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The fine art of domesticating a revolution

Cape Town, a parched city of rain worshippers and opposition contrarians, has in the past few years been refashioning itself as an art destination. New museums and art institutions have opened new spaces, among them the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, A4 Arts Foundation and the Maitland Institute.

Even the Cape Town Art Fair, a ropey spectacle in its first few years, has grown up. Last year, it secured a credible artistic director in curator Tumelo Mosaka, a worldly traveller with American museum experience, and recently bagged Investec as its title sponsor.

A noteworthy feature of this year’s fair is its concerted focus on young women. Lungiswa Gqunta, Turiya Magadlela and Sethembile Msezane — all exciting talents with career momentum — have been commissioned to contribute new installations about “the everyday lives of contemporary women”.

Guest curator Nontobeko Ntombela has also produced an all-women exhibition for the SOLO section of the fair. The line-up includes Buhlebezwe Siwani, Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum and Lhola Amira, a creative alias for Khanyisile Mbongwa, a founding member of the pioneering arts group, Gugulective.

Behind this selection is an accumulating number of social frustrations. They are summarised in a new viral language: #BlackLivesMatter, #RhodesMustFall, #FeesMustFall, #WhitePrivilege, #MeToo, #TimesUp, #MenAreTrash. Read more

2018-10-23T20:25:30+00:00