Mikhael Subotzky & Patrick Waterhouse
Gallery News for Mikhael Subotzky & Patrick Waterhouse
Mikhael Subotzky & Patrick Waterhouse at ICP Triennale
Light boxes from the series Ponte City by Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse will be on view at A Different Kind of Order: The ICP Triennial, at the International Center of Photography in New York. The work – which won the Discovery Award at Recontres d’Arles in 2011 – is made up of photographs of every door, window and television set in the notorious Ponte City in Johannesburg. These are brought together in an installation of three towering light boxes measuring 4 meters. The exhibition runs from 17 May to 8 September 2013.
In early 2008, Mikhael Subotzky moved from Cape Town to Johannesburg, and since his move has been at work on two long-term projects. While independent, the projects are both influenced by Subotzky’s engagement with the city of Johannesburg. They are presented as works-in-progress, eventually to be realised as full exhibitions and publications.
The first body of work continues a long-held interest in crime, social marginalisation, and the public and private institutions of punishment and security. This investigation started in 2004 with Die Vier Hoeke (The Four Corners) and continued in subsequent years with Umjiegwana (The Outside) and Beaufort West. In this exhibition, Subotzky presents works that extend the three series into new environments. Loosely focusing on the lifestyle of fear in South Africa, the images explore the vexed and many-layered concept of security in contemporary society.
The second project, begun in 2008, is a collaboration with British artist Patrick Waterhouse – whom Subotzky met while on a residency in Italy. The work is located in Berea’s Ponte City building, an iconic structure in Johannesburg’s skyline that has long been a symbol for the city itself. Opened in 1976, Ponte has come to represent the best and the worst of Johannesburg, and has generated a particular mythology of city life.
Subotzky and Waterhouse combine photography, historical archives, found objects, and interviews to create a body of work that spans the pre-history of the building, its spectacular decline, and the recent attempts at its transformation. The building is cast as the central character in a tangled narrative about Johannesburg’s magnetic pull on people from all over the continent.
Mikhael Subotzky’s work has been widely exhibited and collected. He was included in New Photography 2008: Josephine Meckseper and Mikhael Subotzky at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and his first monograph, Beaufort West, was published the same year. He received the 2009 Oskar Barnack Award, the 2008 W. Eugene Smith Memorial Grant, and the 2008 ICP Infinity Award (Young Photographer). This is his fifth solo exhibition with Goodman Gallery.
In early 2008 Mikhael Subotzky moved to Johannesburg. He has subsequently continued with two long-term projects which are of independent concern, but which have both been influenced by his new context – the backdrop of the city of Johannesburg.
These two projects are presented here as work-in-progress and will both be realised as full exhibitions and publications in the coming years. The first, for which the artist was awarded the 2008 W. Eugene Smith Memorial Grant, is a continuation of what has already been a five-year interest in crime, social marginalisation, and the public and private institutions of punishment and security. This investigation started in 2004 with Die Vier Hoeke (The Four Corners), and was continued in subsequent years with the Umjiegwana (The Outside) and the Beaufort West series’. In this exhibition, Subotzky presents new works which extend these series’ into new environments. Loosely focusing on the lifestyle of fear in South Africa, these works explore both the reality and the concept of security in contemporary society. Presented mainly at the Goodman Gallery’s new project space at Arts on Main, they include new large-scale photographs which extend the artist’s formal vocabulary, as well as older photographs which are exhibited here for the first time.
The second new body of work is being made in collaboration with British artist Patrick Waterhouse. Subotzky and Waterhouse met while on residency together in Italy. They started collaborating in mid-2008 on a project that is geographically located in Berea’s Ponte City building. This icon of the Johannesburg’s skyline has long been a symbol for the city itself, and the crucible of its citizen’s imaginations. Since its inception in 1976, the best and the worst of Johannesburg have been projected onto the building, and built into its mythology. Combining photography, historical archives, found objects, and interviews, the work spans the pre-history of the building, its spectacular decline, and recent attempts at its transformation. The building is cast as the central character in a tangled narrative which reflects Johannesburg’s magnetic pull on the social and mythical lives of those who come to this place from all over the country and all over the continent.
At the Goodman Gallery’s Jan Smuts location, Subotzky and Waterhouse present a series of photographs made in the building, a new five-metre panorama, and a book dummy installation. The book dummy provides context to their broader engagement with the history of the building and their ongoing relationships with some of its residents. Inscribed by hand with the artist’s notes, this dummy combines the photographs that are on display in the rest of the exhibition with the archival and found documents, and represents the artist’s attempts to organise and find narratives in the wide range of images and sources that they have collected.
Subotzky was included in New Photography 2008: Josephine Meckseper and Mikhael Subotzky at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. His first monograph, Beaufort West, was published the same year and his work has been widely exhibited and collected. He is the winner of the 2009 Oskar Barnack Award, the 2008 W. Eugene Smith Grant, and the 2008 ICP Infinity Award (Young Photographer). This is his third solo exhibition with Goodman Gallery.
Goodman Gallery Cape presents Summer Show – opening on 15 December and running until 14 January. The exhibition has been designed as a review, focusing on new and recent work by South Africans artists either represented by or associated with the gallery. Important works from series produced by the artists over the past year are showcased, and the show also features a selection of works recently shown at the gallery’s Johannesburg spaces.
The exhibition includes prints from Siemon Allen‘s Records series, in which the artist explores images of South Africa through the collection and archiving of music records from the beginning of the 20th Century to the present day. Photography is strongly represented, with works from Jodi Bieber’s vibrant, urban-denizen take in her Soweto series, in marked contrast with David Goldblatt’s large-scale colour prints of rural South Africa. Mikhael Subotzky (who recently won the 2012 Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Art) and Patrick Waterhouse show recent work from their ongoing collaboration on the Ponte City project.
A text piece by Stuart Bird is shown in anticipation of his upcoming solo show in January, Gerhard Marx presents exquisitely detailed and artisanally worked surfaces in his new works, continuing his preoccupation with notions of mapping, place and nature, and Walter Oltmann shows a powerful new addition in aluminium wire to his series of insect suit sculptures.
Paintings by Moshekwa Langa, Lisa Brice and Clive van den Berg explore abstraction and gesture in different ways; all three have produced significant bodies of new works which were well received during 2011. Minnette Vari‘s uncanny brush and ink drawings of the goddess/crone Baubo sit in awkward dialogue with Kendell Geers’ La Sainte Vierge.
This exhibition affords a fascinating look at the output of some of South Africa’s major artists, and will also showcase from our Johannesburg spaces works not yet shown in Cape Town, including Kudzanai Chiurai’s Revelations, a series of photographic tableaux exploring politics and power in Africa, new wood sculptures by Willem Boshoff, and a selection of drawings, linocut graphics and sculpture by William Kentridge.
The Joburg Art Fair was started three years ago by Artlogic with First National Bank as the primary sponsor.
It is the only art fair on the African continent and the only art fair in the world to focus on African contemporary art. Over the three year period it has become a meeting place for those interested in African contemporary art. The Joburg Art Fair is a small, boutique Fair committed to showcasing the best galleries interested in this region.
As it is the only large scale annual visual arts event in South Africa, the Fair makes an effort to give exposure to artists who work outside of the gallery circuit and routinely curate spaces for tertiary institutions, or project spaces that result from proposals submitted to Artlogic.
Each year our visitor numbers grow to include more foreigners, more students, and more of the general public interested in this kind of high-end contemporary event.
For 2011, we are working to curate a space that is welcoming and where visitors can spend an entire day. We are creating a food area that will sport four of the country’s top wine estates and a Pommery Champagne lounge in association with St Leger and Viney and Business Day Wanted Magazine.
Goodman Gallery presents a group exhibition simply titled Winter Show, featuring a range of local and international art luminaries. Traveling from Goodman Gallery Johannesburg, the show presents recent works by Goodman stalwarts such as William Kentridge, David Goldblatt, Sam Nhlengethwa and Mikhael Subotzky, as well as revealing a shift in the Gallery’s approach, showcasing work from around the African continent and beyond that is both explicitly and implicitly concerned with the synergies and tensions that exist between Africa and the rest of the globe. Some of the participating international artists, such as Ghada Amer, are not only being showcased, but are now officially represented by the Goodman Gallery.
The Winter Show will elaborate on the thorny notion of the politics of representation, which Brenda Atkinson and Candice Breitz confronted in their 1999 collection of essays Grey Areas: Representation, Identity and Politics in Contemporary South African Art. The book was a direct response to the critique of Nigerian curator Okwui Enwezor, who was the creative director of the Second Johannesburg Biennial in 1997. At the time, Enwezor interrogated the practice of artists such as Breitz, Minnette Vári and Penny Siopis, considering in great depth the question of ‘who has the right to represent whom?’. Now, over a decade later, accusations of misrepresentation have been revisited and reconsidered, not only by Enwezor himself and those whose essays were included in Grey Areas, but by the art community at large. The Winter Show augments the dialogue, bringing new voices into the conversation.
Compelling features of the Winter Show include one of artist, Kara Walker’s 2009 films – which are based on narratives from the archives of a bureau established in 1865 to assist African Americans with the transition from slavery to freedom – featuring the artist’s signature black-silhouette cut-out figures, which almost impossibly convey the complexities of race, gender, sexuality and power in their stilted and evocative movements. William Kentridge will present a new drawing produced this year, a large scale tapestry, as well as a maquette of the structure World on its Hind Legs, created in collaboration with Gerhard Marx.
With Goodman Gallery firmly established as a world-class contemporary art institution, the Winter Show will reveal the gallery’s commitment – not only to representing artists of the highest caliber, but to bringing an innovative programme of relevant and compelling international works to South Africa, offering audiences exposure to some of the best contemporary work being produced, both locally and abroad.
Us is a show of new work by younger and more established local and international artists around the theme of group identity, whether nation, culture, class, gender, sexuality or race. This show emerges out of the context of the xenophobic violence in South Africa last year, as well as the ripple effects of the world economic crisis. There was an open call for artists to develop new work in conversation with their diverse contexts and each other around the complexities of difference and belonging. The show explores how the ‘substance’ of any US is often less fixed than constantly shifting, fluid and unstable. Taking place at two venues, the show opens with a daring and original selection of new performance work, sculptural installation, painting and photography, each exploring a point of view as unique as the show’s many Us’s.
Artists include Cape Town based collective, the Gugulective, Kemang Wa Lehulere, Donna Kukama, Mikhael Subotzky, Dorothee Kreutzfeldt, Bili Bidjoka, Laurence Bonvin, Dunjia Herzog, Andrew Putter, Themba Shibase, Kudzanai Chiurai, Zen Marie, Bridget Baker and others.
The show is curated by Simon Njami, founding editor of Revue Noir and curator of Africa Remix, and Bettina Malcomess, a writer and artist.
The show takes place at the Johannesburg Art Gallery, in partnership with the generous support of the Goethe Institute, as well as Prohelvetzia, and the Goodman Gallery at the Goodman Gallery Project space at Arts on Main.
Opening: 20 September 2009. JAG. 4pm
Opening: 26 September 2009. Goodman Project Space. Arts on Main. 12pm
A series of walkabouts and discussions of the show will be held by the curators.
Walkabout, Sat 26 September, Johannesburg Art Gallery, 11am-12. Bettina Malcomess and Simon Njami.
Discussion: at the Goethe Institute Project Space, Arts on Main, 3pm.
Title: Support group for those who feel they don’t belong – a discussion of difference in contemporary art. Hosted by the Gugulective.
Walkabout, Sun 11 October, 3:30 – 4pm, Johannesburg Art Gallery. Bettina Malcomess
Walkabout, 4pm – 5pm, Goodman Project Space, Arts on Main: with Bettina Malcomess and artists, showing performance work from the opening night by Zen Marie and Donna Kukama.
Mikhael Subotzky and British artist Patrick Waterhouse met while on residency together in Italy. They started collaborating in mid-2008 on a project that is geographically located in Berea’s Ponte City building. This icon of the Johannesburg’s skyline has long been a symbol for the city itself, and the crucible of its citizen’s imaginations. Since its inception in 1976, the best and the worst of Johannesburg have been projected onto the building, and built into its mythology.
Combining photography, historical archives, found objects, and interviews, the work spans the pre-history of the building, its spectacular decline, and recent attempts at its transformation. The building is cast as the central character in a tangled narrative which reflects Johannesburg’s magnetic pull on the social and mythical lives of those who come to this place from all over the country and all over the continent.
2014 Ponte City, Le Bal, Paris
2014 Ponte City, FOMU, Antwerp, Belgium