artists & participants
Palazzo delle Papesse announces the opening of their 2008 exhibition programme with the group show .za - young art from South Africa.
The exhibition was conceived by Lorenzo Fusi, who asked five established South African artists - Marlene Dumas, Kendell Geers, Bernie Searle, Minnette Vàri, Sue Williamson - to take part in the event in the role of co-curators. Each of these artists was asked to put forward the work of artists not older than thirty-five, still residing or mainly operating in South Africa. More than twenty works were thus gathered from as many artists, mostly unknown or very little known to the Italian and European public.
The show represents a sort of passing on of the torch, as well as a tribute on the part of the better known artists of already established international reputation towards their younger colleagues, often penalized by their geographical isolation in the farthermost point of the African continent. The generation that gained ample visibility in the Nineties, riding the wave of global enthusiasm for the end of Apartheid, passes the torch on to a new generation still in search of recognition. These younger artists reached maturity in the course of the journey their country took towards political stability, finally achieving the state of modern democracy through a process sometimes fraught with difficulties and contradictions.
The exhibition looks at South Africa through the eyes of South Africans rather than through western eyes, rejecting pre-conceived ideas and stereotyped interpretations of the country's culture. The partial portrait that emerges highlights the unresolved conflicts of a multiethnic society torn between tradition and modernity, drawn as it is towards the future, especially in view of the new image it intends to present to the global community as the host of the football World Cup in 2010.
The works selected do not share a common theme: rather, they bear witness to the diversity of expression and debate within the current contemporary art scene in South Africa. However, many of the artists in the show seem to share the influence of the post-conceptual experience. The 'new art' from South Africa, although often politically and socially committed, can no longer be referenced solely in relation to Apartheid. On the contrary, the artists taking part in the show seem to strive to overcome this easy and univocal classification. Torn between a life at home and the possibility of a life abroad, between activism and diaspora, the artists of .ZA provide a perfect example of the plight of intellectuals and cultural professionals at the periphery of the globalised world, where everything appears to be within reach yet the periphery knows little redemption from its condition of isolation.
The selected artists include: Bridget Baker, Simon Gush, Nicholas Hlobo, Nandipha Mntambo, Zanele Muholi, Ruth Sacks, Sean Slemon, Pippa Stalker, Doreen Southwood, Johan Thom, Nontsikelelo Lolo Veleko, James Webb, Ed Young.
Catalogue: Silvana Editoriale, bilingual italian-english, will include essays by all the curators.
only in german
young art from South Africa
Kuratoren: Lorenzo Fusi, Marlene Dumas, Kendell Geers, Bernie Searle, Minnette Vari, Sue Williamson
mit Bridget Baker, Simon Gush, Nicholas Hlobo, Nandipha Mntambo, Zanele Muholi, Ruth Sacks, Sean Slemon, Pippa Stalker, Doreen Southwood, Johan Thom, Nontsikelelo Lolo Veleko, James Webb, Ed Young