SOLO Takes New Media To New Terrain


In its seventh edition, Investec Cape Town Art Fair will consolidate its dynamic vision, bringing innovation to exhibition on the African continent. In order to elevate art practices above the expectations of visitors and collectors, this year’s SOLO platform has taken a turn to the left-field.

By incorporating new media into its major platform, the Investec Cape Town Art Fair is confirming its commitment to an emerging generation of artists using resources beyond the mediums of the past.

As part of its mission, in its sixth edition, the art fair launched its ground breaking, inaugural SOLO exhibition to fully explore the artistic practices of emerging and established artists through curated solo presentations.

Digital directions

In 2019, the SOLO section will explore the effects of the digital world on our lived realities. The exhibition will include solo presentations in all media, both new and traditional, that represent the unstable relationship between the physical and digital space, the real and the hyperreal.

Confirmed artists include Kyu Sang Lee of Eclectica Contemporary in Cape Town; Sitaara Stodel of Smith Studio in Cape Town; Tabita Rezaire of Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg; Jake Singer of Matter Gallery in Toronto; and Ibrahim Mahama of APalazzo Gallery in Brescia, Italy.

The list displays an eclectic mix of exceptional talents that are, besides being young and audacious, explorers of a new aesthetic of commodity and the personal in a globalised world.

The exhibition will seek to explore the relationship between the physical world and the digital world. In its intention, Galleries and Special Projects Manager Khanya Mashabela says, “For the upcoming SOLO 2019 exhibition we want to begin artistic conversations between mediums that express views about the digital world. All mediums will be represented alongside the new media, including painting, photography, video and sculpture. By exploring the impact that new media has had on the traditional mediums, and vice versa, we hope that a full picture will emerge, of the state and future of art practice on the African continent.”

According to Mashabela the integration of new media into the art fair setting will provide visitors with an enhanced visual art experience, in keeping with trends at art fairs and biennales in mainstream world centres.

“By progressing to new traditions it is hoped that emerging practitioners and collectors will begin to think more analytically about how the digital world impacts on art. Digital practices may be a powerful force in our everyday lives, yet in our context there has not been enough opportunity in the visual arts allowing practitioners from different strata to exhibit alongside one another,” says Mashabela.

For her part, Mashabela says that the explorations on the SOLO platform will not be the result of any prescriptive process. “We are inviting each artist to play within our broader idea and to come up with easy entry points. This will lead to a more in-depth look at processes. The integration and combination of digital works, with works that the audience is more familiar with, will provide the accessible entry. So one can expect to see all kinds of mediums. But the overarching theme will question what the digital world means in 2019.”

Investec Cape Town Art Fair runs from Friday 15 to Sunday 17 February 2019. For more information, visit

ADC Editor
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