n De Arte - Memory and magic : contemporary art of the !Xun and Khwe, Hella Rabbethge-Schiller (Ed.) : book review

Volume 2007, Issue 75
  • ISSN : 0004-3389
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was published for an exhibition of the work of eleven artists who are part of the !Xun and Khwe Cultural Project, based originally at a military camp in Schmidtsdrift and now part of a resettlement at Platfontein near Kimberley. In his foreword, Nikolai Petersen of the Goethe-Institut, one of the sponsors, refers to it as a 'coffee table book'. The appellation seems not quite apt. Although the publication includes many high-quality colour plates of works from the collection of Hella Rabbethge-Schiller from which the exhibition was drawn, it is a paperback of relatively modest size. And it incorporates a number of thoughtful, if brief, essays by writers from diverse backgrounds and disciplines, and also records stories told by some of the artists. In these ways the publication offers both rather less and rather more than one might expect from the extravagant productions with sumptuous visual presentation and minimal text which one normally associates with coffee table art books.

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