!Kauru Contemporary African Art presents “AND COUNTING”, a contemporary visual art exhibition at the Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG), Johannesburg from 23 May – 14 July 2019, curated by Tšhegofatso Mabaso (South Africa) and Julia Taonga Kaseka (Zambia). Currently in its 8th year, !Kauru Contemporary African Art continues to be a leader in unique and innovative arts content to activate the cultural and creative industries and stimulate local and continental cultural exchange.
Through “AND COUNTING” !Kauru Contemporary Art reflects on South Africa’s 25 years of democracy, on the internal construction of the nation that is South Africa and takes stock of this important moment in time. The exhibition features the works of Aaron Mulenga (Zambia), Daut Makala (Zambia), David Koloane (SA), Ernest Cole (SA), Gladys Kalichini (Zambia), Henry Tayali (Zambia), Nicholas Hlobo (SA), Nyaniso Dzedze (SA), Ranjith Kally (SA), Sam Nhlengethwa (SA), Stary Mwaba (Zambia), Turiya Magadlela (SA), Wesley Hlongwane (SA).
“AND COUNTING” initiates a conversation between South Africa and Zambia and engages with contemporary conditions, taking into consideration how advancement and progress are often measured through accumulation and the passing of time. and counting, seeks to engage archives as a means through which to confront the issue of collective history/ies while also looking at works that exist outside institutional archives and collections. The title of the exhibition also seeks to question the very nature of archives as ongoing sites of accumulation and history, while also questioning these ideas around collective and shared history in two very different contexts, when it comes to the notion of institutional archives. What does it mean to draw from a public collection such as that of the Johannesburg Art Gallery to place works in conversation with those from private collections in Lusaka, due to the absence of institutional collections? How is national identity fostered, considering the danger of nationalism, and its perpetuation of unity through sameness as one of the root causes of several issues that mar the daily existence of various groups of people? When do we make room to engage spirituality and the ancestral voice in the space of collective memory and archives?
- Curators Tšhegofatso Mabaso and Julia Taonga Kaseka
Public Programs: *All events are free and take place at Johannesburg Art Gallery, Cnr Klein & King George Streets, Joubert Park, Johannesburg
Press WalkaboutThursday, 23 May 201917h00 – 18h00
Public OpeningThursday, 23 May 201918h00 – 20h00
Africa Day WorkshopSaturday, 25 May 201911h00 – 13h00
Facilitated by Julia Taonga Kaseka on collective memory as a sharing of knowledge from selected time periods.
Public Curator WalkaboutSunday, 26 May 201913h00 – 15h00
Creative Conversations: Youth and the Future of Art WorkshopTuesday, 18 June 201910h00 – 14h00
About !Kauru African Contemporary Art !Kauru African Contemporary Art aims to promote conversations in Africa and internationally that change perceptions of the continent through contemporary art. It provides a platform for African contemporary artists and cultural practitioners to engage with a showcase of contemporary art from the continent. The project is focused on dialogue around social and economic cohesion, transformation and access within the creative sectors in South Africa but also across the continent to strengthen engagement and build sustained relationships with creatives in countries around the African continent. Over the past 7 years, !Kauru Contemporary African Art has exhibited over 130 artists from over 25 African countries and the diaspora.
About the Curators
Tšhegofatso Mabaso is an artist and curator currently working in Johannesburg. She holds an MA in History of Art (University of the Witwatersrand) and is a co-founder of Rera Letsema, a Johannesburg based research collaborative. In 2016 Mabaso co-curated Situation, a group exhibition at The Point of Order and the Wits Young Artist Award Exhibition, Frequently Asked Questions (2017) alongside Thato Mogotsi. She recently co-curated The Art of Lithography: A Collaborative Expression of LL Editions (2018-2019) at the Wits Art Museum. Mabaso has been a sessional lecturer in the Wits School of Arts, History of Art Department and is currently a temporary lecturer in the Rhodes University Fine Art department. Her practice research interests include looking to the curatorial as an expanded methodology of knowledge production and the impact of collective artistic endeavours within the space of knowledge production and practice-based research.
Julia Taonga Kaseka is a curator based in Lusaka, Zambia. Taonga was born in 1983 and raised in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia. Her love for the arts started in her early years being surrounded by nature and wildness. Her interest is in cultural development, preservation of traditional, conceptual and contemporary African art. She rather focuses on researches into the connection and tradition elements of curatorial practices from Makishi Masquerade of Zambia, Adinkra Symbols of Ghana, Chokwe people of Congo DR and Mbusa ceremony from Zambia. Taonga is the Artistic Director of Modzi Arts, with the aim to grow the contemporary art/ cultural scene and make it more visible within and outside of Zambian society. She holds a BA in Computer Networks from the University of Zambia and Art Management from Berlin University of Arts. She has worked on exhibitions like Back & Forth: Underground / into the light, solo exhibition by Lawrence Chikwa | Teeth & Tongue, group exhibition by Geoffrey Phiri and David Tempelhoff | Kuboneshango women’s national exhibition of Zambia.
About Johannesburg Art Gallery
The Johannesburg Art Gallery collection boasts over 9,000 works of art, displayed in 15 exhibition halls and sculpture gardens. The collection represents an eclectic mix of colonial era artefacts and artworks from 17th-century Dutch paintings and lacework, 18- and 19th-century British and European works, 19th-century and contemporary South African art as well as late 20th century and contemporary South African/African artistic expressions in a diversity of traditional and new media.
Over the decades JAG has adapted to the changing nature of its inner-city home, as well as adapted to the changing nature of South Africa as a country, the ever-evolving nature of its art, and the expectations of contemporary art audiences. Museums all over the world are changing in similar ways, and JAG is following suit.
About Friends of JAG
Friends of JAG is a longstanding volunteer organisation that supports and assists in the promotion of the Gallery and its initiatives. Some of the most iconic works in the Gallery’s collection, like Pablo Picasso’s Tête d’Arlequin (acquired in 1973) was made possible by funding from the Friends of JAG. The Friends of JAG serve as a catalyst, creating vital links between JAG and its diverse communities, with a renewed focus on audience development and advancing access.