The Featured Artist this year is Deborah Poynton. Poynton’s work entitled Arcadia comprises 11 paintings hung together tightly in a single room and creates the sense of standing in a decayed concrete folly at twilight and looking out through the pillars into a liminal, overgrown landscape that surrounds the viewer on all sides.
The Roundtable Discussion this year is entitled: Hybridisation: A Method in Contemporary Art. The discussion is hosted by the French Institute, Artlogic and France-South Africa Seasons 2012 & 2013and features a distinguished panel of international scholars and artists to consider and interrogate the idea of hybridisation and hybrid forms in contemporary art. Art South Africa magazine will publish a selection of texts arising from the discussion as a supplement in the December 2012 issue of the magazine. Mélanie Bouteloup, Co-Founder and Director of the Bétonsalon Centre for Art and Research that aims to foster research and intellectual production through a programme of exhibitions, projections, conferences and workshops; Christine Buci-Glucksmann, Professor Emeritus of aesthetics, philosophy and contemporary art at Université Paris VIII and the author of many books in the fields of political philosophy, aesthetics, contemporary art, the Baroque, ornament, Asian art and virtual art; Elisabeth Couturier, a journalist, art critic, author and curator; Raphael Cuir; President of AICA–France (Association Internationale des Critiques d’Art) and Vice-President of AICA–International. Raimi Gbadamosi, an artist, writer, curator, and Associate Professor of Fine Art at the University of the Witwatersrand. He received his doctorate from the Slade School of Fine Art; Bronwyn Law-Viljoen, Senior Lecturer and Director of Creative Writing at the University of the Witwatersrand, Editor and Co-Founder of Fourthwall Books, and Editor of Art South Africa magazine; Jyoti Mistry, a filmmaker and Associate Professor in Fine Art at the University of the Witwatersrand; ORLAN, a multimedia artist (painting, sculpture, installation, performance, photography, digital image and biotechnology).
And then there’s more! The Pirelli Special Project features artist Pieter Hugo who has been commissioned by Pirelli to produce a series of artworks exploring of the notion of natural beauty. And that’s not all folks! John Berger writes: “To be naked is to be oneself. To be nude is to be seen naked by others and yet not recognized for oneself. A naked body has to be seen as an object in order to become a nude.” At the Salon of 1865 Édouard Manet presented his Olympia to the Parisian public. Manet eschewed conceptions of Venus and thus departed from the canonical understanding of the female nude. Crowds and critics were shocked by the absence of idealism. Pieter Hugo abandons the type of conventional nude romanticised by the Pirelli Calendar. This series rejects idealism, negotiates realism, subverts the classical and erotic traditions, and thwarts the scopophilia of the male gaze.
Taking place in Johannesburg this September, the bid to run and manage the annual Joburg Arts Alive International Festival has been won by the Cut to Black Media Consortium, a collective of arts practitioners across the various disciplines – from theatre, dance and music through to fine arts.
Consortium leader Lesley Hudson of Cut to Black Media explains, “Our approach was to work on a ‘best of breed’ principle when it came to the group – we were extremely rigorous in selecting individuals who we knew would deliver an incredible programme for Arts Alive – we’re thrilled that the City of Joburg felt the same way. The entire team is excited to put together our first Arts Alive programme – we’ve been brainstorming, debating and planning hard- September cannot come fast enough!”.
Arts Alive brings to the Fair Market Photo Workshop. For over twenty years, the Market Photo Workshop has played a pivotal role in the training of South Africa’s photographers, ensuring that visual literacy reaches neglected and marginalized parts of our society. Since it was founded in 1989, by world-renowned photographer David Goldblatt, the Photo Workshop has been an agent of change and representation, informing photographers, visual artists, educators, students and broader communities of trends, issues, and debates in photography and visual culture. The Photo Workshop offers courses in photography and training, as well as multi-layered projects and interactions that respond to complex education, culture, and identity backgrounds. With the Gauteng Provincial Government, Arts Alive enables the presence at the Fair of the Bag Factory and Artist Proof Studio.
Arts Alive Art Talks
Every year the FNB Joburg Art Fair organizes a series of Art Talks where the main actors of the local and international art scene meet the public of the art fair. This year Artlogic is partnering with Arts Alive to create a pan-African and international line-up around the role of art(s) in the urban landscape. Speakers include: Paula Aisemberg, Director of La Maison Rouge, Paris is going to present the Foundation she’s running and the exhibition focused on African art she’s curating for next year’s French-South African season in Paris; Didier Schaub, Artistic Director of doual’art, Cameroon is going to present the activities of Doual’art and the next Triennale they are preparing for 2013. Doual’art is a center for contemporary art in Douala, the economical Capital of Cameroon. Its mission is to support artists in their research on urban issues in African cities; Elvira Dyangani Ose, International Curator at the Tate Modern, London on her curatorial
role at the second edition of Picha Encounters, Lubumbashi Biennale (10-30 October 2012) ; Gabriele Heidecker is an artist from Berlin who will present her project ART AFFAIRS, a photo book about New Art Fairs; Vivan Sundaram, Indian artist, about contemporary Indian Art 1989-2012 in partnership with the NIROX Foundation and the Center for Indian Studies in Africa.
Special Focus on Video Art 2012
Artlogic and its partners will celebrate the work of some film and video artists at this year’s Fair. In partnership with Arts Alive, Bridget Baker will show, Only Half Taken, which is a 16mm film installation comprising two sets of footage spliced and shared between projectors. Through the use of repetition and mechanically produced loops these two seemingly incongruous and fragmented sequences evidence the artist’s efforts to explore histories of failed utopias.
La Maison Rouge – Fondation Antoine de Galbert Special Project:
Another collection presenting work at the Fair will be La Maison Rouge – Fondation Antoine de Galbert. In Anthony McCall’s Meeting You Half Way the artist material is no longer a projector and film but an overhead projector and a digital image, controlled by a computer and created through a software design. Artlogic presents this work in collaboration with La Maison Rouge
The Goethe-Institut is dedicated to furthering critical discourse, as well as broadening and deepening artistic cooperation and global networks. It has brought significant international voices to Joburg Art Fair since 2008. This year, the Goethe-Institut is proud to present a preview of the Picha Encounters Lubumbashi Biennale 2012, with the curator Elvira Dyangani Ose of Tate Modern participating, as well as highlights from the Fringe – an experimental platform running concurrently with the art fair in Johannesburg. Furthermore, the publication über(W)unden: Art in Troubled times will be launched in partnership with Jacana Media.
Spier Special Project:
As part of the FNB Joburg Art Fair’s program of partnering with collectors, Spier will be presenting Tamlin Blake at this year’s Fair. In this exhibition Blake shows her latest work – a series of tapestries woven from recycled, handspun newspaper. Created by Blake over an extended and labour-intensive period of time, the collection of tapestry artworks are created from sheets of newspaper that are transformed into “… coloured ‘yarns’ by dying the paper, cutting it into narrow strips, joining the strips and spinning them on a homemade drop spindle to create a relatively strong, textured thread.”
NIROX Special Project
The NIROX Foundation has for the past 6 years hosted artists in residency from many different disciplines, countries and cultural backgrounds. The NIROX Sculpture Park has exhibited solo and group shows by local and international artists. “One of our residency programs for 2012 is a collaboration with the Centre for Indian Studies (CISA) at Wits, the Fica Foundation in New Delhi and the Life Collection – an artist’s exchange run by the 12 Decades Hotel in the Maboneng Precinct . The program provides NIROX residencies for two Indian artists, with city digs at 12 Decades Hotel, and travel costs provided by CISA. At this year’s Fair Nirox will present Mithu Sen. Mithu Sen has recently spent 5 productive and stimulating weeks moving between the Cradle of Humankind and the city. She produced paintings, photographs, a video and an impromptu performance, from which a selection will be shown at the fair. Her connection to the local environment was instant and electric. Having recently shown with acclaim at Espace Louis Vuitton, Taipei, curated by Fumio Nanjo, she is currently preparing her next solo show at the new Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum at the Michigan State University, designed by Zaha Hadid.”