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David Goldblatt

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Strange to say but David Goldblatt's landmark photographic essay, In Boksburg, published nearly 30 years ago, is on exhibition for the first time in 2009.

David Goldblatt

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Strange to say but David Goldblatt's landmark photographic essay, In Boksburg, published nearly 30 years ago, is on exhibition for the first time in 2009.

Deborah Bell

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Deborah Bell's exhibition Flux is about movement and metamorphosis, fusion and the forging of spiritual transformation through her life experiences, and the close observation and study of civilizations and objects from the past.

Happy Dhlame

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Happy Dhlame's exhibition Partial Observation draws on the artist's immediate environment as its subject matter. Dhlame looks specifically at abandoned buildings in urban centres and how these structures retain traces of their inhabitants. He explores the idea that the sites we occupy are imbued with our projected selves, evidenced through our aesthetic choices. The material surface of buildings therefore function as an archive of moral and socio-political codes or conditions.

Infecting the City

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In February, the orange and black cockroach logo was seen in Cape Town's CBD, signalling Spier's performance festival, Infecting the City, with its pertinent theme "Home Affairs".

Marlene Dumas

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The work of Marlene Dumas inspires a sense of wonder: I wonder where to place her in the contemporary scheme of things. And I wonder what all the fuss is about. More to the point, how did she recently merit a mid-career survey of 70 paintings and 35 drawings, along with several large series of drawings, which sprawled over a dozen or so rooms at New York's Museum of Modern Art?

Penny Siopis

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What a joy to walk into a gallery filled with paintings, a rare experience in recent times, yet one that is gaining ground. And who better to encounter than Penny Siopis, the consummate painter who first emerged on the South African art scene in the early 1980s with her luscious "cake" paintings.

Self/Not Self

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In the halcyon days of vinyl, the double album was beloved of bands wanting to explore their ideas in more depth than the standard hour-long single album allowed. The double album had a downside, often signalling the unhappy triumph of hubris over content.

Sources: Contemporary Sculpture in the Landscape

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Filling a park in the countryside with sculptures by some of the country's most notable artists sounds like a playful and fanciful mission. Liza Essers, Neil Dundas and Benji Liebmann, the joint curators of Sources: Contemporary Sculpture in the Landscape, created a spectacle of grand proportions at the Nirox Foundation's sculpture park, located in the Cradle of Humankind region of the Magaliesberg range northwest of Johannesburg.

Xander Ferreira and Fahamu Pecou

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"Of course, it's fucking problematic!" Linda Stupart exclaims. Two nights earlier, standing in a packed Albert Hall awaiting Xander Ferreira's performance, I am also a little sceptical. Decked out in animal print and escorted by gun-toting soldiers, Ferreira appears onstage as his alter ego, Gazelle, a sort of Afro-chic dictator/pop star.

Zander Blom

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Few cultural forms have been as mythologized in the twentieth century as rock music. Beyond the music itself, the tradition of rock bands touring, with bacchanalian entourages of drug buddies and groupies, has become a source of the folktales of modern life, usually with in-built morals about the dangers of excess and the inevitable slide into decay. It is into this milieu that Zander Blom's second solo exhibition, The Travels of Bad, inserts itself.

Johannes Phokela

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Discourses on Johannes Phokela's art have primarily centred on the significance of his annexation of the Dutch genre of traditional painting. Phokela has attributed this focus to idle reviewers who use the internet as their main source of information rather than his art.

Thami Mnyele and the Medu Art Ensemble

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The Thami Mnyele and Medu Art Ensemble exhibition, curated by outgoing Johannesburg Art Gallery director Clive Kellner, pays tribute, principally, to Thami Mnyele's art making and his contribution to the graphics unit of the Medu Art Ensemble; it also presents archival material about Medu itself, an anti-apartheid cultural organisation based in Gaborone, Botswana, co-founded by poet Wally Serote.

William Kentridge

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Entropy is commonly illustrated by depositing a drop of black ink into a glass of clear water - initially the drop remains ordered and intact, but ultimately dissolves into a bland uniformity or maximum entropy. This process played in reverse, anti-entropy - "the gathering of chaos into order," as Gary Zukav states it - is the focus of William Kentridge's recent project (REPEAT) from the beginning

Berni Searle

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The four video projections and the series of photographic prints that made up Berni Searle's solo exhibition at Michael Stevenson explore the theme of emotional and unstable geographies, both in terms of the environment and the geopolitics of global wandering.

Judith Mason

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In the tenth century Meshullam ben Kalonymus composed a prayer that is a compilation of biblical expressions in an alphabetic acrostic. It is traditionally sung on the Jewish Day of Atonement, celebrating God's largesse. However, one stanza offers a converse position. The cantor does not sing aloud, and the community turns its collective face away: "… the works of man are plans of mischief. His habitation is in the midst of deceit; his bed is filled with worms when he is buried in the cleft of the earth." Judith Mason brings a taste of this mortal horror, vulnerability and fickleness to the surface in her violent oeuvre.

Karel Nel

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Karel Nel is the only artist on a team of 100 astrophysicists involved in the Cosmic Evolution Survey (Cosmos).

Lawrence Lemaoana

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Lawrence Lemaoana's recent one-man exhibition Fortune Telling in Black, White, and Red dissected notions of selfhood, rootedness and freedom in a climate of adversity-turned-victimization. The show struck a chord, given that Thabo Mbeki had just been ousted as president of South Africa. Newspaper headlines were filled with proclamations of dissent in the ranks of the ANC, eventually leading to a split in the party, while Jacob Zuma delivered a convincing speech to scholars at New York University.

Living Legacy

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If you want to see a room full of artworks, mainly paintings, each with strengths and flaws, you could visit Kizo and look at the 40-odd works in the top room...READ FULL PREVIEW IN PRINT

Mikhael Subotzky

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In an essay in David Goldblatt's Some Afrikaners Revisited (2007), Antjie Krog writes: "All one can hope for is that a new generation of photographers are recording the layeredness of our new society with the same sensitivity to difference, access to power and porous borders [as Goldblatt has]."

Monomania

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Monomania refers to a pathological obsession, an unflinching preoccupation with one idea, emotion, subject or relationship that captures its victims within a closed circuit of desire, where all of the trivialities of everyday life melt in the flame of a singular passion...READ FULL REVIEW IN PRINT EDITION

Nigel Mullins

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The paintings on show in Nigel Mullins' solo exhibition Caveman Spaceman bespeak a yearning for (as well as aversion to) the Real, which is lost with every hyper-real painting as representation of representation, copy of a copy. Each hyper-real/unreal painting produces the loss of the Real, as well as the loss of the aura of originality and authenticity, at the very moment that the painting mourns the passing away. Mourning produces the very loss that is mourned.

Pieter Hugo

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The African spotted hyena's laugh is said to indicate the creature's ability to mimic the human voice and, when coupled with the belief that this is the animal form of witches or bultungin (werehyenas), the beast is shrouded in superstition both folkloric and contemporary.

Robin Rhode

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Viewing Robin Rhode with a huge retrospective of Andy Warhol at the Hayward Gallery (Warhol downstairs, Rhode upstairs) is some indication of his meteoric rise in the international art community. On show is a survey of Rhode's work from 2002 to the present, giving one the opportunity to chart the shifts and continuities in his work.

Scratching the Surface

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A properly curated group show is a rare animal in our current art world. I mean properly as in curated with an intent to communicate something (narrative or polemic or political) as opposed to a show-and-tell of who is on the gallery's books.

Sue Pam-Grant

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Guard on Shift is a theatre installation produced by artist and director, Sue Pam-Grant, and Xoli Norman, a dramatist and musician. It is the experience of Pam-Grant's installation that we first encounter as viewers.

The Curatorial Moment

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Currently on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is an exhibition entitled The Philippe de Montebello Years: Curators Celebrate Three Decades of Acquisitions. The exhibition, organized chronologically by the year of their acquisition rather than their date of production, is a celebration of the museum's collecting during the tenure of its outgoing director, Philippe de Montebello. While the organizational strategy of the exhibition has not been well received - being so outside 'traditional' art historical order of things - the acquisition emphasis nonetheless points to something of the often-overlooked roles of museum directors and curators in the politics of collecting and display.

Diane Victor

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Diane Victor is the most recent artist to be profiled in David Krut Publishing's ongoing series of Taxi Art Books. The book sticks with the standard formula for artist's monographs, and is an important record of this influential artist's accomplishments.

Guy Tillim ' Angela Ferreira

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Co-joined through the spatiality of their respective investigations, Guy Tillim, Angela Ferreira and Manthia Diawara's exhibitions at the new Michael Stevenson gallery established a rare moment for the collaboration between curatorship, gallery and work.

Hobbs ' Bopape

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Durban recently played host to three artists whose concerns range from the immediately personal to the shared space of the city.

Home Lands - Land Marks

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Spread over three floors of a converted eighteenth century building in one of London's more prestigious commercial galleries, Home Lands - Land Marks is important for the international recognition of South African contemporary art, which has had limited exposure in this city over the past decade.

Jean Brundrit

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It is by now a commonplace that photography evokes questions about memory and truth. The once blithe confidence in the medium has taken many knocks, not only since it became clear that photographs could be manipulated in darkrooms (and more recently, by anyone with a computer), but more pertinently since postmodernism heralded a general crisis in the (im)possibilities of representation as such.

Joël Mpah Dooh

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After Taste, Joël Mpah Dooh's second solo exhibition at Afronova, is the collective product of three artist's residency programmes he joined over the past year: one at the Bag Factory Artist's Studios in Fordsburg, another at the JP Blachere Foundation in France, and the third, a fleeting stint at Artist Proof Studios in Newtown, where he produced the two uncharacteristically finicky wire sculptures included in the show.

National Arts Festival

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The world is… not sure about anything right now", stated Nontsikelelo "Lolo" Veleko, the recipient of this year's Standard Bank Young Artist for visual art, at the National Arts Festival (NAF). Veleko's Wonderland, curated by Storm Janse van Rensburg, destabilises certitude around social views.

Olaf Bisschoff

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Terra Incognito, Olaf Bisschoff's first solo outing, engages with land in a manner neither novel nor groundbreaking, on one level.