Making Way: Contemporary Art from South Africa and China
Standard Bank Gallery
30 January – 28 March 2013
An extraordinary exhibition which seeks to open up new conversations about cultural diversity, social tolerance and human understanding at a time of intense movement and change in the Global South opens to the public at Standard Bank Gallery on 30 January 2013.
Making Way: Contemporary Art from South Africa and China, explores the ways in which contemporary artists based in South Africa and China engage with new paths of movement, with economic and cultural shifts, and with the rise of new regimes, new leaders and new social and urban spaces.
The opening will be preceded by a performance procession of Athi-Patra Ruga’s The Future White Women Of Azania, on 29 January, from his ritual dressing at the Drill Hall on the corner Plein and Twist Streets in Joubert Park beginning at 17h30, through the city centre (down Nugget Street, up Anderson and into Thorpe Street), to a finale at the Standard Bank Gallery.
This performance marks the culmination of a body of work that has been in development for a number of years. Initially created in 2010 for the “For Those Who Live in It – Pop culture Politics and Strong Voices” exhibition, hosted by the MU Art Foundation in Eindhoven, The Netherlands; the performance has since travelled in various manifestations to Buenos Aires, Grahamstown, Cape Town and now Johannesburg.
Much like a painter would use his studies to develop the final art work, Ruga has used the various incantations as a performance-in-continuum to build the population of The Future White Women Of Azania. The original character, The Future White Woman Of Azania, performed for the first time under this name when the artist collaborated with Standard Bank Young Artist Mikhael Subotzky at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown; creating a procession that was followed by a 19th century Camera Obscura. The Future White Women of Azania: the manifesto saw the balloon character cloned for a shopfront piece within an instillation at GIPCA’s Live Art Festival.
This latest installation, subtitled the procession; is Ruga’s most ambitious venture with the character in terms of style and scale; and continues the artist’s contribution to a growing wealth of alternative rituals.
Videos of previous performances pieces will be on display as a part of the Making Way exhibition. The exhibition includes works in diverse media by internationally acclaimed Chinese artists, Wu Junyong, Chen Qiulin, Maleonn and Qin Ga and local artists Lebogang Rasethaba, Gerald Machona, Michael MacGarry and James Webb. Also on display are a number of videos of performance pieces by Doung Anwar Jahangeer, Hua Jiming, Qin Ga, Athi-Patra Ruga, Randolph Hartzenberg and Brent Meistre which embed the action of ‘making way’ in personally, culturally and locally intimate ways.
This exhibition, curated by Ruth Simbao, Associate Professor of Art History & Visual Culture at Rhodes University, runs until 28 March 2013, at the Standard Bank Gallery, corner of Simmonds and Frederick Streets, Johannesburg.The Gallery (Tel: 011 631 4467) is open Mondays to Fridays, 08:00-16:30; on Saturdays, 09:00-13:00; and is closed on Sundays and public holidays. Admission isfree. For more information about Standard Bank Gallery see www.standardbankarts.co.za. For more information about Making Way see www.makingway.co.za