Monday, April 19, 2010

SPace. Currencies in Contemporary African Art.

Source: Times Live, South Africa

In May, SPace a contemporary African art exhibition at Museum Africa will be opened. Curators Thembinkosi Goniwe and Melissa Mboweni presented their curatorial concept to a group of interested parties in mid-March.

It should be an exiting exhibition. Paul Mashatile, deputy minister of arts and culture has said that “we are encouraged that this will be done by Africans themselves telling their stories, reflecting on their own personal experiences, proudly reaffirming the saying that: nothing about us, without us.”

Goniwe explained how SPace which will embody “two notions, space and pace, which signify sites/contexts and tempos/energies that are part of societal make up… Our preoccupation is with ideas, experiences and practices of contemporary African artists, curators and intellectuals.”
And he says, “Art also provides moments for engaging with profound human qualities such intimacy, beauty and pleasure.”

With these qualities in mind, will curators have to censor the exhibition.

One of the confirmed artists exhibiting at SPace is Nandipha Mntambo. Not long ago we heard about her, other women artists and the Department of Arts and Culture. At a Constitution Hill exhibition in August last year Arts and Culture Minister Lulu Xingwana walked out, calling the work “immoral”.

The presentation of the exhibition was the wrong place to be asking about censorship – Goniwe said so. But it was hard not to wonder as the Department of Arts and Culture has endorsed this exhibition.

Nevertheless, this could prove to be a compelling exhibition starting the 11th of May.

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