Monday, 23 March 2015

“Pre-code Forecast 1931” by Andreas Chasomeris Opening on Monday, 4 May at 6/6:30p.m.

Pre-code Forecast 1931 is an engaging new exhibition of paintings, photography and film by Durban queer artist Andreas Chasomeris. The title encapsulates the major themes that Chasomeris has been exploring in relation to History, Censorship and Cinema. The date of 1931 is significant because this period of time was fascinating as the Great Depression (1929-1935) was being felt around the world, Cinema in both Europe and specifically Hollywood was embracing the progressive nature of society, however the stark realities of the era gave rise to what is now considered Pre-code Hollywood (1930-1934), technological innovation of sound (1927) heralded a new dawn of talking pictures and films like Josef von Sternberg The Blue Angel (1929) and Shanghai Express (1931); Reinhold Schünzel’s Viktor und Viktoria (1933). These films are but a few of the examples that became evidence later by the Production code of the fear of the screen in corrupting and destroying the public, these films were labelled as Vice pictures and by 1934 with the Catholic League of Decency promised to eradicate any disgusting, immoral and vice ridden representations off the screens. 

Chasomeris personal response from a critical evaluation based on the past documented histories and the present lived experience of being a queer artist in post-Apartheid South African context.

As an educator with a passion for film, art and history, he firmly believes in order to understand the possibility that our potential future holds is deeply entrenched in the narratives of the past.

The exhibition includes influences of Art Deco, Marlene Dietrich, Weimar Republic, Jean Harlow, Busby Berkeley musical numbers, Cole Porter and a touch of Agatha Christie.

This exhibition closes on Saturday, 23 May at 2p.m.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

pulcinella's secret by Trui Roozenveld van der Ven 9 - 21 March with Opening Tonight, 16 March at 6/6:30p.m.

You are invited to the opening of

pulcinella’s secret
an exhibition by
Trui Roozeveld van der Ven

Julie Frederikse will be opening the exhibition

Pulcinella, often called Punch or Punchinello in English, is a character from the commedia dell'arte.

His traditional temperament is to be mean, vicious, and crafty and his main mode of defense is to pretend to be too stupid to know what's going on.

In Italian and French, and probably a few other languages, the expression

"pulchinella's secret" means that it is an open secret, in fact, it is not a secret,

but public knowledge. We all know it, but we don't say it.

Ironically, in this  world of commercial make-believe, 

my views are occasionally blurred by politics and religion;

- hard at times to distinguish between genuine and counterfeit, 

right and wrong.

left and right

are helping themselves to each other's rhetoric;

swindlers posing as holy men, 

warmongers pretending to make peace.

it makes me think of:

the "long life" tomatoes on the shelves in the supermarket,

with their shiny red and firm skin,  starting to rot from the inside :

the rotten tomato is posing as the freshly picked one;

it's pulcinella's secret

this grand masquerade.

The visual language that I use in my work here, - that of a fairy tale type of cartoon,

somewhat  burlesque and tongue in cheek, -  

suits my idea of depicting the farcical nature of a kind of reality.

We don’t know how “our” reality matches the “generally accepted” one.

What is real, nearly real and that what is imagined

overlap, replace, exclude

or enhance each other.

That is,

in my paintings.

March 2015


Tuesday, 10 February 2015

"Outpost" by Anthony Morton 16 February - 21 March 2015

In this body of work a long-standing interest in the dynamic relationship between South African landscape and urban youth culture unfolds.

I began to see land as a constant in the events of history. During my research at Rhodes University, I felt a sense of nostalgia as I considered landscape and how it has been depicted in canonical art history and, in turn, my connection to this as a South African.  This work references the lineage of Land Art, which includes Bushman art, the idealistic, uninhabited, ready-to-conquer landscapes of Piet Pierneef, the Grahamstown group lead by Noel Hodnett, Gerard Sekoto, and, also, European movements inspired by primitivist aesthetics.  Production of art in South Africa became a symbol for the progression of time and the unfolding of history.  I find interest in searching for what is permissible and relevant as South African landscape painting through situating myself in relation to this narrative.  Much has changed yet has stayed the same.

Through natural and intuitive painting Morton shows sensitivity to the history of South African landscape painting as well as critical awareness of land as singularly constant in a world governed by change

- Jenifer Ball

Anthony Morton has recently finished his BFA at Rhodes University in which he majored in painting. Morton was brought up going on hikes in the Drakensberg with his father which later gave birth to him thinking about how memory and nostalgia constitute ones ideals of generic landscape painting of South African nature scenes. Morton is preparing to spend this year drawing in Beijing as well as researching traditional Chinese print.

Monday, 9 February 2015

"Re(viewed)" by Terence King 16 February - 7 March 2015

Opening talk by Louise Hall

Rooted in observation, the works aim to engage three long-established genres in painting and drawing; the figure, the physical environment and the still-life, with a view to marrying the concrete subject and the subject imagined.

Still-life, traditionally associated with displays of material possession, can also represent a world of work – the tools of trade in domestic and manufacturing settings – which are here presented on surfaces reminiscent of the tablelands of the inland landscape.

The landscape works, in turn, are based on the ways in which natural markers, such as these hills around Harrismith, tend to punctuate the geometry of agriculture. Familiar markers of routes travelled, with a deceptive sense of constancy, these landforms are in actuality fragile and impermanent.

The compression of space is a feature too of the figurative works, in which flat planes are intended to create uncomplicated settings in which to observe the sitter. The notions of watching and of exposure, typically critical elements in rendering the nude figure, constitute a major part of the content of the drawings.

Terence King is a retired Professor in Fine Art and Art History at the University KwaZulu Natal, Pietermaritzburg, where he had been since the mid-1980s, having previously taught at the Universities of the Witwatersrand and South Africa, and Technikon Natal.

Walkabout on Saturday, 28 February at 11a.m.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

"South Beach" by John Robinson 19 January – 14 February 2015

Zambian-born John Robinson has been focusing on the world through his camera lens as a social documentary photographer for 18 years, picturing aspects of life in Sub-Saharan Africa. He captures some of the ‘goings on’ of people in a series of portraits taken along the South Beach beachfront of Durban. He documents his subjects against the ebb and flow of the ever-changing sand and sea.

In this work he has gone back to using black and white film, rather than digital. John takes photographs with a small rangefinder camera instead of the larger DSLR camera. He feels that this makes him, as a photographer, less ‘visible’ and keeps him more humanly ‘in touch’ with his subject. Photographing with an analogue camera he feels less tethered to technology and more free to just take pictures of ‘what is’.

John Robinson is a social documentary photographer and stroke survivor living in South Africa, these are his own words and images.

South Beach is a part of the City of Durban’s longest uninterrupted stretch of beach sand. The City of Durban is on the eastern seaboard of South Africa and the people here are washed with the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. To the north of this stretch of sand are beaches with cafe society hang outs. To the south there is a pier with the upmarket Moyo’s Restaurant at it’s end and the uShaka Marine World complex and the private surf and sea clubs of the Vetches Beach area. Between these northern and southern affluent areas lies this long uninterrupted and relatively undeveloped stretch of beach sand. It’s along this beach that some of the ‘scatterlings’ of Africa come to be alone, sleep, pray, walk, swim, surf, work, commune with another, or just the sea sand and water.