Represent Review: Alter Route Soweto
Sep02

Represent Review: Alter Route Soweto

Soweto’s left-of-centre youth culture is alive and gathering… Banele Rewo and photographer Tiko Ngobeni hung out this past weekend with Soweto’s brightest young exceptions to the rule. (See our  Alter Route Soweto photostory here): We love you….We love you…We love you sang Mothusi Thusi the vocalist, guitarist, flautist …actually, everythingist for the The Layders. This was after  the 10 hour concoction of music, visuals, food in a cultural blend that can only be prepared in Soweto. There’s a pile of information available on Soweto for those interested, however nothing can articulate the tingling of senses experienced when Soweto’s multiple subcultures collide in art and expression. On the surface Alter Route Soweto is a gig meant to foster artistic expression within the young urbanites in the city and the peripherals. However one could not avoid noticing the dominance of subtle nuances – such as the drive for success through art, the importance of independence of thought and the buzzing entrepreneurship that defines an “Alter Route individual”. This is a person who believes in creating magic through design and clothing such as Thesis Clothing situated in Dube, Soweto, Thesis is the first choice of wear for an “alter Route individual”. Thesis had a “pop up” shop in one of the rooms of the Burnt House where the event took place and I am eagerly anticipating the next “pop up” anywhere. OB the Vegetarian Chef chopped up ingredients that stuck true to the theme of alter routing from the normal diet of cardboard meat served up at you favourite fast food restaurant. Veggies were served in everything even in the garage turned stage where the“Meat the Veggies” band heated us up to boiling point with their locally produced lounge music served with simmering smooth vocals.   Alter Route Soweto is not a gig…it’s more than what the organizers describe as a “ multi-genre, multi-cultural and mix-flavoured brew of celebration for all”. It is more than appreciating a young black operated skateboarding label and apparel design from Krooked. It’s a movement that in the literal sense alters perceptions of Soweto, The City and ultimately the individual. See our  Alter Route Soweto photostory here. Words: Banele Rewo Images: Tiko...

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Don’t Miss: Nandipha Mntambo – Umphatsi Wempi
Aug27

Don’t Miss: Nandipha Mntambo – Umphatsi Wempi

Nandipha Mntambo was blessed to be born in the mountain kingdom of Swaziland – anyone familiar with the magnificent mountain monarchy will know how ubiquitous cattle are, one has to wonder if growing up surrounded by the gentle beasts has anything to do with the makings of the first solo exhibition of  Nandipha Mntambo taking place at the Brodie/Stevenson gallery in Craighall in September.  Nandipha says her upcoming body of work was in part inspired by some bullfighting she came across in Mozambique; we’re wondering if it was at that bullring just outside Maputo – intrigued, we once stopped and checked it out – it’s really eery, reminiscent of the bygone era of Portuguese occupation of Mozi… Anyway, we’re rambling – go and check out the exhibition for yourself and ponder on this brilliant young artists talent… Titled Umphatsi Wempi – loosely translated as ‘the general charged with overseeing a battle’ – the exhibition comprises several new sculptural works as well as video, photography and drawing. Central to this body of work is the concept of the boundary, particularly as something that constantly shifts and mutates, that is never fixed or static. The boundary between corporeal awareness and revulsion is explored through the artist’s use of raw cowhides, tails and ears, which are cured and sculpted. In Penis Vagina – One-Man Capsule (2009), the boundary between the need to fight and the need for protection is also apparent. Like Mntambo’s earlier piece uMcedo (2009), this work offers a space that one may enter for protection and perhaps preparation, only to emerge when one is ready. The sculpture is both penetrative and encapsulating, an evocative hermaphroditic form that speaks of pure potential. The artist’s interest in the dynamic tension that exists within the self, the push-pull between libido and mortido, life instinct and death drive, also appears in her photographic images. In The Rape of Europa, a reinterpretation of a Picasso sketch of the Minotaur caressing a girl, the artist occupies both roles, and in her recreation of Caravaggio’s painting of Narcissus gazing at his own reflection in a pond, she replaces Narcissus with herself as Zeus in bull form. In the bronze head-and-shoulders bust in the Renaissance tradition, she combines her own feminine features with those of Zeus disguised as a bull. In another new sculpture, Waiting (2009), a cowhide figure disappears into a wall. It is unclear whether the figure is waiting for salvation, or seeking a hiding place from an unknown terror. While the exposed rear of the prostrate form is undoubtedly a gesture of submission, there is also a sensuality and beauty to the figure, imbuing...

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Don’t Miss: Two eminent Jozi photographer’s exhibiting
Jul08

Don’t Miss: Two eminent Jozi photographer’s exhibiting

Get to the Brodie/Stevenson gallery next Monday night the 13 July 09  for a one-on-one walkabout with photographer Zanele Muholi.  Zanele will be showing visitors around the  her latest exhibit entitled Faces and Phases that opens tomorrow night. Musa Nxumalo will also be exhibiting his Alternative Kids at The Photo Workshop Gallery from 8 July -AND the two artists will be discussing ‘Sexuality and Subculture’ after Zanele’s walkabout… sho, lots to see – GO GO GO : Faces and Phases Brodie/Stevenson presents a solo exhibition by Zanele Muholi 9 July – 1 August 2009 Please join us for the opening on Thursday 9 July 2009 at 6pm Zanele Muholi will be giving a walkabout on Monday 13 July 2009 at 2pm at Brodie/Stevenson. The walkabout will be followed by a discussion between Zanele Muholi and Musa Nxumalo titled ‘Sexuality and Subculture’ to be held at the Market Photo Workshop.  The discussion will be held on Monday 13 July 2009 at 6pm at the Market Photo Workshop. Zanele Muholi’s exhibition Faces and Phases is showing at Brodie/Stevenson from 9 July – 1 August 2009. Faces and Phases is an ongoing series of black and white portraits that focuses on the commemoration and celebration of black lesbians’ lives, and challenges the public’s perceptions of female and male identity.Collectively, the portraits become an act of visual activism, the photographer’s response to the violation, rape and murder of innocents because of their sexualities and ethnicities. Depicting women of various ages and backgrounds, this gallery of images offers a powerful statement about the similarities and diversity that exists within the human race. For more information about Zanele Muholi’s exhibition please click here Brodie/Stevenson is located on the ground floor, 373 Jan Smuts Avenue, Craighall, Johannesburg. Hours are Tuesday to Friday, 10.30am to 5.30pm, and Saturday from 9.30am to 3pm. Email info@brodiestevenson.com. Telephone +27 (0)11 326 0034. Fax +27 (0)11 326 0041. For directions to Brodie/Stevenson please click here For directions to the Market Photo Workshop please click here Musa Nxumalo’s exhibition Alternative Kidz is at The Photo Workshop Gallery from 8 July – 9 August 2009. Musa Nxumalo is the 2008 Edward Ruiz Mentorship recipient; his exhibition documents urban black youth who choose to identify with alternative culture. In doing so, Nxumalo re-presents and repositions not only mainstream South African youth culture, but also the ability of alternative counter-culture to react against social stereotyping. In this context, alternative culture is both culturally dissonant and individually liberating. For more information about Musa Nxumalo’s exhibition please click...

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Dark Side of the Moon at UCA Gallery
Jul06

Dark Side of the Moon at UCA Gallery

dark side of the moon                                  1 July – 24 July 2009 In dark side of the moon at UCA Gallery the selected artists all have a quality of exploring and experimenting, be it visually or conceptually, by using the traditional mediums in a new and exciting way, pushing the boundaries of the imagination and giving us new insight as to what art can potentially be or should be, perhaps, to test the limits of the imagination. Featured artists will be Christiaan Diedericks, Julia Mary Grey, Wonder, Albert Coertse, Shani Nel, Conor Ralphs, Hannalie Taute and Theo Kleynhans.. The exhibition will open on Wednesday 1 July and close on 24 July 2009. Gallery Hours: 10am – 5pm Mon – Fri, 9am – 1pm Sat 46 Lower Main Road, Observatory, Cape Town. T: 021 447 4132 E: info@ucagallery.co.za W: www.ucagallery.co.za A group exhibition of artists who choose to use traditional media for expression in inventive and innovative ways, ‘exploring the unknown’ so to speak.  The artists featured will be Christiaan Diedericks, Julia Mary Grey, Wonder, Albert Coertse, Shani Nel, Conor Ralphs, Hannalie Taute and Theo Kleynhans. Because of the fact that we never get to see the ‘dark side of the moon’ as the moon’s rate of rotation has become (almost) synchronized with its orbit, it has become synonymous with the unknown and unexplored places of ones own imagination. The unknown factor exists and permeates everything but which cannot be explained and which is veiled from conventional conscious knowledge. Certain artists in the past and present have always found it necessary to explore this ‘other’, unknown/sub-conscious side of themselves and their imagination, and in so doing have created works that can be playful, fantastic or dark and ominous. Being freed from the necessity of depicting the world in a traditional naturalistic way by new forms of media like photography and film, artists have been able to explore and offer new forms/shapes and imaginary landscapes and in so doing find new ways of expressing the subconscious world (which is another symbolic link/association that we have given to the moon – the dream world) and fantasy worlds. In dark side of the moon the selected artists all have this quality of exploring and experimenting, be it visually or conceptually, by using the traditional mediums in a new and exciting way, pushing the boundaries of the imagination and giving us new insight as to what art can potentially be or should be, perhaps, to test the limits of the imagination. The exhibition will open Wednesday evening at 6pm on the 1st of July and close on the 24th of July...

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Self/Not Self – A collective of artists explore the Self
Mar16

Self/Not Self – A collective of artists explore the Self

Brodie/Stevenson presents Self/Not-Self, the second curated exhibition that explores modes of self-representation across a range of contemporary art practices. Self/Not-Self 26 March – 25 April 2009 Opening on Thursday 26 March at 6pm The exhibition as a whole considers concepts of self-portraiture and the role of the artist/author. While it is undoubtedly reductive to interpret all work as autobiographical, the significance of how artists ‘write themselves into’ their work is fundamental to contemporary art practice. This ‘writing in’ may occur in various ways including performance, the gestural mark, the trace, the alter-ego, autobiography (both real and fictitious), confession and absence. This exhibition will look at indirect or ‘absent’ self-representational approaches, where strategies of surrogacy, projection and alternative personae are employed. Aspects of this approach include the object as stand-in for the self, self as alter-ego, self as artwork, as another’s body, and as text. These approaches contain an inherent sense of remove, and allow for a mode of autobiography through a third-person or object. In their ‘looking outwards’ to the world, these artists offer a challenge to the very idea of a coherent or contained self. Artists on the upcoming show include Avant Car Guard, Conrad Botes, Wim Botha, Reshma Chhiba, Simon Gush, Nicholas Hlobo, Lawrence Lemaoana, Michael MacGarry, Richard Penn, Wilhelm Saayman, Penny Siopis and Sober and Lonely. Brodie/Stevenson is located on the ground floor, 373 Jan Smuts Avenue, Craighall, Johannesburg. Hours are Tuesday to Friday, 10.30am to 5.30pm, and Saturday from 9.30am to 3pm. Email info@brodiestevenson.com. Telephone +27 (0)11 326 0034. Fax +27 (0)11 326 0041. Image:  Lunga Kama – Ubuntu libhongo...

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