Yesterday the route to Goodman Gallery along Jan Smuts Avenue appears to have been lovebombed. In the same spot where a week ago a spear became a smear that caused such great fear some shweshwe prints, a few chunky knits, lots of stitches and a flurry of hearts festooned the trees and street poles leading to the Gallery between Denbigh and Chester Road along Jan Smuts Avenue. If you drive past, just smile. I did.
The last time I wrote about artist Willem Boshoff I called him a messiannic bergie, and I meant that in the nicest possible way. Last night he was at it again, this time outside the Goodman Gallery in Parkwood, as the crowds rolled in for the opening of his latest exhibition SWAT.
#215. Explore the double negative. I spent last Saturday at the Goodman Gallery listening to Ivan Vladislavic and David Goldblatt in conversation about their limited double edition [TJ and Double Negative] with the delightful Marlene van Niekerk [author of the award-winning Triomf and Agaat] who had been coaxed from Stellenbosch to speak with the “masters of Joburg”. Both of whom, in her words, have a commitment to the “the reductive mysteries of things as they are”. Warm, full of wit and nuance, the conversation took some interesting turns Continue reading →
#143. Get some answers. On Saturday I was at Origins Museum at Wits (not a striking student to be seen) to listen to a discussion on Johannesburg/Kolkata, as part of a series of events that are linked to Words on Water, a South Africa-India Literary Festival. The discussion on Johannesburg prompted the question: Who is Johannes? Continue reading →
#139. Head downtown to Arts on Main. It’s not often that you have an opportunity to witness a random conversation between two generations of South Africa’s most talented artists whose work is collected by the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) and other major global art institutions. There I was walking through the courtyard at Arts on Main watching William Kentridge lean out of his studio window to talk to photographer Mikhael Subotzky.
My first instinct was to think someone had called casting central and requisitioned two famous artists: “We’re sending Kentridge and that Magnum guy Subotzky. They can handle this gig.” Continue reading →
#52. Don’t miss Lawrence Lemaoana’s exhibition: “Fortune Telling in Black, Red and White” at David Brodie’s Art Extra Gallery in Craighall. Brodie’s gallery is a brash young presence on the Joburg art scene, contemporary to the point of being avant-garde, a rarity in this town where the art world is generally extremely polite. A few years ago I attended the “opening” of performance artist Steven Cohen’s latest work at the Goodman Gallery. Cohen dragged himself off the floor, wearing a tutu and I think it was kudu horn boots flipping himself over onto a pommel horse while an able assistant entered from the wings and inserted a fire cracker into his ass and proceeded to light it. The audience clapped and nodded appreciatively then moved on to refill their glasses with white wine and view the rest of the exhibition. This is not a town that is easily shocked or that likes to show it. (Scroll down to pause the audio).
#46. Head to Fordsburg for an art auction. With news that Minister of Health Manto Tshabalala-Msimang didn’t jump but was pushed and replaced by Barbara Hogan (see my previous post) and that the health of the country was now in capable hands, it was time to leave the comfort of home. We headed to the Bag Factory also known as the Fordsburg Artists’ Studios last night for an auction of South African art to raise money to support the case of local artist Gerhard Marx vs BMW. Continue reading →