WHAT TO EX­PECT AT RMB TUR­BINE ART FAIR 2018

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Since its in­cep­tion in 2013, the RMB Tur­bine Art Fair has un­fail­ingly of­fered visi­tors an op­por­tu­nity to view and buy qual­ity art­work from emerg­ing and es­tab­lished tal­ent in a fun and un-daunt­ing way with great live mu­sic, ar­ti­san food, all cu­rated within the her­itage build­ing that is Tur­bine Hall in the heart of New­town. Be­cause of this, the Fair has earned it­self a top spot on the an­nual cal­en­dar of South Africa’s very rich art scene.

Each year, RMB Tur­bine Art Fair of­fers visi­tors a host of spe­cial projects, in­stal­la­tions, talks and walk­a­bouts along­side the host of art­works on sale by hand­picked gal­leries. This year is no dif­fer­ent, with Strauss & Co’s Life Force: The Still Lifes of Irma Stern, nu­mer­ous in­stal­la­tion works, Tal­ent Un­locked, The Grad­u­ate Show – Home/Land and a spe­cial trib­ute to David Koloane.

In line with the dual mis­sion of the RMB Tur­bine Art Fair to pro­mote emerg­ing artists and en­cour­age art col­lect­ing, Strauss & Co has em­barked on a se­ries of ex­hi­bi­tions by prom­i­nent South African artists to show bud­ding art col­lec­tors what they can achieve if they se­lect their art wisely.

In 2017, Strauss & Co mounted an ex­hi­bi­tion of a single-owner col­lec­tion of Pierneef land­scapes. The owner pur­chased his first Pierneef linocut when he was 13 years

Since its in­cep­tion in 2013, the RMB Tur­bine Art Fair has un­fail­ingly of­fered visi­tors an op­por­tu­nity to view and buy qual­ity art­work from emerg­ing and es­tab­lished tal­ent in a fun and un­daunt­ing way with great live mu­sic, ar­ti­san food, all cu­rated within the her­itage build­ing that is Tur­bine Hall in the heart of New­town. Be­cause of this, the Fair has earned it­self a top spot on the an­nual cal­en­dar of South Africa’s very rich art scene.

old and has since amassed one of the finest col­lec­tions of Pierneef land­scapes in the coun­try.

This year at RMB Tur­bine Art Fair, in an ex­hi­bi­tion fea­tur­ing a se­lec­tion of Irma Stern still lifes from pri­vate col­lec­tions ti­tled Life Force: The Still Lifes of Irma Stern, Strauss & Co ex­pands on the no­tion of the ideal col­lec­tor and what he/she can achieve in a life­time of col­lect­ing.

One col­lec­tor re­calls, as a young girl, look­ing at a still life strate­gi­cally hung by her mother in the din­ing room at break­fast, lunch and din­ner. This paint­ing is now in her own col­lec­tion.

Not only is Irma Stern the best-sell­ing artist on the se­condary mar­ket, and specif­i­cally at Strauss & Co, her still lifes serve as in­spi­ra­tion for a group of young con­tem­po­rary artists. Strauss & Co has launched a com­pe­ti­tion among schol­ars at ter­tiary art schools in Gaut­eng to sub­mit a still life in a medium of their choice. These works will be ex­hib­ited along­side the Sterns and will be on sale.

For Tal­ent Un­locked, As­sem­blage, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with VANSA and RMB Tur­bine Art Fair, has co­or­di­nated a six-month in­ten­sive work­shop pro­gramme for emerg­ing artists that in­te­grates prac­ti­cal art-mak­ing (fo­cus­ing on process and con­cep­tual development) and pro­fes­sional prac­tice train­ing. The ob­jec­tive of this com­pre­hen­sive pro­gramme is to pro­vide the se­lected par­tic­i­pants with sup­port and guid­ance to de­velop their work and, very im­por­tantly, with tools to sus­tain their art ca­reer once the pro­gramme is com­pleted.

Par­tic­i­pat­ing artists include Vanessa Tem­bane, Theko Boshomane, Sharon Moses, Sel­wyn Steyn, Ofentse Se­sha­bela, Nathi Khu­malo, Mncedi Madolo, Mignon Modema May­hew, Mar­guerite Visser San­ders, Lu­sanda Ndita, Lo­real Vos,

Le­bo­gang Mabusela, Keneilwe Mokoena, Jes­sica Le Roux, Hen­ri­etta El­iz­a­beth Scholtz, duo Jac­ques du Toit (An­dre) and Ta­mara Langwe (Bumba), Xoliswa Ng­wenya and Zan­dri Oosthuy­sen, with mentors: Koulla Xin­is­teris, Mur­ray Turpin, Lara Kos­eff, and Lawrence Le­maoana.

This year’s Tal­ent Un­locked cu­ra­tor, Fu­lufh­elo Mobadi, is a South African pho­tog­ra­pher born in Jo­han­nes­burg in 1986. In 2012, she grad­u­ated from the Photojournalism and Doc­u­men­tary Pho­tog­ra­phy Pro­gramme at the Mar­ket Photo Work­shop. Her pho­to­graphic prac­tice fo­cuses on the day-to-day strug­gles of women within con­tem­po­rary South Africa and the African con­ti­nent more broadly. As a so­cially en­gaged pho­tog­ra­pher, she is mo­ti­vated by mak­ing the un­spo­ken and the hid­den vis­i­ble. In June 2016, Mobadi col­lab­o­rated with the Zim­bab­wean pho­tog­ra­pher Kre­siah Mkhwanazi on a project ex­plor­ing is­sues of rape and the ob­jec­ti­fi­ca­tion of women’s bod­ies. The work pro­duced was ex­hib­ited at the Na­tional Gallery of Zim­babwe in an ex­hi­bi­tion ti­tled In my Pri­vate Mo­ments.

Mobadi’s most re­cent achieve­ment was be­ing se­lected as the win­ner of the ASEF Vis­ual Arts Award 2017, a prize cre­ated by the phil­an­thropic arts or­gan­i­sa­tion Pros­pero World. This award sup­ported a sixweek artist-in-res­i­dency pro­gramme in Nairobi, Kenya. Dur­ing her stay, she worked with an or­ga­ni­za­tion called Ac­cess AFYA, and ran pho­tog­ra­phy work­shops with young moth­ers in the in­for­mal set­tle­ments of Mukuru, Nairobi. Dur­ing the course of the res­i­dency, Mobadi pro­duced a new body of work ti­tled In Be­tween. She also or­gan­ised and cu­rated an ex­hi­bi­tion ti­tled To the Women I Have Never Met, which dis­played the 400 works pro­duced by the young moth­ers of Mukuru with dis­pos­able cam­eras. The res­i­dency was a turn­ing point in un­der­stand­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ties of pho­tog­ra­phy as an ed­u­ca­tional and com­mu­nity-build­ing tool.

In De­cem­ber 2017, Mobadi was in­vited by Pros­pero World to travel to Lon­don to speak about the work com­pleted in Mukuru, and de­but her first solo ex­hi­bi­tion, ti­tled In Be­tween, at a Pri­vate View in May­fair.

The Grad­u­ate Show re­turns for the fourth year and is cu­rated es­pe­cially for the Tur­bine Art Fair. This ex­hi­bi­tion fea­tures some of the best post-grad­u­ate paint­ing and, in 2018, the in­clu­sion of pho­tog­ra­phy from the arts de­part­ments across South Africa. The 2018 ex­hi­bi­tion will be cu­rated by Musa N. Nx­u­malo.

‘We are in­ter­ested in ex­plor­ing how grad­u­ate artists re­gen­er­ate the idea of home, land, space and iden­tity. How their work speaks to hopes, fears and dreams re­gard­ing this sub­ject. We are look­ing for grad­u­ate artists that work with the medium of pho­tog­ra­phy as well as paint­ing to ex­plore the re­al­ity, fan­tasy and ab­stract ideas re­lat­ing to home, land and iden­tity,’ says Nx­u­malo.

This land­scape. This land­scape! The Quin­tes­sen­tial Metaphor For Life is an ex­hi­bi­tion by David Koloane in col­lab­o­ra­tion with LL Edi­tions, cu­rated by Ruzy Rusike. This trib­ute to David Koloane ex­ists in the odd ten­sion of his ap­proach to the world and art-mak­ing.

In­stal­la­tions have al­ways been an ex­cit­ing part of the RMB Tur­bine Art Fair, this year the Fair has en­gaged cu­ra­tor Tamzin Lovell Miller, who has been in­volved with the Fair since its in­cep­tion as the di­rec­tor of par­tic­i­pat­ing gal­leries, Lovell (Cape Town), and later Sul­ger-Buel Lovell (Lon­don). This year, not host­ing a booth, but as in­stal­la­tions cu­ra­tor, she brings a new vi­sion to the Fair. Specif­i­cally, she’s ask­ing the ques­tion ‘who are we af­ter this “Post-Truth” time has shaped us?’ Pulling to­gether art­works that range from the finely crafted to the aug­mented vir­tual, and the in­ter­ac­tive phys­i­cal and dig­i­tal, this year’s in­stal­la­tions are ex­pe­ri­ences set to in­trigue and in­spire visi­tors to the Fair, and leave them with some ex­traor­di­nary new ideas.

An­other in­ter­est­ing in­stal­la­tion is the thir­teen-me­tre­long RMB THINK Bench. The orig­i­nal bench, which can be found out­side RMB’s of­fices in Sand­ton, was cre­ated by Louis Olivier and the Work­horse Bronze Foundry. For the Fair, Olivier is recre­at­ing the bench in resin so that it can travel (its next stop is the Hil­ton Arts Fes­ti­val), while still re­tain­ing its enor­mous struc­ture and al­low­ing visi­tors to the Fair to experience this life-size struc­tural won­der. The ex­traor­di­nary bench is de­signed to spell out ‘THINK’ from one side, while from an­other ap­pear to be life-sized hu­man fig­ures in dif­fer­ent think­ing poses – a spec­tac­u­lar fea­ture that will add some­thing spe­cial to this year’s RMB Tur­bine Art Fair.

The ‘THINK’ theme con­tin­ues with the talks pro­gramme and art walk­a­bouts, this year spon­sored by RMB Pri­vate Bank. In­ter­est­ing top­ics include ‘THINK Prom­ise’ and ‘THINK Legacy’, and John Vlis­mas’ art walk­a­bout: ‘THINK Fun – Art that tick­les my fancy’.

The New­town precinct will come alive this July as visi­tors make their way across the Nel­son Man­dela Bridge. Just a short trip from Tur­bine Hall is the Stan­dard Bank Gallery; Sci-Bono Dis­cov­ery Cen­tre, which is host­ing the historic The Won­ders of Rock Art: Las­caux and Africa ex­hi­bi­tion; and Jo­han­nes­burg Art Gallery (JAG) will be show­ing Wolfgang Till­mans’ Frag­ile.

This is all just a taste of what one can ex­pect at this year’s RMB Tur­bine Art Fair – which is sure to yet again be an un­miss­able event. Tick­ets are avail­able at www.tur­bin­eart­fair.co.za

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