Artists de­pict change

The New Age (Free State) - - GAUTENG NEWS - NTOMBI NKOSI ntombin@the­newage.co.za

MORE than 230 artists from around the coun­try will get an op­por­tu­nity to show­case their tal­ent at the Art Crosses Borders Con­ver­sa­tions ex­hi­bi­tion to be staged at Con­sti­tu­tion Hill, in Johannesburg.

This is af­ter the launch of the Ichikowitz Her­itage Art Col­lec­tion Foun­da­tion in Alexan­dra dur­ing Johannesburg Art Week last month.

The foun­da­tion said this ex­hi­bi­tion would fea­ture new pieces not yet re­vealed to the public which would soon be taken to the new home at the Old Fort, Con­sti­tu­tion Hill Precinct, for au­di­ences to ex­pe­ri­ence from Oc­to­ber 29 to Novem­ber 15. En­trance will be free.

The col­lec­tion cap­tures the mood and emo­tions of an era from the 1970s to present day, re­flect­ing the com­plex­i­ties of South Africa’s trans­for­ma­tion.

For the launch of the Her­itage Art Col­lec­tion, themes ex­plored in­cluded xeno­pho­bia, eco­nomic sur­vival and por­traits of Africa.

The launch in Alexan­dra was in part­ner­ship with art en­tre­pre­neur Vika Mjoka, who is a vic­tim of xeno­pho­bia him­self. He joined forces to cre­ate Art Crosses Borders Con­ver­sa­tions.

Or­gan­is­ers said the ex­hi­bi­tion pro­moted art as a tool to fight xeno­pho­bia with con­trast­ing mixed-media works de­pict­ing scenes from vi­o­lent strug­gles in town­ships, vis­ceral African masks and har­row­ing ef­fi­gies that pro­voked ques­tions around iden­tity and rep­re­sen­ta­tions of “the other”.

The foun­da­tion founder, Ivor Ichikowitz, said: “Through our Her­itage Art Col­lec­tion, we drive art in­no­va­tion and cre­ate en­vi­ron­ments to en­gage with South Africa’s cre­ative her­itage. For those of you who missed the suc­cess­ful ex­hi­bi­tion in Alexan­dra where we gave a voice to young artists craft­ing the story of our mod­ern her­itage, we en­cour­age all to visit Con­sti­tu­tion Hill.

“We hope this trav­el­ling ex­hi­bi­tion JAY Pather’s Qaphela Cae­sar is an in­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary con­tem­po­rary adap­tion of Wil­liam Shake­speare’s Julius Cae­sar. Fea­tur­ing Mwenya Kabwe, artists from Si­wela Sonke Dance Theatre, Jaz­zart Dance Com­pany, UCT School of Dance and UCT Opera School and pre­sented by the Univer­sity of Cape Town’s Gor­don inspires our col­lec­tive imag­i­na­tion and pro­vokes cre­ative prac­tices to solv­ing the chal­lenges of to­day.”

The foun­da­tion founder said the pro­gres­sion of the ex­hi­bi­tion to Con­sti­tu­tion Hill fur­ther ex­plored what caused xeno­pho­bia and strength­ened its in­ter­ro­ga­tion of the nu­ances of borders, seek­ing where they lie among coun­tries, places, peo­ples, pri­vate and public, real and imag­ined, then and now.

Ichikowitz said in line with Con­sti­tu­tion Hill’s vi­sion to de­velop pro­grammes pro­mot­ing South African her­itage, the foun­da­tion of­fered en­rich­ing ways to ac­cess and en­gage with history as the ex­hi­bi­tion em­barked on an ex­tended high school pro­gramme with work­shops fa­cil­i­tated by artists from the ex­hi­bi­tion.

“The foun­da­tion hopes to en­cour­age in­ner- city res­i­dents, busi­ness peo­ple, stu­dents, youth and artists to im­merse them­selves in an up­lift­ing cre­ative pro­gramme of work­shops to en­er­gise cit­i­zens with art as the im­pe­tus for di­a­logue, ed­u­ca­tion and na­tion build­ing,” he said.

Con­sti­tu­tion Hill act­ing CEO Themba Ntuli said they were de­lighted to host the ex­hi­bi­tion. In­sti­tute for Per­form­ing and Cre­ative Arts, Pather’s pro­duc­tion places Shake­speare’s mas­ter­piece firmly in mod­ern-day South Africa. Tick­ets R80, 8.15pm, The South African State Theatre, Pre­to­ria

cRE­ATIVES AT PlAY: Ivor Ichikowitz, back right, work­ing with an Alexan­der youth and Vika Mjoka, left, who is him­self a vic­tim of xeno­pho­bia.

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