The 14 July edition of Art&Design Saturday recognises Mandela Month and the 100-year celebrations taking place across the country. Keyes Art Mile has curated a programme entitled PHOTO FOCUS, paying homage to documentary photography as a powerful visual medium that portrays the truths behind people and events in history.
Encompassing the recently-launched Art&Design Emporium, exhibitions, film screenings and talks, PHOTO FOCUS invites audiences to explore the impact of the documentary form on contemporary art, design and publishing.
Participants include the South African Mint, Market Photo Workshop, 21 Icons, Alon Skuy and James Oatway, Fourthwall Books, Stephen Hobbs presented by David Krut Projects, Vatic Studio Capsule, Mr Vinyl, True Design, and Anatomy Design.
21 Icons will exhibit a selection of portraits that looks at established artists such as Nadine Gordimer, Hugh Masekela, Johnny Clegg, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, William Kentridge and Helen Sebidi from “21 ICONS Season 1 – A Journey to Democracy” photographed by Adrian Steirn. The project will also feature the portraits of younger creatives, Athi-Patra Ruga, Laduma Ngxokolo, Kyle Shepard, Mikhail Subotzky, Oliver Hermanus and Simphiwe Dana from “21 ICONS Season 3 – The Future of a Nation” photographed by Gary van Wyk. 21 ICONS is produced by Ginkgo Agency.
The renowned Market Photo Workshop will present Constructions: History As Form, featuring the work of Lebohang Kganye, Sipho Gongxeka and Bongani Mnguni. Together, these artists explore photography as a medium that absorbs and refracts subjectivities in tension with history. Founded in 1989 by renowned documentary photographer and artist David Goldblatt, and considered pivotal in training photographers and growing photographic literacy, the inclusion of the Market Photo Workshop is a highlight of July’s PHOTO FOCUS.
The South African Mint will present a new coin range that commemorates the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela. Available for purchase at Art&Design Saturday, the R50 bronze alloy depicts Madiba, as he is affectionately known, as a young lawyer and the R50 sterling-silver coin, as he looked later in life as the country’s first democratic president. “Pricing the bronze coin was a conscious tribute to Nelson Mandela’s legacy and our way of paying it forward,” says Tumi Tsehlo, MD of the South African Mint. “To celebrate 100 years since the birth of Mandela, and in remembrance of the 27 long and lonely years he spent in prison, the entry level bronze alloy coin is priced at R127. With every coin purchased, R27 (VAT-free) will be donated to the Nelson Mandela Foundation”.
Adding additional impact to the programme, Alon Skuy and James Oatway will present selected works from their professional ouvres and their recent exhibition, Killing the Other. The exhibition – which commemorated ten years since the devastating May 2008 outbreak of xenophobic violence that swept through South Africa – continues to document the flare ups of xenophobic violence, creating a visual record of its brutality.
MESH Cinema will host a screening of a short biographical film about Nelson Mandela by 21 Icons and well as a series of talks by exhibitors. Artist, Terry Kurgan, will discuss her upcoming book published by Fourthwall Books, Everyone is Present, in the context of the volatile relationship between photography and fiction, and the Market Photo Workshop will present a talk by veteran photojournalist, Bongani Mnguni.
Other activations include a Stephen Hobbs exhibition presented by True Design in collaboration with David Krut Projects. Hobbs’ multidisciplinary work, “Hypobody” (2017), explores the static nature of photography and presents an alternative landscape to that of the typical grid systems and structures that have informed Hobbs’ practice to date.
Additionally, True Design will present a lounge curated by Luca Designs, Vatic Studio Capsule will present a curated fashion collective and Anatomy Design will have a new range of products on display.
Rounding off the list of guest exhibitors is Mr Vinyl, whose DJs will spin tunes from their collection of records throughout the day, covering a vast array of genres, from Sophiatown Jazz to electronic rock.
With Mandela Day in mind, Keyes Art Mile also invites all visitors to donate a blanket or gently worn jacket. A collection box will be placed in The Atrium for the month of July and all items will be donated to The Rosebank Homeless Association.
Visitors are also encouraged to pop into galleries in the precinct. TMRW Gallery will be exhibiting Mary Sibande’s interactive and VR installation, “A Crescendo of Ecstasy”.
Fred Clarke’s show at the Everard Read Gallery, “The Times”, unpacks an allegorical, expressionistic and abstracted visual response to the world as it is, balancing news bulletins with dreamtime. And one can also expect to catch the last day of the exhibition “CHROMA718” by Kilmany-Jo Liversage.
The Programme at MESH Cinema includes:
11:00 – Terry Kurgan talk presented by Fourthwall Books
12:00 – Bongani Mnguni talk presented by Market Photo Workshop
13:00 – Nelson Mandela film screening by 21 Icons