Exhibition time

Nine hundred years of time and space, and I've never been slapped by someone's mother. Well, you're very similar heights. Maybe you should wear labels. Oh, I always rip out the last page of a book.

On Saturday I went to 2 very exciting exhibition openings.

The first was the “Over Time”exhibition by Carrie Mae Weems at the Goodman Gallery Johannesburg.

This photograph above is taken in the main gallery of the “And 22 Million Very Tired and Very Angry People” series. Carrie Mae Weems is an American contemporary artist whose work is a comment on inequality and oppression, she highlights power, race and gender relationships. With the week that we have had and with continuing violence in our country this exhibition struck a chord with me. The blurring of the images of women and boys in her work and the blocking out of the faces with blocks of colour leave one with so many questions. The video sound was muffled and I could not hear which was a bit frustrating. The exhibition is on until the 5th October so catch it.

The second exhibition, “Objects of Desire, Addendum” by Meleko Mokgosi at the Stevenson Gallery was equally interesting.

Meleko Mokgosi was born in Botswana and has recently been appointed professor in Painting/ Printmaking at Yale School of Art.

He takes popular images and objects found in African households mounting them side by side with the texts taken from the MoMa’s labels used for the “Primitivism” exhibition of 1984. He writes his own notes and research highlighting cultural bias, racism and challenges the legacy of African art as appropriated by modernists “in developing their own methodologies. He says that the objects he chooses are objects he is “attached to and objects that will resist many forms of aesthetic critique or judgement”. He writes over and over on nearly all of the works about the violence of modernism. As this week ended with brutal violence in South Africa I reflected on the long journey of African liberation and institutionalized racism the world over. Catch the walk-about on Saturday 14th.

As this week ended with brutal violence in South Africa I reflected on the long journey of African liberation and institutionalized racism the world over.

– Catherine Olver

Wednesday evening was a very happy exhibition opening. It was the 21 year celebration of the Ampersand Foundation. This was set up by Jack Ginsberg who is the patron and chairman of the foundation. Over the 21 years the foundation has sent 197 South African artists to an apartment in Manhattan New York for a residency to experience and bring back to South Africa their exposure to what is a prohibitively expensive place for South Africans to visit.

It was wonderful to see so many artists work in one space. Artists whose work I love. Just some of the artists are Bronwen Findlay, Walter Oltmann, Diane Victor, Paul Emmanuel, Gabrielle Goliath, Mbongeni Buthelezi, Penny Siopis, Nicholas Hlobo, Senzeni Marasela, Stephen Hobbes, Alan Laing, Shany van den Berg and Heidi FourieThe works are for sale and varying percentages have been pledged to the foundation to help send more artists and keep the foundation going. The University of Johannesburg Gallery is not charging for the space and Gordon Froud charged no curator fees. You will really enjoy this one that runs until the 9th of October. There are walkabouts on the 28th September and 5th October at 11:30 and 25th September at 13:00.

Some of the artists represented.

Here’s hoping you have a happy creative week.

P.S. Have a look at the UJ Arts Centre here:

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