Caroline Suzman: I Declare I Am Here
Artist’s StatementIn this series photographer Caroline Suzman reflects on Johannesburg as a city of shadows and dreams. Pedestrians streaming in and out of the so-called City of Gold navigate architecture from a bygone era with resilience, grit and grace. The photographs record fleeting interactions between the photographer, the inhabitants and the city environment; peeling walls, poster-covered concrete pillars and flyovers, littered pavements and potholed streets. Combinations of traditional dress and street fashion reflect the hybrid identities and personal creativity of passers-by. In seeking out unexpected matches between the streets and the people who pass along them, Suzman’s intention was to transmit a sense of the vitality and radical changeability of Johannesburg.This body of work was photographed over a period of three years beginning in 2018, the 24th year of democracy in South Africa. When explaining his use of black and white film during the years of apartheid, the South African photographer David Goldblatt famously said, ‘Colour was too sweet for apartheid.’ Several decades later, those who walk the streets of Johannesburg announce their presence via a loud assembly of colour and pattern. Street art and gritty urban palimpsests are the backdrops against which the people of the city declare themselves, their stances and clothing choices echoing patterns in the urban fabric. Exhibition dates: 9 March - 13 May 2023
Mail Art/ists Books
This exhibition showcases the mail artworks of Cheryl Penn, those fromKim Lieberman’s practice, the quirky ‘mail’ of Walter Battiss and his imaginary Fook Island, and a selection by international and local artists. The exhibition is curated by Wilhelm van Rensburg. Mail art – also known as postal art and communication art – is defined as any form of art sent through a postal system. Initiated in the early 1940s by Ray Johnson, this medium was eagerly embraced by Fluxus artists in the late 1960s, subsequently becoming a worldwide network. Many artists embraced its possibilities in projects and exhibitions in the 1980s and 90s. Recently, under the worldwide Covid lockdown, artists have rediscovered its communicative strength. Exhibition dates: 9 February - 26 April 2023.