Thursday, 22 February 2007

Cama Cama Chameleon: TransCape Reconfigured.

Once again changes are afoot at TransCape. The biennale that doesn’t want to be considered a biennale was becoming a biennale that became an exhibition is now a process driven project. Confused? don’t be. The latest announcement on the website indicates that due to lack of funding rapid ‘reconceptualisation’ had to take place close to a month of opening date.

When I read the information a smile came to face as I thought about how it would have been dealt with in Nigeria. Anybody who has done anything here will know that Nigerians are famed for their fire brigade attitude to delivering events. You plan it - on paper - for 2 years and with or without most or even any of the funding in place you organise the event in 9 hrs, step back and pat yourself on the back for your heroic effort and then learn from your mistakes but also how to organise a large event better next. Are the Capetonians trying too hard to get it right the first time? It seems more flexibility may be the team's trump card.

Nonetheless the changes have resulted in what Cape Africa director Mirjam Asmal-Dik states ‘is a unique opportunity to challenge old methods, to bring together inspiring thinkers and cultural producers, and to ask what new forms art events can assume in order to foster a new sense of local and cultural relevance. It’s a chance to create a new starting-point towards developing a sustainable model for presenting contemporary art in Africa.' It is good to learn that most of the artists are up to the challenge and willing to participate in what could be a turning point for the biennale curatorial model.

Until further notice Transcape takes place from 24th March - 4th May 2007 in various venues in Cape Town.


Blogger your humble congregant said...

Bisi --

You were on the jury that selected "Checklist" for the Venice Biennale?

Would you be willing to talk (via email) about the experience? I'm at

Let me know!


Walter Robinson
Artnet Magazine

19 March 2007 at 20:41  
Blogger Thomas said...

Bisi --

I'm writing to you from the Studio Museum in Harlem to request your contact information. I apologize for making an inquiry in this format, but I'd like to speak to you about a time-sensitive project we have coming up. If you can, please e-mail me your mailing and electronic address at

Thomas J Lax
Curatorial Assistant
The Studio Museum in Harlem

8 November 2007 at 20:58  

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