For the 56th Venice Biennale William Kentridge presents Triumphs and Laments, a polyptych conceived by the artist to be placed in Rome, on the banks of the Tiber River between Ponte Sisto and Ponte Mazzini. The work is a large-scale frieze – an origina tribute to Trajan’s column in which referneces to archaeology, ancient and modern history are interlaced — with about ninety figures, among which appear characters that evoke the Eternal City’s “triumphs and laments”. Heroes of the past come together with modern myths: from emperors to movie stars, from ancient Rome to Dolce Vita, until the death of Pier Paolo Pasolini.
Acting as director, and relying on the practice of drawing, Kentridge imagines independent sequences, which then assemble into a kind of epic film, made of sharp interruptions, full of references to the early cinema of Georges Méliès. The Venice installation at the Italian National Pavilion is to be curated by Vincenzo Trione. The 56th biennale opens on 9 May and runs until 22 November 2015.
For their solo exhibition at FOAM photography museum in Amsterdam, titled To Photograph the Details of a Dark Horse in Low Light, Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin lead viewers through a disturbing history lesson on the relationship between photography and race. Until 3 June. Other group exhibitions showing the work of Broomberg & Chanarin include This Is War! at the Palazzo del Monte di Pietà, Padua, until 31 May. The series People in Trouble Laughing Pushed to the Ground is exhibited at Belfast Exposed in Northern Ireland until 18 April; and their work is featured in the group exhibition Conflict, Time, Photography at Essen’s Museum Folkwang until July 5.
Durban‘s KZNSA Gallery presents major photographs in the ongoing Structures series by David Goldblatt. Structures is a major body of work described by the late Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer as “an extraordinary visual history of a country and its people.” Titled Structures of Dominion & Democracy, the exhibition traverses the distinct eras in our history. The exhibition contains images dating back as far as 1963. Goldblatt’s contemporary photographs picture the political and social landscapes of the period after the advent of democracy. From 31 March to 19 April.
For this year’s SP-Arte due to take place in Sao Paulo, Brazil, from 9 to 12 April the Goodman Gallery has the singular distinction of being the sole representative of the African continent among the galleries from 17 countries. The Goodman Gallery will present historically significant works of a contemporary nature by senior artists, as well as distinctive works by new visionaries. International artists represented by Goodman Gallery will present work within the South African context or works that reference the broader African experience. The booth brings together Carla Busuttil, Kudzanai Chiurai, Kendell Geers, Alfredo Jaar, William Kentridge, Liza Lou, Mishek Masamvu, Mikhael Subotzky, Hank Willis Thomas, and Jeremy Wafer.
The 56th International Art Exhibition titled All the World’s Futures, curated by Okwui Enwezor and organized by la Biennale di Venezia chaired by Paolo Baratta, will open to the public from 9 May at the Giardini della Biennale and at the Arsenale. The exhibition will include the works of 136 artists from 53 countries, of whom 89 will be showing here for the first time. South African Mikhael Subotzky is invited to exhibit at this prestigious event. Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse are shortlisted for their publication Ponte City (Steidl, 2014) for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2015. The annual award of £30,000 will be given on 28 May
Photographs and a film from Minette Vari’s Revenant series is exhibited on PAST IMPERFECT // FUTURE PRESENT in association with FADA Gallery at the University of Johannesburg. The exhibition features the work of visual practitioners engaging with complexities of, and rethinking new possibilities for, contemporary archival practices, through the use of lens-based and new media technologies. Until 1 May.
Hasan and Husein Essop, recipients of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Art in 2014, exhibit their collaborative photographic series Unrest at the Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg, from 21 April. The series highlights a multi-cultural clash between religion and popular culture. According to the exhibition statement, “Each photograph reflects the twins in a battle of moral, religious and cultural conflict. Two dominant personalities appear, East and West, with all their stereotypes, and environments are chosen as stages on which to perform and define their behaviours.”
For their solo exhibition at FOAM photography museum in Amsterdam, titled To Photograph the Details of a Dark Horse in Low Light, Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin lead viewers through a disturbing history lesson on the relationship between photography and race. In response to a commission to ‘document’ Gabon, Broomberg & Chanarin made several trips to the West African country to photograph a series of rare initiation rituals, using only Kodak film stock that had expired in the 1960’s. Another key work in the exhibition is a billboard-sized photograph of a 1950’s model for the Kodak Eastman Company whose portrait was distributed to photography labs all over the world as a visual reference for correct exposure. Shirley became a benchmark for ‘normal’ Caucasian skin. Darkroom experiments and Polaroid’s indirect support of the apartheid regime have inspired Broomberg & Chanarin’s series of Polaroids, made with a renovated ID camera, that considers the proposition that prejudice might be inherent in the medium of photography itself. The exhibition runs from 20 March to 3 June.
Carla Busuttil exhibits on the exhibition Tutti Frutti at Turps Gallery, London from 24 April. The inaugural show of the new Turps Gallery in South London will take place in collaboration with Marcus Harvey, director/editor of Turps Banana Magazine and Turps Art School. The gallery has put together a mixed painting show which aims to reflect the diversity of contemporary painting in London at the moment.
Hank Willis Thomas holds a solo exhibition at the Jack Shainman Gallery from 10 April to 23 May titled Unbranded: A Century of White Women 1915 – 2015. Willis Thomas also appears on the exhibition Secondhand at Pier 24 Photography, San Francisco, until the end of May. The exhibition features artists who build repositories of found images, from which they appropriate, construct, edit, and sequence in order to create something entirely new. Other exhibitions showing the work of Willis Thomas include Terminal: On Mortality and Beauty, at the Photo Center NorthWest until 4 April, Making Histories, H&R Black Artspace at the Kansas City Art Institute until 4 April, Repetition and Difference at the New York Jewish Museum until 8 August and Remember Me at the Gallery Michel Rien, Paris, until 18 April.
The theme for Venice Agendas 15 is Crossing Boundaries. Venice Agendas is organizing a series of talks, discussions and performances to coincide with the Venice Biennale, these will be followed by a series of outcome events that take place internationally throughout 2015. Sue Williamson is included in BORDER LINE: Right of Passage due to take place on 8 May. This unique limited edition publication event will consist of the assembling of 100 individual art books constructed on site from work by 25 international artists that have each produced 100 signed photographic works as a ‘one off’.
Banco Santander Foundation will present in its Santander Art Gallery from February 21, 2015 a performance of works by the most important collection of contemporary art in Germany, the Sammlung Goetz. The theme that serves as leitmotiv to the selection of works by Commissioner Karsten Lockemann is theater. Thus the title of the exhibition All the World’s a Stage. Works from the Goetz Collection, has been borrowed from a famous quote from William Shakespeare’s play “As You Like It” (As You Like It). The show is scheduled to showcase some of the most representative works of the German collection. A selection of 93 works by 27 artists, referring to the subject of theater and scenarios including all types of artistic media will be presented. Some of the artists that will be part of the exhibition are Matthew Barney, Janet Cardiff, Stan Douglas, Elmgreen & Dragset Jeff Wall, Ulrike Ottinger, Candice Breiz, Hans-Peter Feldman, Candida Höfer, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Hans Op de Beek, Michael Kunze, Mike Kelley, Jonathan Meese and Laurie Simmons, among others.
The South African artist’s sketches turned trick film animations first moved the art world’s heart when he appeared on the international scene in the mid-1990s. His last show in the early 2000s here in Berlin was a milestone moment for our city in the development of Unter den Linden. This magical show, set in the backdrop of the homey space of Galerie Kewenig, will be a moment you take with you forever. Bring your MP3 player and some time to spend contemplating the political crying for the utopic home, ever present in this cycle of Kentridge’s works. Through April 18.
Candice Breitz’s video installations take centre stage at City Gallery in Wellington, New Zealand, from 28 March to 26 July. The three major works on exhibition will each present distinct aspects of her oeuvre. Her latest trilogy, shown at Goodman Gallery Johannesburg in 2012, titled The Woods, refers to the world’s largest film industries: Hollywood (USA), Bollywood (India) and Nollywood (Nigeria). The sixteen-channel work King (A Portrait of Michael Jackson) (2005) presents sixteen Michael Jackson fans performing the entire Thriller album. And in Factum (2010), Breitz interviews identical twins and a set of triplets, playing on similarities and differences in what they say and how they say it.
The work of Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin has been included in the exhibition Conflict, Time, Photography showing at the Tate Modern in London until 15 March 2015. As featured artists on the exhibition, on 26 January Broomberg and Chanarin presented a unique performance throughout the galleries of Conflict, Time, Photography in collaboration with the youth organisation, the Army Cadet Force. Using Bertolt Brecht and Hanns Eisler’s unfinished opera War Primer as raw material, the performance responded to specific photographic works in this landmark exhibition through procession, poetry and military drumming. Titled War Primer 2, the one off event included the participation of 18 army cadets aged between 14 and 17.
The William Kentridge retrospective Fortuna curated by Lilian Tone in partnership wirth the Instituto Moreira Salles, the Foundation Ibere Camargo and the Pinacoteca do Estado de Sao Paulo moves to Mexico City’s Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo from March 14 to 26 June, and then to Museo Amparo, Puebla, also in Mexico, from 4 July to 4 October 4, 2015
Mounir Fatmi’s Permanent Exiles is a mid-career retrospective bringing together 25 sculptures, installations and films produced since the opening decade of the millennium. According to the gallery statement the exhibition ‘tackles issues of discontinuity, physical and mental detachment and the vulnerability they cause.’ At the Musee d’art Moderne et Contemporaine in Geneva, Switzerland until 10 May
Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse’s photographic exploration of the changing fortunes of Ponte City, the tallest residential building in Africa, is exhibited at the Photography Gallery at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, from 6 December 2014 to 26 April 2015. The only scheduled showing of the Ponte City collection in the United Kingdom, the exhibition is accompanied by the Steidl publication Ponte City which was nominated for a Paris-Photo Aperture Foundation Photo book Award 2014.
Mikhale Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse’s photographic book Ponte City (Steidl) has been nominated for a Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook award for 2014. The shortlist for the award was announced by Todd Hido at the New York Art Book Fair on 26 September. Initiated in November 2011 by Aperture Foundation and Paris Photo, the Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards celebrate the photobook’s contribution to the evolving narrative of photography, with two major categories: First PhotoBook and PhotoBook of the Year. For this, their fourth edition, the Awards introduced a new third category: Photography Catalogue of the Year. Subotzky was nominated in 2011 for his book Retinal Shift (Steidl).
Work by Tracey Rose is included in the exhibition Theory of Colour, curated by Cuauhtemoc Medina at the Museum of the National University of Mexico until 7 February 2015. According to the curator’s statement the exhibition showcases contemporary art produced over the past decade that deals with racism from a diversity of approaches: “nationalism, scientism, homogenisation, exoticisation, colonisation, exploitation and sexualisation”. Her work will also be included in the group exhibition Body Talk: Feminism, Sexuality and the Body in the Work of African Women Artists, curated by Koyo Kouoh at WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, in Brussels, from 18 February 2015 until May 2015.
William Kentridge’s first large-scale solo exhibition in South America, Fortuna, has been travelling since October 2012. This extensive retrospective – conceived in close collaboration with the artist and designed especially for this tour – highlights Kentridge’s unique artistic process rather than focussing on a particular theme. The exhibition features six to seven rooms or sections comprising works ranging from 1989 to 2012. The retrospective has travelled to Instituto Moreira Salles (IMS) in Rio de Janeiro, Fundaçao Ibere Camargo (FIC), Porto Alegre, Pinacoteca Do Estado De Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo. Museo de Arte del Banco de la Republica, Bogota. It will run at Museo de Arte Moderno, Medellin from 30 July to 03 November 2014.
Goodman Gallery is pleased to announce Africans in America, a three-part project curated by Hank Willis Thomas. The focus of the project is on artists who are African immigrants or first generation Americans of African parents living in the United States. Africans in America will launch in 2015 and alternate between Goodman Gallery spaces in Johannesburg and Cape Town leading up to the Gallery’s 50th anniversary in 2016. Thomas is a photo-conceptual artist working primarily with themes related to identity, history and popular culture. He has a longstanding interest in the strains and connections between Africa, America and related notions of diaspora and home.
Rising 54 storeys high, Ponte City is the tallest residential building in Africa. Since 1975 this iconic structure has punctuated the Johannesburg skyline, originally offering cosmopolitan living for white South Africa. In the post-apartheid years the building became more integrated, with many people relocating from townships and recently it has become home for immigrants from other African countries. In 2007 developers planned a major refurbishment of the tower block; although the renovation began it was never completed—leaving the structure in a semi-destructed state, while tenants, those who had not yet been evicted or were simply squatting, still occupied flats in the block.
It was during this time period that the tower became the subject of a creative collaboration between South African photographer, Mikhael Subotzky and British artist, Patrick Waterhouse. They interviewed the remaining tenants and recorded the half-occupied building through a series of photographs and a collection of documents and other debris from the abandoned units. They began working at the monolithic block in 2007 and over the next five years they returned repeatedly to document the building: photographing every door in the multi-level structure and the view from every window; archiving the lives of the residents, from capturing what they were watching on TV to gathering discarded belongings. Cumulatively the work provides a cross-section of an iconic South African landmark that continues to symbolize the hopes and fears of the country’s most populous city, and in turn, this post-apartheid nation.
These images of Ponte City are featured in an exhibition that will open at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery on 6 December 2014 and will be the only UK showing. The exhibition is accompanied by the Steidl publication, Ponte City, which is nominated for a Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation Photobook Award 2014.
Mikhael Subotzky (b.1981) graduated with distinction from the Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town. He is an associate of Magnum Photographs and his work is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the South African National Gallery, Cape Town and Victoria & Albert Museum, London. Patrick Waterhouse (b. 1981) graduated with a BA from the Camberwell College of Art in 2003. He works in different media including drawings, prints, photographs, and artist’s books. He has published a fully illustrated version of Dante’s Inferno.
The exhibition is organized by Le Bal, Paris and Foto Museum, Antwerp.
Distance and Desire: Encounters with the African Archive brings into dialogue various documents from the late-nineteenth and early twentieth-century and recent photographic and video work by contemporary artists engaged with photographic archives, to offer new perspectives on the legacy of anthropological and ethnographic visions of Africa. The exhibition, curated by Tamar Garb, is on view at the Walther Collection in Ulm, Germany until 2015, and features work by Candice Breitz, Kudzanai Chiurai, David Goldblatt, and Sue Williamson. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue published by Steidl.