INTRAPARADOX: Interview with Wonder Buhle Mbambo

The Wonder of Comfort

27 November 2020 at about 10:30, BKhz Studio, Johannesburg

Overture

It is always refreshing to become aware of new art, to be acquainted with a new vision. I have had the privilege of sitting down with Wonder Buhle Mbambo. To listen to his life’s journey as an artist up to the point where we were sitting down at BKhz Studio for our interview. That Friday morning, thanks to unforeseen circumstances, I arrived at around ten thirty in Johannesburg, Braamfontein, for an appointment that would have taken place at nine.

Earlier on before the scheduled interview, Banele Khoza and I headed out to a café around the corner for some coffee. For me, a few times I have been there has set this part of the corner of Juta and De Beer Streets as a familiar spot for beverages and light meals. This would possibly be my last coffee there under familiar circumstances. But let me not get ahead of myself. 

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All is not permanent…

[As] this year neared its end and people started to shrug off the lethargy that hovered above this year, the sayings; it has been a difficult year, what a strange year it was, became somewhat expected tags to our conversations. I am sure you have encountered many phrases that truly clarifies what this year has been about closest to these phrases.

For some of us the memory of March to August 2020 will remain blank professionally. A shock resulting from an interrupted routine.  Even though the isolation period gave us time with family, honestly it was a forced situation. Suddenly all the issues we have been avoiding as far as family matters are concerned had to be faced head on. Indeed life would never be the same again.  

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Diary Entry: Mxolisi Visimuzi Beauchamp

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

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

I read elsewhere that writing is a solitary experience. I am agreed thus far because I spent numerous moments hunched alone on my keyboard. I sometimes wonder if anyone would notice my efforts. History is the mess that remains of our ancestors’ endeavors as they try to survive, whatever their motives are. One’s intentions in achieving a goal are not always squeaky clean as far as the ego is concerned and not to mention self preservation. Anyway to chronicle history honestly it would mean not erring as far as taking sides is concerned, but to give as precise a detail as a historian can muster.

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Intraparadoxical contemplation

ïntraparadox is a coinage for the phenomena that occurs during an interview with an artist. Like any human being out there an artist has their own convictions and contradictions; for they are social animals. So intraparadox, as a dialogue produced as a result of an interview with the artist, is like an x-ray process that reveals the nature of the artist, their life and their art practice. It is important then that it, intraparadox, be written word for word based on the audio file gathered during the moment of interview with the artist, for I would like to present as closest an account as possible of the artist’s persona to the reader – a portrait of the artist. The reading must produce a reflection of the personality of the artist as it is, as it would be encountered when the reader, should the occasion present itself, meet the artist in person! The interview should be an intimate encounter of the artist in conversation about their work – this is the first task of writing the text. Secondly, during the interview as the ideals upheld by the artist emerge, teased out and made bare as the conversation develops around pertinent issues the artist is preoccupied with in their art production or practice; issues which might emerge during the dialogue, it is hoped, that an opportunity will be afforded the reader to delve deeper into the conception of the visual art object apropos to the  artist undergoing the interview

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