Hotel Grande, Beira, Mozambique. A photo exhibition by Mark Lewis

Image 01 The Grande #28A6C9

Hotel Grande, Beira. © Mark Lewis 2013

You have just 10 more days to see this exhibition at Gallery MOMO. It’s definitely worth making time for … Beira’s Grande Hotel sits like a beached battleship, its mottled and worn concrete façade revealing the building’s age and its abandonment by its former owners. With his photographs Mark Lewis tells many stories – of grand ambition to design a space for holidaymakers of colonial-era Mozambique, and of a local community that has survived war and conflict to occupy the shell of some property developer’s dreams. The images, now being exhibited at Johannesburg’s Gallery MOMO, whisper of the building’s life as it once was, and as it might have been while they portray the daily existence of more than 3000 people who call the Grande Hotel a home. Continue reading

Public art in Joburg/the world comes to Sandton

Marcus Neustetter's "Erosion"

Go to Sandton Square for the Public Art around the World exhibition. On Tuesday night on a corner of Sandton – called Burghers Walk – I was last at during the height of World Cup fever I witnessed an extraordinary performance by Marcus Neustetter. Titled “Erosion” it involved thousands of brilliantly-lit neon glowsticks being thrown down a stairway in the darkness by a troupe of performers dressed in workman’s overalls who then proceeded to sweep up every last brilliant piece of light, bundling them back into trashcans to be carried off. A comment on the fragility and impermanence of the world of imagination and dreams, Continue reading

Joburg becomes art city this weekend

# 151. Follow the Spring Art Tour now at a gallery near you. Four days of contemporary art and design, walkabouts with artists, talks and white wine (usually cheap but purposeful) kick off tomorrow night. Continue reading

On show at Gallery Momo

#112. Enjoy Patricia Driscoll’s mesmerising seascape — in a landlocked city where the beach is just a memory and the pavements are strewn with autumn leaves that crunch under your feet.

lekki-beach-lagos-by-patricia-driscoll

Lekki Beach, Lagos. 2009.

“I love shooting these seascapes. The twilight time between day and night and night and day is ambiguous and interesting. The pictures are very much contingent on natural conditions. For instance, it was raining hard in Lagos at Lekki beach. I took the photographs very early in the morning (around 4.30am) under an umbrella. The quality of the twilight was so soft and diffused that it gave the photo a distinct and unique feel”.

“The history of the beach has meaning for me. So much has happened on these shorelines: drowning, religious ceremonies and rituals, suicides, battles, crime, fun, romantic interludes and floods.  The sea washes the evidence of human activity away. The endless cycle of the sea is repeated. And my photographs mirror these loops and repetitions.” — Patricia Driscoll.

* Driscoll’s work will be exhibited at Joburg’s chic-est contemporary art gallery, Gallery MOMO, from June 11. Gallery MOMO is at 52 7th Avenue, Parktown North. To contact the gallery call +27 11 327 3247, or e-mail info@gallerymomo.com.

Joburg on show

#97. Watch the performance. I was at the opening of the Joburg Art Fair last night along with a few hundred other people, all dressed up, mingling, eating teeny weensy snacks and looking at some spectacular pieces from SA’s top galleries and other sellers of contemporary African art. The Fair is worth a visit for many reasons — chief among them Penny Siopis’s haunting works made with glue, the gigantic graphite and wood pencil for R5600 (if I had the cash I would buy two plus the sharpener), Jane Alexander’s Security installation (even more affecting up close as the audience appears to be caged in every direction), Lyndi Sales’ delicate paper cut-outs depicting the world’s flight paths, and Mary Sibande’s “They don’t make them like they used to”, a witty and ironic take on the “maid becoming the madam” and the hands of a domestic worker bringing  Superman into being.

Mary Sibande

The representations so diverse, engaging and smart. I also loved Carl Becker’s Pierneef-like landscape with motocross rider and the brilliant collaborative work of William Kentridge, Deborah Bell and Robert Hodgins displayed by the Goodman Gallery. Add to that Araminta de Clermont’s Matric Queens photographs and of course the urban hip images of Nontsikelelo ‘Lolo’ Veleko and the Avant Car Guard’s Poor Man’s Picasso (below). Plus the astounding collection of contemporary South African furniture and other design objects — that alone is worth the visit.

There were a few speeches but all I could hear from where I was standing was Barbara Creecy, the MEC for Arts, Culture Sport and other weirdly associated things in the province Continue reading