De Arte - Volume 2011, Issue 83, 2011
Volumes & issues
Volume 2011, Issue 83, 2011
Source: De Arte 2011, pp 3 –4 (2011)More Less
In mid-January this year, several delegates from the South African Visual Art Historians (SAVAH), in association with the International Committee of the History of Art (CIHA), congregated in Johannesburg to attend a four-day colloquium hosted by the Wits School of Arts at the University of the Witwatersrand. Concerns regarding the unequal distribution of resources around the globe and the challenges posed by postcolonial societies to the older methods and concepts of Western art history were addressed by this colloquium. The keynote speaker was Professor Amareswar Galla, from the Department of Museum Studies at the University of Queensland, Australia. He is a world expert on museums, sustainable heritage development and poverty alleviation through culture. He has also been a key advisor to the UNESCO World Commission for Culture and Development. For more on this, see Royce Smith's review in the Views and (Re)views section.
Source: De Arte 2011 (2011)More Less
Accolades, awards and the long lists of her solo and group exhibitions aside, visiting Bettie Cilliers-Barnard at her home, whether in her cosy lounge or in her studio, was like continuing the conversation left open with a colon during a previous visit. Bettie, a good listener, was always interested in the opinion of others, whether the topic was literature, politics or the state of art in South Africa. She was always keen to discuss some or other aspect of art or the art world, or an exhibition she saw in Pretoria or Johannesburg. Bettie was a devout reader of newspapers, and with her long involvement with the South African Association of Arts (a founding member dating back to 1947), she knew exactly who was exhibiting where, how the work was received in the press, and which critic wrote the review.
Source: De Arte 2011, pp 6 –21 (2011)More Less
For more than three decades, artist-weaver Allina Ndebele has drawn on traditional Zulu symbolism and thought systems as inspiration for her work. She began her career as a trainee nurse in a Swedish mission environment at Ceza, KwaZulu-Natal, in the early 1960s, during an era when restrictions on traditional African beliefs and practices were being challenged by some enlightened missionaries. Ndebele then learned weaving from Ulla Gowenius, a Swedish art school graduate. She was encouraged by Ulla's husband, Peder Gowenius, to draw on African and personal themes, in a narrative, 'free weaving' style in the few such weavings she made at this early stage of her career. Later, when starting out on her own as a professional artist working independently from the weaving workshop at the Evangelical Lutheran Church Art and Craft Centre, Rorke's Drift - which she had helped the Goweniuses establish in 1963 - Ndebele experienced a crisis of uncertainty in her choice of subject matter. When she subsequently gave herself licence to draw on the traditional stories her grandmother used to tell during her childhood the dilemma was resolved, albeit that the themes were considered transgressive in the mission environment in which her family lived. These accounts became an ongoing source of inspiration for Ndebele's intuitive 'free weaving' works for some thirty years. This essay explores some of the layers of reference and interpretation in two of the concepts that appear repeatedly in Ndebele's iconography: 'living water' and the 'ordered homestead'. In the form of rain that falls from heaven, runs in streams, fills rivers and collects in pools, 'living water' emanates from the munificence of the great god in the sky, uMvelinqangi, fertilising the earth and making all forms of life possible. A further sense of prosperity is denoted by the ordered Zulu homestead, with its dwellings arranged around the central cattle kraal. These animals are markers of economic wellbeing and serve as spiritual links with the ancestors. Conversely, the absence of these fundamental resources, and the consequences thereof, are played out in this work.
Author Theresa HardmanSource: De Arte 2011, pp 22 –32 (2011)More Less
The teaching of the creative arts in an academic context is relatively complex and may be seen as problematic due to the fact that the creative process includes both rational and non-rational aspects. The rational aspects of creativity, such as cognitive strategies and skills development, are addressed overtly in university courses, but the non-rational aspects of the creative process, such as intuition and imagination, are often not discussed due to a lack of understanding. Creative intuition, in particular, is seen as 'mystical' and inexplicable because it is not based on reason and logic. This article, however, argues that creative intuition can be understood. By exploring psychological and philosophical explanations of creative intuition it demystifies the concept, and five key principles underlying creative intuition are presented, which may provide the basis for further discourse in the field of creative arts education.
Author Landi RaubenheimerSource: De Arte 2011, pp 33 –45 (2011)More Less
The Wishing Wall is a spectator-orientated artwork that was staged by Landi Raubenheimer and Paul Cooper in February 2010, as part of the 'Infecting the City' performance art festival. The purpose of this article is to investigate the artwork in terms of authorship. The artwork consisted of an installation in Adderley Street in Cape Town, and as a public artwork involved spectators as voluntary participants in its creation. The question of authorship which arises, is to what extent the artists' role is authorial, and to what extent the participants play this role. Nicholas Bourriaud's theory of relational aesthetics is used as a point of departure from which to understand the relational aspects of the wall in which the author's autonomy is subverted. Miwon Kwon's writings on site-specific art are also referred to, as she contextualises the facilitating roles she envisions artists playing in such artworks. In a sense the notion of the artist as romantic genius is brought into question by artworks that displace and reinterpret the role of the artist as author, while at the same time this distinction remains necessary for the artwork to maintain its criticality. John Roberts argues that if this does not take place, the artwork runs the risk of being subsumed into the realm of social production, and it ceases to be art.
Imagining nature (in our own image) : animals and landscapes in Daniel Naudé's exhibition, 'African Scenery & Animals' : views and (re)viewsAuthor Ann-Marie TullySource: De Arte 2011, pp 46 –57 (2011)More Less
The following words and pauses will follow a willful course to consider the effects, reservations and ideas I have contemplated since seeing Daniel Naudé's first solo exhibition, entitled 'African Scenery & Animals'. This exhibition ran from 26 January to 13 February 2010 at the Brodie/Stevenson Gallery in Johannesburg. Much will follow relating to this exciting and disquieting show, which proclaimed Daniel Naudé as an artist with his finger on the pulse of current cultural discourses on human identity and its reliance on the animal.
People, prints and process - 25 years at Caversham : Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg, 14 October - 4 December 2010 : views and (re)viewsAuthor Robyn SassenSource: De Arte 2011, pp 58 –61 (2011)More Less
From the rich black background of a lithograph emerges the distinctive form of a bull. But this is no ordinary bull. Pearl-like in its colouration, it materialises from the rest of the print with overwhelming purity and the kind of muscular tactility that only a hand-pulled print can bring. It is a modestly sized work, made by Paul Emsley in 1994; the fineness of its articulation and the flawlessness of its technical proficiency render it iconic and set the tone of sheer excellence for this exhibition of traditional prints.
The utopia and dystopia of politics, identity and hidden treasures - a review of the UP Visual Arts staff exhibition, Fried Contemporary, 24 November 2010 - 29 January 2011 : views and (re)viewsAuthor Runette KrugerSource: De Arte 2011, pp 62 –68 (2011)More Less
The large body of work, comprising paintings, sculptures, digital media, drawings and photography by the staff of the Department of Visual Arts of the University of Pretoria, was uncurated in the sense that most large group exhibitions are, and there was no conscious underlying topical, conceptual or aesthetic unity. With 21 artists on show, the scope of concerns conveyed by the artworks was vast and the challenge lay in remaining receptive to the individual works.
Author Pieter SwanepoelSource: De Arte 2011, pp 69 –71 (2011)More Less
Reflections on the South African Visual Arts Historians and the Comité International d'Histoire de l'Art (or What happens when art history collides with the global South and Vasari's Lives of the artists) : views and (re)viewsAuthor Royce W. SmithSource: De Arte 2011, pp 72 –76 (2011)More Less
When reflecting on the recent symposium at the University of the Witwatersrand, organised by the South African Visual Arts Historians (SAVAH) under the aegis of the Comité International d'Histoire de l'Art (CIHA), I could not help but think that such organisations - both committed to the perpetuation of very different types of art-historical discourse - made for an unanticipated pairing.
Author Antoinette MurdochSource: De Arte 2011, pp 77 –82 (2011)More Less
JAG is committed to preserving and providing access to our South African art heritage and to giving due recognition to our neglected artists through exhibitions, publications and education programmes. The gallery collects works of art-historical importance and conserves these pieces for future generations.
Author Michael GodbySource: De Arte 2011, pp 83 –86 (2011)More Less
More than with other media, perhaps, histories of photography, even within specific geographical and chronological limits, depend strongly on the kind of photography their authors choose to work with - news, documentary, studio, camera clubs or family photography, for instance - and what they choose to exclude. To communicate Darren Newbury's purpose in Defiant images: Photography and apartheid South Africa, I will first review the material and argument of his six chapters before attempting an assessment of the value of his project.
A vigil of departure : Louis Khehla Maqhubela, a retrospective, 1960-2010, Marilyn Martin, (Ed.) : book reviewAuthor Emile MauriceSource: De Arte 2011, pp 87 –90 (2011)More Less
The re-telling of modernism as a global phenomenon to include black African artists from across the continent, has been one of the most important areas of research in art history in recent times. Curated by Marilyn Martin, 'A vigil of departure: Louis Khehla Maqhubela, a retrospective, 1960-2010' is an important contribution to this re-telling and re-shaping of modernism.
1910-2010 : One hundred years of collecting - the Johannesburg Art Gallery, Jillian Carman, (Ed.) : book reviewAuthor Elizabeth RankinSource: De Arte 2011, pp 91 –94 (2011)More Less
When the esteemed review publication of the British Association of Art Historians, The art book, succumbed to current trends and transformed itself into an online journal (now entitled Cassone), guidelines for reviewers included a new and extremely precise instruction: it is a strict requirement that the very first sentence of an article should declare who the audience is for the publication under appraisal.
Author Karin PrellerSource: De Arte 2011, pp 95 –99 (2011)More Less
The latest in a long line of publications dealing with the state of the arts in post-apartheid South Africa, Positions: Contemporary artists in South Africa examines artists' responses to radical changes in society and to rapidly shifting identities, both locally and globally. In this context, a publication dealing with change as it finds manifestation in contemporary art is valuable, provided that it moves beyond the scope of its predecessors.
Landscape of memory : Commemorative monuments, memorials and public statuary in post-apartheid South Africa, Sabine Marschall : book reviewAuthor Brenda SchmahmannSource: De Arte 2011, pp 100 –103 (2011)More Less
Sabine Marschall's Landscape of memory: Commemorative monuments, memorials and public statuary in post-apartheid South Africa is preceded by Annie Coombes' much-acclaimed History after apartheid: Visual culture and public memory in a democratic South Africa, first published in 2003 by Duke University Text and a year later by Wits University Press. While History after apartheid has emerged as the keynote study of public visual culture in post-apartheid South Africa, there are in fact few public monuments - at least of a sculptural type - discussed in that book, and far greater emphasis is placed on new museums and the exhibitions they include.