De Arte - Volume 2007, Issue 76, 2007
Volumes & issues
Volume 2007, Issue 76, 2007
Author Bernadette Van HauteSource: De Arte 2007, pp 2 –3 (2007)More Less
Putting together a journal remains a challenging task, no matter how long one has been in the editor's seat. It is therefore encouraging to receive constructive feedback from our readers. I want to quote one such letter from Prof Alan Lipman who thanked us 'expressly for carrying and so sensitively illustrating my piece on Philippolis (de arte 74: 48-49). Congratulations on a finely balanced journal'. If we receive more comments, we might well be able to revive the 'Letters to the Editor' section.
Towards a threshold aesthetic of the trickster : reconsidering curatorial strategies from Documenta 11 : researchAuthor Leone Van NiekerkSource: De Arte 2007, pp 4 –20 (2007)More Less
Criticised for a commitment to social engagement, rather than aesthetics, the exhibition of Documenta 11 was nonetheless informed by what could be termed a threshold aesthetic. The aesthetic orientations of Documenta 11 are considered a form of adversarial trickster-positioning, possibly creating openings for transgressive art practices. As master of the threshold, the duplicitous trickster seeks out and creates boundaries, since borderlands are the site of ambiguities, opposition and crossings. The potential for disruption is discussed in terms of revolutionary negation or opposition from within the system. Documenta 11 is regarded as an example of the latter kind of trickster in the transnational exhibition circuit by heightening awareness of complexity and multiplicity, including trickster-style artworks that show up the complexities of localised and transcultural production, and undermining global market dynamics by favouring artworks and production strategies that resist commodification - particularly collective and collaborative practices. Making an argument for an adversarial agenda grounded in agonism, the varied post-colonial counter-positionalities of Documenta 11 are contrasted with the single oppositional strategy of anthropophagy employed in the XXIV Bienal de São Paulo (1998). Further adversarial strategies reexamined by Documenta 11, particularly Third Cinema, are explored as guiding an interstitial aesthetic of thirdness, of in-betweenness and resistance.
Banners, batons and barbed wire : anti-apartheid images of the Springbok rugby tour protests in New ZealandAuthor Elizabeth RankinSource: De Arte 2007, pp 21 –32 (2007)More Less
Anti-apartheid campaigns dated back to at least the 1960s in New Zealand, when Maori players in early All Black teams were prohibited from playing rugby in South Africa. Protests peaked in 1981 when the Springbok-All Black rugby tour was played in New Zealand; it divided the country and brought it to the brink of civil war. Like so many others, artists participated in the public demonstrations and campaigns, but they also sought ways to use their creative skills in innovative strategies, using media beyond their customary 'gallery art' - banners, balloons, prints, posters and street theatre. This paper draws on material uncovered in archives in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, as well as private collections, to investigate this rather neglected form of New Zealand visual culture - the choice of images for posters, for example, and their deployment in relation to verbal messages in the context of popular propaganda. It also considers interactions between artists' studio practice and their political works.
'She travels alone and unattended' : the visit to the Eastern Cape of the botanical artist, Marianne NorthAuthor Margot BeardSource: De Arte 2007, pp 33 –48 (2007)More Less
The visit of the botanical artist, Marianne North, to South Africa during 1882 to 1883, although frequently referred to, has not received much close attention; nor has her account of the visit, in her 'Recollections of a happy' life, been set against the actual conditions she would have encountered. This paper attempts to flesh out at least part of that visit, specifically the weeks she spent in the Eastern Cape Colony and, more particularly, her visits to Port Elizabeth, Grahamstown and Port Alfred. What were these three centres like at the time? Who were the people she mentions? Where did she stay? How do her observations tally with other accounts of the period? The paper takes its origin from an attempt to give the actual provenance of one of the few photographs of this intrepid traveller and amateur botanical artist, hundreds of whose oil paintings hang in the gallery she herself founded in Kew Gardens.
Author Sean SlemonSource: De Arte 2007, pp 49 –51 (2007)More Less
Contemporary art practice changes at a fast pace. It requires a myriad of factors to fuel production, investigation and research. Nonetheless, there are a few basic needs that artists have had for decades and we will most likely continue to add to this list: Time, space and an intense open and critical dialogue. With the way we live and the way the art world has changed, we aren't always able to obtain access to all, or any of the above. We need to construct a context, and a residency does exactly this.
Author Johan ThomSource: De Arte 2007, pp 52 –54 (2007)More Less
In my experience each residency is unique, allowing for certain experiences and creative possibilities particular to its context. By 'context' I do not just mean the geographical, cultural environs from within which the programme operates (for example, a small village in Germany known for its strong tradition of carpentry), but also the conditions that define one's participation, such as the selection criteria of the residency, the size of the stipend or grant received, support structures in place within the residency, and the general attitude of the various individuals who manage the programme and share their experiences.
Author Gavin YoungeSource: De Arte 2007, pp 55 –59 (2007)More Less
The difference between exhibiting in Paris and exhibiting in South Africa is that the foreign experience is much more sensual, and more intensely personal. This is odd because one would be inclined to think the opposite, given that French galleries tend to use professionals for everything - from packaging and transport through to lighting, even employing architects to design the layout of the exhibition. In each of these transactions the artist is consulted. No technical detail, not even the storage of the transport crates, is considered without the approval of the artist.
Source: De Arte 2007, pp 60 –64 (2007)More Less
We landed a few days before the start of spring in a raging blizzard. New York was covered in white, which soon turned to a dirty brown. The snow banked up on either side of the streets and the pavements, and, depending on the temperature and time of day, alternated between rivulets of dirty water or freezing slabs of ice upon which it was almost impossible to walk. But it was not just the weather that overwhelmed me. The city assaulted me.
Author G.C. De KamperSource: De Arte 2007, pp 65 –69 (2007)More Less
The University of Pretoria possesses an important collection of art that includes a significant number of paintings, sculptures and graphic works. The collection primarily comprises the work of South African artists, but there are also some excellent artworks by prominent international artists such as Max Pechstein, Käthe Kollwitz, Max Liebermann, George Grosz, Otto Mueller, Thomas Benton, Marc Chagall and Karol Felix, to name but a few. At present, the collection comprises 2 760 paintings and graphics, 228 sculptures and 31 ceramic pieces.
Uplifting the colonial Philistine : Florence Phillips and the making of the Johannesburg Art Gallery, Jillian Carman : book reviewsAuthor Paul MaylamSource: De Arte 2007, pp 70 –71 (2007)More Less
In Australia it is known as the 'colonial cringe', a term commonly used to denote a colonial inferiority complex or colonial deference to the presumed superior culture and institutions of the British metropole. This is one of the key themes of Jillian Carman's book - the 'colonial cringe' or what she calls 'colonial philistinism' in early twentieth-century South Africa.
Flemish paintings of the seventeenth century in South African public collections, Bernadette van Haute : book reviewsAuthor Melani HillebrandSource: De Arte 2007, pp 72 –74 (2007)More Less
There is a small but determined group of art historians in South Africa who specialise in the art of the Netherlands. This book is a natural extension of the work already published by Carman, Fransen, Stevenson and others on Dutch and Flemish paintings in South Africa. This volume is, in essence, a catalogue raisonné of Flemish paintings housed in public collections. Despite the title, the time frame is a very extended century - 1550 to 1740. This decision was made so that important sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century works could also be included in the catalogue. It will come as no surprise to learn that of the 11 museums and corporate collections featured, the majority are based in Cape Town and Gauteng, and were mainly bequests from wealthy patrons.
Author Marion ArnoldSource: De Arte 2007, pp 75 –77 (2007)More Less
In the nineteenth century, 'art' was not a contested term for educated Europeans. Meaning 'fine art' (painting, sculpture and architecture), art was distinguished from the applied or decorative arts, and from popular culture imagery found in papers such as the Illustrated London News. Painting and sculpture were taken very seriously in Georgian and Victorian Britain as evidence of the moral purpose and vision of Western 'civilisation', another term lacking ambiguity for Victorians.
African basketry : grassroots art from southern Africa, Anthony Cunningham and Elizabeth Terry : book reviewsSource: De Arte 2007, pp 78 –80 (2007)More Less
This is a lucid, well-researched and amply illustrated book that does not shy away from raising challenging issues regarding basket making and the depletion of natural resources through the very industry that inspired this book. Early on in the introduction, the authors are careful to raise awareness regarding terms of reference, such as the use of the word 'traditional', the complexity of naming people according to ethnic or 'tribal' identities, and the difficult choices that determine the identification of plants according to scientific, English or local names. They show that these are not minor concerns, but rather ones that impact the writing on, and perceptions of, basketry and basket makers.