Unknown, Igbo, Nigeria, Mmwo Maiden Spirit Mask, Wood, pigment, textile, Acquired 1979, Standard Bank African Art Collection (Wits Art Museum)
Wits Art Museum is home to an extraordinary collection of African art, including contemporary and historical art from South Africa and art from West and Central Africa. It hosts a dynamic program of events and art exhibitions. The Museum is one of Johannesburg's premier tourist attractions, along with the Apartheid Museum and Constitution Hill. It is part of the Wits University Cultural Precinct, just three blocks from Nelson Mandela Bridge. WAM is in the hip, regenerating area of Braamfontein, which is also home to many students, interesting shops and places to eat. The WAM Cafe is a fun place to meet friends and enjoy delicious food and coffee.
Ngezinyawo - Migrant Journeys
10 April - 20 July 2014
The exhibition has been organised by Fiona Rankin-Smith, veteran WAM curator and the force behind important exhibitions such as Figuring Faith: Images of Belief in Africa (2005) and Halakasha, the soccer exhibition mounted to coincide with the 2010 World Cup.
For Ngezinwayo, she has collaborated with Peter Delius, a highly respected history Professor and widely published author at Wits University and Laura Phillips, a researcher at the Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI). Says Delius, ‘South Africa is internationally infamous as the site of a systematic and pervasive system of racial discrimination. What is less well known though is how uniquely fundamental migrant labour was to the making of modern South Africa.’
This exhibition is rich and diverse bringing together the heritage of many southern African language groups. Works on display include film, photography, contemporary artworks, artefacts from ethnographic collections, archival documents and interviews. In addition, the rich forms of art, dress, dance, music and song performance that migrants crafted to assert and express their humanity feature prominently in the exhibition.
Like the experience of migrants, visitors to the exhibition will participate in a physical journey through the museum space. They will walk the road alongside early migrants to the cities, who sought work on the mines.
See the What's On page for the TALKABOUTS schedule for this month, April 2014.
Between Darkness and Light
17 April - 20 July 2014
This is Jodi Bieber’s first major mid-career retrospective and includes a selection of Bieber’s work from 1993 to the present. The show is traveling to South Africa for the first time after being exhibited at two major venues in Germany – Stadthaus Ulm and Museum Goch – between 2012 and 2013
The exhibition includes close to 100 photographs from some of Bieber’s most significant bodies of work. These include Las Canas, Real Beauty, Soweto; Between Dogs & Wolves; Going Home – Illegality and Repatriation – South Africa/Mozambique and David. Women who murdered their husbands and a multimedia installation from her Survivors of domestic violence series will also form part of the images on display. This will be the first time that many of these works are being exhibited in Bieber's home town of Johannesburg.
See the Whats On page for the TALKABOUTS schedule for this month, April 2014.