‘Decentralisation is meant to give artists who are not in Johannesburg or Cape Town access to grants,” says Kabelo Malatsie, the recently appointed director of Visual Arts Network of South Africa (Vansa), of her key vision. “Government wants to give money to rural areas but they have no facilities and infrastructure for that to happen. We are trying to make networks with people in rural areas and then give structural advice, so they have the facilities to so whatever is done there is viable.”
Malatsie, a former gallery assistant and ex-associate director at the Stevenson (where she worked between 2011 and 2016), is reluctant to call herself a curator despite the fact that Sabelo Mlangeni’s uMlindelo Wamakholwa, currently on show at the Wits Arts Museum, bears her name under the curator heading.
“I have kind of rejected the idea of curatorship because, while working at Stevenson, I realised that I enjoyed conversations with artists more, like the everyday conversations and seeing works go from where they are not even interesting ideas until they become something that looks and says something.
“Working at Stevenson made me realise that I enjoyed that more than trying to put on a show with my name on it and inviting artists. Of course I did that but it wasn’t something that animated me. But I also knew that it was a springboard to the next best thing. If you say you are a curator, people respond.” Read more