Haunch of Venison, London

6 Haunch of Venison Yard and Bruton Street
GB-W1K 6ES London

plan route show map

artists & participants

press release

An exhibition presenting new and recent work from seven South African artists at Haunch of Venison London will be the first in London to focus on contemporary South African art since 1995, presenting work by David Goldblatt, Nicholas Hlobo, William Kentridge, Vivienne Koorland, Santu Mofokeng, Berni Searle and Guy Tillim. Curated by art historian Professor Tamar Garb, the exhibition focuses on images and invocations of landscape which explore contemporary South Africa. Differing from the usual approach to post-apartheid South Africa, the exhibition addresses the complexity of the South African landscape, reflecting upon notions of memory, place and identity, referring to the political context and historical background of South Africa only through the imprint and trace of human experience on the physical landscape.

“I am interested in the specificity of locations and sites and the way in which cultural and individual experience is represented in space through signage, text, inscription and symbolisation,” comments Tamar Garb. “The particular historical trajectory of South Africa and the politics of race and place have left their mark upon the landscape through monuments, structures, maps and borders. These, in turn, have found their way into pictures, often providing the keys to the identification and interpretation of events, legacies and locations.”

Many of the artists have made new works specifically for the exhibition; William Kentridge has completed a series of new anamorphic drawings, David Goldblatt has made a number of new photographs –using black and white for the first time in many years – and Berni Searle has completed a new film installation inspired by the well-known South African folk song ‘Daar Kom Die Alibama (There Comes the Alabama)’.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a major publication with newly commissioned essays by Tamar Garb, Okwui Enwezor and Ivan Vladislavic. To coincide with the opening of the exhibition David Goldblatt and Tamar Garb will be in conversation at Tate Modern: Thursday 29 May 2008, 18.30–20.00

Above image – David Goldblatt, Incomplete houses, part of a stalled municipal development of 1000 houses. The allocation was made in 1998, building started in 2003. Officials and a politician gave various reasons for the stalling of the scheme: shortage of water, theft of materials, problems with sewerage disposal, problems caused by the high clay content of the soil and a shortage of funds. The development was completed at the end of 2006. Lady Grey, Eastern Cape. 5 August 2006, 2006


Tamar Garb Tamar Garb was born and grew up in South Africa. She is a distinguished art historian and has written many books on 19th and 20th century art. Her most recent book is The Painted Face: Portraits of Women in France (Yale University Press, 2007). She is Professor of History of Art at University College London.

David Goldblatt Born in Randfontein in 1930, David Goldblatt is widely regarded as one of the most important African artists of the last 50 years. Goldblatt’s retrospective exhibition, David Goldblatt 51 Years, was seen in New York, Barcelona, Rotterdam, Lisbon, Oxford, Brussels, Munich and Johannesburg. His photographic essay South Africa: The Structure of Things Then was shown at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1998. He has been included in many important survey exhibitions, including Documenta 11 in 2002 and Documenta 12 in 2007. In 2006 Goldblatt was awarded the prestigious Hasselblad Award for Photography.

Nicholas Hlobo Nicholas Hlobo was born in Cape Town in 1975. In 2007 he had solo shows at Extraspazio in Rome,the Pei Ling Chan Gallery, Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, Georgia. Recent group exhibitions include Young Art from South Africa, Palazzo della Papesse, Siena (2008), Olvida Quien Soy - Erase me from who I am, Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno in Las Palmas (2006); Second to None, South African National Gallery, Cape Town (2006) and A Decade of Democracy: Witnessing South Africa, Museum of the National Center for Afro-American Artists, Boston (2004-5).

William Kentridge Born in 1955 in Johannesburg, William Kentridge is widely regarded as one of the most important artists working today. Recent important solo exhibitions include Philadelphia Museum of Fine Art (2008), Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2007), Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2007), Metropolitan Museum, New York (2004) and Castello de Rivoli, Turin (2004).

Vivienne Koorland Born in Cape Town in 1957, Vivienne Koorland has been based in New York since the early 1980s. Her most recent solo exhibition was at the Freud Museum, London (2007).

Santu Mofokeng Born 1956 in Johannesburg, Santu Mofokeng’s early career was as a photojournalist, working for agncies including Afrapix. He has had numerous solo exhibitions internationally, including the South African National Gallery, Cape Town (2006), and the Memling Museum, Brussels (2003) . Group exhibitions include Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin (2007), Venice Bienniale (2007), and Documenta 12, Kassel (2002).

Berni Searle Born in 1964, Cape Town. Searle has recently held solo exhibitions at the Johannesburg Art Gallery (2006) and the USF Contemporary Art Museum in Tampa, Florida. She was one of three artists featured in New Photography at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2007). Other recent group exhibitions include Bare Life at the Museum on the Seam, Israel (2007); Apartheid: The South African Mirror at Centre de Cultura Contemporania, Barcelona (2007); and Global Feminisms at the Brooklyn Museum, New York (2007).

Guy Tillim Tillim was born in Johannesburg in 1962. He started photographing professionally in 1986 and joined Afrapix, a collective of South African photographers,with whom he worked closely until 1990. His work as a freelance photographer for the local and foreign media included positions with Reuters between 1986 and 1988, and Agence France Presse in 1993 and 1994. Tillim has received many awards for his work. He has had solo exhibitions at the South African National Gallery, Cape Town (2004), Photographers Gallery, London (2005), the Museo di Roma (2006) and Haunch of Venison, Zurich (2008). Recent important group exhibitions include Documenta 12 (2007), Global Cities, Tate Modern, London (2007); the São Paulo Bienal (2006), Snap Judgments: New positions in contemporary African photography, International Center of Photography in New York (2006) and the travelling exhibition Africa Remix, Museum Kunst Palast, Dusseldorf, Hayward Gallery, London and tour (2004-2007). His work is currently being shown in a solo exhibition at the Haus Fuer Kunst Uri in Altdorf, Switzerland.

Home Lands - Land Marks
Contemporary South African Art

Kurator: Tamar Garb

Künstler: David Goldblatt, Nicholas Hlobo, William Kentridge, Vivienne Koorland, Santu Mofokeng, Berni Searle, Guy Tillim