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UJ Arts & Culture keeps artists and audiences ARTing in 2021

A year of collaboration and opportunity

Partnerships and collaborations include Unfathomable, Alex Helligey’s theatrical film experiment; Hlakanyana, a retelling of the Zulu folktale developed in partnership with Madevu Entertainment and another iteration of UJ Arts & Culture’s 2020 co-production of Mothers’ Grimm with Jade Bowers Design and Management. In partnership with Alberta Whittle and Farieda Nazier, the division will co-present an interdisciplinary project, Right of Admission Retrospective, host internationally acclaimed Broken Borders’ dance project as well as partner with international dancer and choreographer, Hannah Ma Dance from Luxembourg, on the company’s presentation of ONDA. A new, exciting conference partnership will see UJ Arts & Culture host the Design Education Forum of Southern Africa (DEFSA) and its longstanding partnership with MTN Foundation will see the division increase its online efforts in the visual arts sphere.

The UJ Playwriting Lab will open for applications for the second intake of playwrights in February. Once again, the programme will see up to twelve playwrights each develop a new theatre work this year. A key feature of the programme is a series of free playwriting masterclasses that is accessible, not only to the selected playwrights, but also to UJ students and anyone else interested in writing for theatre. This year, the programme will expand its scope to include recorded readings of a limited number of the plays that were written in 2020, which will be released via podcast.
     As part of the division’s creative production, a team comprising members of UJ Arts & Culture will take on an experimental web-series, Skeletons, written by Pieter Jacobs, directed by Jade Bowers with movement and choreography by Lakin Morgan-Baatjies and designed by Karabo Mtshali. Another experimental creative endeavour is the educational drama podcast series that the division will produce with UJ Arts Academy students, titled R&J Unplugged, an adaptation and isiZulu translation of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet.
     Despite the challenges that all choirs around the globe face, UJ Choir’s management will embark on a new, exciting project of documenting and arranging a selection of our country’s rich heritage of traditional African music that will allow enthusiasts of the choral genre a chance to delve into some of the many colourful modes of life in South Africa, all while offering a musical capsule of preservation.

What’s on at UJ Gallery?

All 2021 exhibitions will feature on the UJ Art Gallery’s Moving Cube platform including 3D exhibits, interviews with artists, curators and critics, articles, and quizzes. In addition to accessing exhibitions on the UJ Art Gallery’s Moving Cube online platform and attending real-time virtual walkabouts, the gallery will offer opportunities for patrons to make exclusive individual appointments to visit the gallery depending on the University’s response to Covid-19.

First up this year is Lwandiso Njara’s Engineering the new Jerusalem III: The Digital City, followed by Diane Victor’s Folly, Frailty and Fear and Pauline Gutter’s Regeneration. By mid-year, much-anticipated video work, ghosted matter/phantom hurt, by Leora Farber will be released on Moving Cube followed by the Right of Admission Retrospective and Paul Emmanuel’s Substance of Shadows. Following the successful release of Willem Boshoff’s Blind Alphabet docu-series released on Moving Cube last year, an exhibition of 40 artworks of Boshoff’s Blind Alphabet, Letter B: Babery to Bigeminate will be exhibited at the UJ Art Gallery. The works of the ten finalists and that of the winner of the 2020 Emerging Artist Development Programme, supported by the MTN SA Foundation, will be shown alongside Boshoff’s works.

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