursuit of their chosen vocation this context differs from artist to artist. Secondly the artists must go through the rigors of mastering their chosen media.
With these two aspects conquered only then will the artist settle on a journey of self discovery and invention. These two aspects are here stated in their successive nature: first self discovery and second, invention. In their further elaboration: self discovery is attainable at that juncture when an artists fully embraces their vocation as creative participants in the visual arts and invention will stem from that point in their career when they stumble, more often through trial and error and seldom through luck, at what will be their formal language in art – their unique style. But before we swing wide we must retain and address context and media. Introduced at the first few lines of the present paragraph, context within which artists practice differs from artist to artist. More often it is financial circumstances that must be transcended in order to establish practice. With regard to the mastering of the chosen vehicle to deliver the message, or simply put medium, the artist must learn to acknowledge the artistic approaches laid down before him by his predecessors through Art History; blessed are those who learn directly from the master. Having gathered what is essential from the fountain of art practice, the master that is, the artist through time emerges and charts a unique route of their own. In the long run, through commitment and perseverance the artist will acquire his or her rightful place in the History of Art.