De Arte - Volume 2013, Issue 87, 2013
Volumes & issues
Volume 2013, Issue 87, 2013
Author Gerrit OlivierSource: De Arte 2013, pp 4 –6 (2013)More Less
I met Colin Richards when I became Dean of the (then) Faculty of Arts at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1996, at a time when the Fine Arts Department felt somewhat alienated from the Faculty, insufficiently appreciated for the serious intellectual project it was developing and in which Colin had already established himself as a major player.
Author Annabelle WienandSource: De Arte 2013, pp 7 –21 (2013)More Less
This article focuses on David Goldblatt's response to the Aids epidemic in South Africa in the series In the Time of Aids. To better understand this series, this article tracks the development of Goldblatt's work post-1994, with special attention being paid to his depiction of urban and rural landscapes. Also considered is the relationship of In the Time of Aids to two other collections of his work: Intersections (Goldblatt 2005) and Intersections intersected (Goldblatt 2008). The author of this article is interested in the way these collections have been presented in book form and as exhibitions, and how In the Time of Aids has been framed in relation to other concerns expressed in the images from the larger project Intersections. This analysis compares and contrasts Goldblatt's publications and exhibitions, as well as individual images. To this end, the author draws on texts written about his work and on interviews conducted by herself and others.
Author Jean-Marie DederenSource: De Arte 2013, pp 22 –38 (2013)More Less
The two objects that constitute the subject matter of this essay - a human pair and a child figure - once featured prominently in puberty rites and marriage ceremonies in southern Africa. They were created to communicate to female and male youths the complementarity of the sexes, the social importance of human reproduction and the sacrosanct nature of the origins of life. At a more tacit level they also embodied ideologies of sexual identity which are best described in terms of the tension and competition that existed both between these objects and between the men and women who produced and used them. It is suggested that women used the child figure to challenge the patriarchy while men engaged the paired images to undermine the symbolic affinity between womanhood and the life-creating forces.
Author Judy PeterSource: De Arte 2013, pp 39 –50 (2013)More Less
This article offers a critical reading of a number of artworks by Avitha Sooful, mainly dating from the period 1980 to 2004. Readings of other relevant works that illustrate either continuities or disjunctures with her artistic practices and world views are included. This is part of a larger study that investigated the constructs of identity, place and displacement in the artworks of female artists who were employed at Vaal University of Technology (VUT) during that time. The first ten years of democracy and transformation in South Africa tacitly underpin the scope of the article, which focuses on Sooful's cultural exchange and interchange with the changing political and social realities in a new South Africa. The theoretical underpinnings of this article are embedded in the discourses of geographically and historically specific events in South Africa, and cultural studies theories. They are framed by postcolonial readings of identity, place and displacement. The artist's work is used to demonstrate how her subject position inspired her to produce artworks that reconfigured the local Durban and Free State regions over the 20 years concerned.
Author Marilyn MartinSource: De Arte 2013, pp 51 –60 (2013)More Less
During the reconstruction of German cities and society in the early 1950s, artist and academic Arnold Bode proposed a big art exhibition in Kassel, 80 per cent destroyed during World War II, to signal Germany's recovery and return to artistic life after suffering the oppression and cultural darkness of the Third Reich. The beginnings of Documenta in 1955 were both modest, as an adjunct to a horticultural show, and groundbreaking, being a direct response to Entartete Kunst, the art deemed degenerate by Adolf Hitler. Since then the 100 days of Documenta have transformed Kassel from a traumatised space and place to one that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every five years. From its inception, Bode and participants like Joseph Beuys established a tradition that affirms freedom of expression, questions the place of art in society and privileges socially conscious artists and projects, while steering clear of the art market and art world tourism. Unlike many international blockbuster shows, Documenta gained a reputation for having a strong theoretical underpinning.
Author Rory Du PlessisSource: De Arte 2013, pp 61 –67 (2013)More Less
The Unisa 'Staff/Stuff' Art Exhibition took place from 19 June to 6 July 2012 at the new premises of the Unisa Art Gallery in the Kgorong building. The exhibition commendably showcased the fine artists associated with Unisa's Department of Art History, Visual Arts and Musicology. The artists included, amongst others, Lisa Allen, Celia de Villiers, Frikkie Eksteen, Lawrence Lemaoana, Nathani Lüneburg, Gwen Miller, Bongani Mkhonza, Justice Mokoena, Frikkie Potgieter, Karin Preller, Robyn Sassen and Cate Terblanche.
Author Anitra NettletonSource: De Arte 2013, pp 68 –75 (2013)More Less
In November 2011, the Wits Art Museum (WAM) acquired a major work, a very large sculpture by the recently deceased artist Jackson Hlungwani. This work, whose title may be God's Hand, was removed from a building in downtown Johannesburg where it had resided since being purchased 1992, and placed in a corner of the new WAM, where it will most likely spend the next 20 years. It is not the only work by Jackson Hlungwani to have achieved such permanent viewing status: the giant Adam and the Birth of Eve, acquired by the Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG) in 1989, and installed there by the artist (Spiro Cohen 1992 & 1993), has been on view since its arrival and has remained in its place throughout the run of many prestigious exhibitions held at JAG, including 'Africa Remix' (Njami 2008). In WAM, the Hand of God has joined Hlungwani's Altar for God which is situated at the main entrance off the street, but also visible from the street. This famous work, acquired for the Standard Bank Collection of African Art at Wits in 1989, will also not be moved easily, having now been given its own place on a raised platform of hardened steel.
Figuring faith : images of belief in Africa, Fiona Rankin-Smith and Bronwyn Law-Viljoen (Eds.) : book reviewAuthor Pamela AllaraSource: De Arte 2013, pp 76 –79 (2013)More Less
Many people, including one Jesus Christ of Nazareth, have argued that individual, public displays of religious faith are indicative of hypocrisy. How, then, are images with religious subject matter to be interpreted when displayed in the public forum of the art museum? This scholarly text tackles a sensitive topic, and one which is perhaps too broad to be examined in depth: images of faith in classic and contemporary African cultures.
Author Melanie HillebrandSource: De Arte 2013, pp 80 –82 (2013)More Less
At the simplest level this is a lavishly illustrated coffee table book, produced on its own behalf by Ardmore Ceramic Art. It is also an excellent marketing tool, if nothing else. However, as Brendan Bell states in his foreword, 'To describe what Ardmore is should be simple. Yet it is not, for the truth is as complex as the intricate, striking and colourful patterns and fantastically lifelike creatures that characterize Ardmore's creations'. Fée Halsted's stated purpose as author was to pay tribute to the artists and staff of Ardmore Ceramic Art and to thank all those who supported them.
Source: De Arte 2013, pp 83 –85 (2013)More Less
The Afrikaner - the only white tribe of Africa or a lost volk caught between an unmentionable past and an uncertain future? One only has to mention recent public statements by Minister Lulu Xingwana about Afrikaner young men and their supposed problematic relationship with women as a response to the Oscar Pistorius saga, to gauge existing negative sentiments about Afrikaner culture. Clearly, to be an Afrikaner is to embody a contested identity that has become synonymous with apartheid, confining nationalism, unbridled racism and a general melange of conservatism.
Author Karen Von VehSource: De Arte 2013, pp 86 –88 (2013)More Less
Überwunden is a German word that means 'to overcome' or 'to heal', while über wunden can be translated as 'about wounds'. The book was inspired by a conference held in South Africa in September 2011, hosted by the Goethe Institute within its global focus theme of Culture and Conflict.
Author Brenda SchmahmannSource: De Arte 2013, pp 89 –92 (2013)More Less
Steven Dubin is already known to South Africans for Mounting Queen Victoria: Curating cultural change in South Africa (Johannesburg: Jacana 2009), where he focused on ways in which museums have endeavoured to shift their approaches to collecting and exhibiting in a post-apartheid context. Spearheading debate: Culture wars and uneasy truces extends his focus on debates and issues in post-apartheid South Africa - but this time his topic is areas of controversy and contestation that have arisen in relation to cultural creations, be they in the realms of music, performance, theatre, journalism or the visual arts.