HALF ART: Sobering slice of our fragility

Business Day Live | Chris Thurman:

NEXT week TWENTY: Art in the Time of Democracy opens at the University of Johannesburg Art Gallery. Gordon Froud’s curation was first displayed last year in North Carolina — a debut marking SA’s second post-apartheid decade. It will also travel to October’s Beijing Biennale. The likely reception for the exhibition in SA (it has already had a stint at the Pretoria Art Museum) differs substantially from responses in the US and China.

Sam Nhlengethwa’s Marikana March points to a sardonic dismissal of the very notion that we have been living ‘in the time of democracy’. Picture: Supplied

Froud’s previous group shows at the UJ Gallery have been ambitious and thought-provoking. TWENTY offers more than 200 works by 115 artists. Despite these numbers, and the impressive list of contributors — including William Kentridge, Mary Sibande, David Goldblatt, Sam Nhlengethwa, David Koloane and Diane Victor — TWENTY does not claim to provide an overview or survey. It is offered as “a slice of life” (perhaps a “snapshot” would be a more appropriate metaphor)…


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