Cape Town artmix
Nontsikelelo 'Lolo' Veleko Beauty is in the eye of the Beholder series 2004
After the inspiring events at the Africa Centre launch, I had planned to spend 3 extra days in Cape town to interact closely with some artists. With a brilliant schedule devised by colleague and friend, curator at the Goodman Gallery to be opened in March this year, Storm Janse Van Rensburg I got to meet some interesting young artists including some of the rising stars such as Nontsikelelo Veleko, Dale Washkansky, Mikhael Subotsky. Recent graduates Hassan Essop, his twin Hussain Essop and are the ones to watch over the coming 12months. I reconnected with Thando Mama since our first meeting at the Dakar Biennale in 2004. And TransCape co-curator Gabi Ngcobo introduced me to emerging artist Nomthunzi Mashalaba who explore the cultural and political significance of black hair in her.
The topic has been an ongoing research project of mine for over 15 years. My first project as the result of the project was HairDaze:The Cultural Politics of Black which brought together in London the work of artists, film-makers and cultural critics thorugh a series of short films, talks and discussions which explored the way in which hair has played an important part in the history of the black experience. Also a research interest of Gabi, we will be collaborating to develop the topic together.
Mikhael Subotzky, Cell 33, E2 Section, Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison|2004
After a meandering walk around Long Street on one of the hottest days 43c in summer with Nandipha Mntambo we finally arrived at her studio 4 hours later. Nandipha is preparing for her MA final exhibition in June and I got a sneak preview of the early stages of the work.
Nandipha Mntambo in her studio at Michaelis School of Art, Cape Town.
I also keen to keep up as much as possible with what some of the emerging curators who participated in the workshop on Robben Island in November are doing. I also wanted to see the work of Abdul and especially his photography projects. Turns out that he has all hands on deck as the launch of MOPP begins in abut 2 weeks. However he takes time out to show me one of the venues and also talk about his work. Abdul is a cool hardworking young man who just gets on with it. I am sorry that I won't be around during MOPP as it promises to reveal alot of young photographers who not yet on the 'mainstream' art radar.
Don't forget to visit the MOPP blog to keep up with activities during the event.