»why not?« is the second of two exhibitions on contemporary South African Art at Gallery Kuckei + Kuckei in Berlin. The first show »A Look Away« was dedicated to photography and included works by Pieter Hugo, Sabelo Mlangeni, Mikhael Subotzky, Lolo Veleko and Guy Tillim. Part two now focuses on the latest developments in the field of sculpture, installation, performance and concept art.
Why should an artist from South Africa, with limited and restricted access to art history conduct research in Modernism and abstract Avant-garde movements of the 20th century?
Should an emerging artist summarize his very first working series in a comprehensive and concluding catalogue raisonné?
Should a female artist, who is investigating the possibilities of material, make use of cowhide, bones and pearls in order to challenge the perceptions of femininity within society?
Should an artist do pointless things, knowing they are pointless per se, while still taking them very seriously?
Can an artist collective, mimicking a rock band, question the glossy overcoat of the contemporary art world only to expose that there is nothing underneath it, except more gloss, pomp and glory?
Should contemporary South African art investigate the ongoing ramifications of Colonialism on the African continent and visualize the mechanics of political power?
Can a conceptual artist claim „all theory. no practice.“ and nevertheless working in various media, from sculpture to photography and bronzes?
Is it possible to select a few emerging artists in order to present Contemporary South African Art and give an insight on a promising and aspiring art scene?
Avant Car Guard are Zander Blom, Jan-Henri Booyens and Michael MacGarry – a three member visual art collective from Johannesburg. They have published two books on their production entitled »Volume I« and »Volume II«. Their practice and approach to art production, the art world and their own collective role as »artist« is characterized by a strong sense of humour and punk sensibility. Their conceptual working method gets depicted in photography and performance.
Zander Blom was born in Pretoria in 1982 and currently lives in Johannesburg. He studied graphic design before he started working as an artist. As Winner of a Merit Award at the 2003 Sasol New Signatures he has been exhibited nationally and internationally in both solo and group exhibitions. Zander’s first gallery exhibition, »The Drain of Progress” – a Catalogue Raisonné«, was named by frieze Magazine as one of the ‘most internationally significant solo exhibitions´ of 2007.
Michael MacGarry was born in Durban in 1978. He lives and works in Johannesburg , where he graduated in Fine Arts from the University of Witwatersrand with distinction. In 2008 the Johannesburg Gallery Art Extra and the KZNSA Gallery in Durban dedicated him a solo exhibition. Besides his work as visual artist, he is also working as curator and author.
Nandipha Mntambo was born in Swaziland in 1982 and graduated with a Masters in Fine Art (with distinction) from the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town, in 2007. Since 2005 she has participated in several international exhibitions, among them the »MTN New Contemporaries exhibition« at Johannesburg Art Gallery, ».za: Young Art from South Africa«, Palazzo delle Papesse in Siena and »Number Two: Fragile« at Julia Stoschek Collection, Dusseldorf. In 2005 she was the recipient of the Brett Kebble Art Awards Curatorial Fellowship in South Africa.
Curator: Christian Ganzenberg