An Interview with the Director of Cape Town Art Fair 2017

Supplied by Lauren Shantell | Thumelo Mosaka interviewed by Desiray Viney:

1. Why do you think Cape Town is a ideal location for the CTAF?

The one thing that CPT has, is that it’s a destination place. It’s beauty is unrivaled and attractive to many international visitors. Having CTAF in this local makes it an ideal place to expose art from around the continent and abroad given its broad appeal abroad.

2. What is your overall goal or strategy for this 5th edition of CTAF?

The mission of the CTAF is to become an international Art Fair in Africa. Our goal is to increase the participation of international galleries so as to create a sustainable art market for contemporary art. Our interest is also to have a larger representation from the continent through cultural institutions which could provide a platform for greater collaborations.

3. Some say that African art is the only art that is growing. Would you
agree? Why?

Well, I’m not sure what you mean by growth!! If you are referring to becoming more sort after or showing internationally, then I would agree. I think this is partly a response to the globalization phenomenon where technology has offered us the tools to find other ways of being seen. The usual gate keepers no longer control the circulation and distribution of art. Contemporary African Artists are present everywhere today. They continue to find way to reach new audiences beyond the expectations by invigorating and reinventing themselves sometimes in unexpected ways.

4. What are your objectives for the special project, Tomorrows/Today?
My objective is to:

a) present works that engage the brutal dystopia of urban future while celebrating the ingenuity of present experiences. Confronting the myriad of issues about urbanization, these works attempt to reflect on the fragility, desire and hope for better urban futures.

5. What global impact do you anticipate, or hope for, with CTAF2017?

Well, one hopes for many things to happen especially since CTAF has taken on a greater responsibility to be more than just a market place but rather a site for exchange and dialogue about art. It has become a location for networking –  may be this is what I would like to see happen on a greater scale and across racial and economic differences.

6. Can you comment on the selection process of galleries and artists?

The selection process has been very vigorous. Most of the participating galleries are selected by the committee. This is hard because this committee has the final say on which galleries are included and excluded and we try to make sure that the process is carried out without any bias. Of course issues about aesthetic choice, gallery history and representation also are examined. This year we had 2 international committee members join the local team which proved to be important especially since we have a lot more international galleries interested in participating in this coming Art Fair.