Celebrating Mandela Month and the 100th year, the Keyes Art Mile presents a programme entitled: Photo Focus.
Encompassing the recently-launched Art and Design Emporium, exhibitions, film screenings and talks, Photo Focus invites audiences to explore the impact of the documentary form on contemporary art, design and publishing. Participants include the South African Mint, Market Photo Workshop, 21 Icons, Alon Skuy and James Oatway, Fourthwall Books, Stephen Hobbs presented by David Krut Projects, Vatic Studio Capsule, Mr Vinyl, True Design and Anatomy Design.
The Market Photo Workshop presents Constructions: History As Form, featuring the work of Lebohang Kganye, Sipho Gongxeka and Bongani Mnguni. Together, these artists explore photography as a medium that absorbs and refracts subjectivities in tension with history. Founded in 1989 by documentary photographer and artist David Goldblatt, and considered pivotal in training photographers and growing photographic literacy.
The South African Mint presents a new coin range that commemorates the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela. Available for purchase at Art and Design Saturday, the R50 bronze alloy depicts Madiba, as he is affectionately known, as a young lawyer and the R50 sterling-silver coin, as he looked later in life as the country’s first democratic president.
Adding additional impact to the programme, Alon Skuy and James Oatway present selected works from their professional ouvres and their recent exhibition, Killing the Other. The exhibition – which commemorated ten years since the devastating May 2008 outbreak of xenophobic violence that swept through South Africa – continues to document the flare ups of xenophobic violence, creating a visual record of its brutality.
MESH Cinema hosts a screening of a short biographical film about Nelson Mandela by 21 Icons and well as a series of talks by exhibitors. Artist, Terry Kurgan, will discuss her upcoming book published by Fourthwall Books, Everyone is Present, in the context of the volatile relationship between photography and fiction, and the Market Photo Workshop will present a talk by veteran photojournalist, Bongani Mnguni.
Other activations include a Stephen Hobbs exhibition presented by True Design in collaboration with David Krut Projects. Hobbs’ multidisciplinary work, “Hypobody” (2017), explores the static nature of photography and presents an alternative landscape to that of the typical grid systems and structures that have informed Hobbs’ practice to date. Additionally, True Design presents a lounge curated by Luca Designs, Vatic Studio Capsule presents a curated fashion collective and Anatomy Design has a new range of products on display.
Rounding off the list of guest exhibitors is Mr Vinyl, whose DJs spin tunes from their collection of records throughout the day, covering a vast array of genres, from Sophiatown jazz to electronic rock. With Mandela Day in mind, Keyes Art Mile also invites all visitors to donate a blanket or gently worn jacket. A collection box is placed in The Atrium for the month of July and all items are donated to The Rosebank Homeless Association.
Visitors are also encouraged to pop into galleries in the precinct. TMRW Gallery exhibits Mary Sibande’s interactive and VR installation, “A Crescendo of Ecstasy”. Fred Clarke’s show at the Everard Read Gallery, “The Times”, unpacks an allegorical, expressionistic and abstracted visual response to the world as it is, balancing news bulletins with dreamtime. And one can also expect to catch the last day of the exhibition “CHROMA718” by Kilmany-Jo Liversage.
Venue: Keyes Art Mile, 21 Keyes Ave, Rosebank
Time: 9am to 11pm
Cost: Free | Donation