De titel ’23 Kilograms’ is het uitgangspunt voor deze vragen en over hoe onze praktijk als beeldend kunstenaars deel uitmaakt van de uitwisselingen, vertragingen en verbindingen die het heden definiëren als beelden en teksten door de virtuele ruimte (internet). Of hoe onze eigen lichamen en kunstwerken rondreizen om deel te nemen aan een ‘residency’ of een groepstentoonstelling.
In Zuid-Afrika hebben twee gebeurtenissen in het jaar 2012 de kwestie van informatie en de overdracht daarvan in een bepaalde context geplaatst: de Wet op de Bescherming van Staatsinformatie en de Marikana Massamoord. Dit project reageert op de macht van de ‘informatie’ die een beeld van een plek of gebeurtenis kan tonen, maar reflecteert ook op datgene wat niet wordt overgebracht.
Wat betekent het eigenlijk om als Zuid-Afrikaanse kunstenaar werken te maken voor een Europees publiek? Wat zijn de kenmerken van de nationale identiteit van dat publiek? Waar kunnen zich mogelijke misverstanden en miscommunicatie voordoen?
De kunstenaars zullen in de expositieruimte en de stad Den Haag een reeks situaties, diensten en uitwisselingen opzetten. Het project zal zich geleidelijk in 6 weken ontvouwen, waarbij de ruimte zich voortdurend verder zal ontwikkelen met elementen (teksten, objecten, pamfletten, gedrukte werken) die van buiten Nederland naar de galerie reizen en zullen culmineren in een publicatie. De tentoonstelling omvat een parallel evenement in Parking Gallery in Johannesburg en een uitwisseling met het project ‘Fundburo’ van de Universiteit van Lyon.
23 Kilograms Evenementen
Vrijdag 25 january 19 uur: Opening
Vrijdag 25 january 20 uur: Performance ‘What is the Way Out?’ door Anne Historical
Vrijdag 1 februari 19 uur: ‘Massaging Nationalism’ door Zen Marie
Woensdag 6 februari: ‘23 (+ 6) Kilograms’ Kunstenaarsgesprek at the Parking Gallery, Johannesburg
Ma. 11 – Woens. 14 febr.: Fundburo presenteert ‘23 kilograms’ op de Universiteit van Lyon met Donna Kukama.English
Curated by: Bettina Malcomess.
A project that engages the question of distance. ‘23 kilograms’ is an allusion to a limit, or the necessity to work within specified limits: the weight of luggage permitted for international travel.
A group of South African artists will work with the question of how distant places are bought closer via the news, information technology, cultural and social media and the ‘network’ that increasingly defines the global and the ‘art world’ as an instance of this. The artists are interested in generating responses to the power of ‘information’ to project an image of a place, but will also reflect on what it is that does not translate.
The concept of the show begins with the work of Joseph Kosuth’s ‘Second Investigation’ (1968). Kosuth published ‘The Synopsis of Categories’ from Roget’s Thesaurus all over the world in advertising space of newspapers and magazines as well as via leaflets, posters, banners and billboards. Kosuth used this ‘Synopsis’, a categorical description of the world ‘to return to the world fragments of its own description’. Displayed in an exhibition space, the international newspapers become bizarre documents of a day in 1968, of the randomness of simultaneous events: some historical, others banal.
‘23 Kilograms’ takes this idea as its starting point to think about the way contemporary information technology and travel has again shifted the ‘description’ of the world, and the means by which we as artists describe it. While conceptual art of the late 60’s anticipated our dependence on information technology, it seems interesting to ask some contemporary questions about how our practice as artists participates in the very transfers, delays and connections that define the contemporary as a transfer of images and texts across virtual space, or of our own bodies and works as they travel to participate in the residency or the group show. What exactly does it mean to make work as a South African artist for a European audience? Where is the potential for mistranslation and misunderstanding. As such, some of the specificities of our own complicated construction of our self-image as South African or as Dutch will be explored.
The show will work with the ideas of travel, transfer, translation, simultaneity and the delay via a series of performances, events and the creation of environments within the gallery. Events will take place in both Den Haag and in Johannesburg, where most of the artists are based. As an extension of Kosuth’s project, artists will use the space of community newspapers in Holland and in South Africa as sites in which works will be published, along with pamphlets, lampoons and advertising notice boards in local supermarkets. The community newspaper becomes a potential site for playing out the terms of the specificity and curiousity of the hyper-local against the generality and accessibility of the global, with names like the ‘Lowvelder’, ‘Klerksdorp Rekord’, ‘Komaro Crossing’, ‘Zululand Observer’, ‘Southern Courier’. This will culminate as a publication in the form of a newspaper.
Siemon Alan will work with a collection of newspaper clippings of South African news in US newspapers. In a piece called ‘Massaging Nationalism’, Zen Marie will work with the idea of national identity. Francis Burger will set up a newsroom collaged out of fragments of printed works, historical and contemporary newspapers and archival material. Donna Kukama will work with performance in collaboration with the curator, Bettina Malcomess, who will present a ‘travel lecture’ at the opening. To produce some of the printed work, the artists will work at one of the last metal type presses in Johannesburg, which had to stop running when a couple of years ago essential parts were stolen to be sold for scrap metal.
The project will unfold over the course of 6 weeks with the space evolving over time, via elements (text, objects, printed works) sent from South Africa.
Footnote: In South Africa, two events in the year of 2012 situate the question of information and its transfer: the Protection of State Information Bill and the Marikana Massacre. The country is about to pass what has become known as the ‘Secrecy Bill’ to regulate the classification, protection and dissemination of state information, weighing state interests up against transparency and freedom of expression. This law includes clauses for the prosecution of journalists and the censorship of the media. On August 16 2012, about 47 miners were shot and killed during a strike on a Platinum called the ‘Marikana Massacre’ by local and international media.Siemon Allen
Siemon Allen is a South African artist who currently lives and works in the United States. His recent installations or "collection projects" include the display of multiple historical artifacts in which he explores issues of identity and branding. His most current collection project is an extensive web-based archive documenting South African audio history (www.flatinternational.org). Records an installation that developed out of this archive was shown in South Africa in 2009 and in the United States in 2010.
While in South Africa, Allen was a founding member of the FLAT gallery, an artist’s initiative that operated in Durban from 1993 to 1995. His work was included in the 2nd Johannesburg Biennale as part of the exhibition Graft and also in the Vita 93 and Vita 98 exhibitions.
In 2001, Stamp Collection—an ongoing collection of South African stamps and a research project into South African history—was presented at the Renaissance Society in Chicago; Artists Space in New York City and the Corcoran Museum of Art in Washington, DC.
His second collection project, Newspapers, was included in the exhibition The American Effect at the Whitney Museum in New York City, as well as A Fiction of Authenticity at the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis.
In 2005, Allen presented his third collection project, Cards—a collection of US Military trading cards—in the exhibition Patriot at the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore and later in the exhibition Enemy at Momenta in Brooklyn, New York.
In addition to collection projects and woven panel installations, Allen also employs cut-up collage techniques using comics. These works have been shown in a number of venues including Art Positions at Basel Miami and at The Project in Los Angeles.
Allen is currently a viisiting professor in the Department of Sculpture + Extended Media at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA.Francis Burger
My practice is an ongoing attempt to find conceptual and logistic ways to merge my art making and writing practices and tends in almost equal doses towards philosophy, history, pedagogy, pseudo-science, design, art and critical theory, drawing, publishing and collecting or making objects. A common aim or preoccupation throughout is the attempt to develop and facilitate omnivorous and open-ended research strategies that lend themselves to affordable and independent production and exhibition. These strategies exist both as processes and structures, developed reflexively to facilitate the accumulation of heterogeneous information. Currently projects include participation within Research Art - an artist run research agency based in Woodstock, Cape Town, with Josh and Jared Ginsburg - and the facilitation of the Independent Publishing Project (www.independentpublishingproject.blogspot.com) with Jonah Sack.Donna Kukama
First and foremost, I use performance as a medium of resistance against already established “ways of doing”, and also as a strategy for inserting a foreign voice and presence into various territories of the public. My work weaves major with minor aspects of histories, and introduces a fragile and brief moment of “strangeness” within socio-political settings. These actions are intended as gestures of poetry with political intent and hopefully destabilize existing canons regarding the ways we look at reality.Zen Marie
Zen Marie was born in Durban South Africa, in 1980. He studied photography at the Market Photo Workshop in 1995 and thereafter completed a BAFA degree (with distinction) majoring in sculpture, at the University of Cape Town in 2001. Alongside this artistic training Marie went on to pursue two post graduate studies: a two year studio residency at de-ateliers in Amsterdam and a Masters degree at the Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis, based at the University of Amsterdam where he graduated in 2006 (also with distinction). Marie currently lectures at the WITS School of Arts where he tutors senior under graduate students, as well as supervises Masters students. Marie exhibits art locally and internationally and recently won one of the top awards at Spier Contemporary 2010.
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