Re/discovery and Memory


Gallery 2-8
Curated by Karel Nel
28 April – 10 September 2018

Major retrospectives of the work of both Sydney Kumalo and Ezrom Legae will be shown alongside an exhibition of their friend and colleague Edoardo Villa. The Kumalo and Legae retrospectives, the first to be undertaken by any institution globally, draw together a considerable body of work: a series of bronzes and drawings chronicling their innovative artistic practices. The Villa exhibition focuses on the work he produced in the period of 1958-68 and is centred around his monumental sculpture Africa (1958). Serge Alain Nitegeka has been commissioned to create an immersive installation in Norval Foundation’s atrium, supported by the Claire and Edoardo Villa Will Trust. Artists: Sydney Kumalo, Ezrom Legae, Serge Alain Nitegeka and Edoardo Villa.

Pulling at Threads

Gallery 1

Curated by Owen Martin

28 April – 20 August 2018

Pulling at Threads considers the role of craft in the practices of contemporary artists from South Africa and beyond. Bringing together artists that use techniques such as weaving, sewing, beading and collage, the artworks included in this exhibition challenge traditional art historical hierarchies that prefer painting and sculpture over craft-based media. These techniques represent both process and subject, where the form of making fundamentally informs the meaning of each object. Through labour intensive processes, innovative use of materials, exploration of form and hybrid cultural references, these artworks suggest new approaches to making images and objects in the 21st century.

Artists: Igshaan Adams, Nick Cave, William Kentridge & Marguerite Stephens, Abdoulaye Konaté, Liza Lou, Ibrahim Mahama, Maria Nepomuceno, Lyndi Sales and Billie Zangewa.

notes on spectrality, sorcery & the spirit

Gallery 9 

Curated by Portia Malatjie

28 April – 22 October 2018

Stemming predominantly from a period between the 1950s and 1980s to as recent as the 2000s, the artworks in the Norval family’s Homestead Art Collection (and by extension, the exhibition) attest to a longstanding preoccupation with ideas of the oneiric, the spectral, and issues pertaining to different forms of black spiritual economies.

Populated by spiritual iconography, representations of visits to the sangoma, and Christian worship, the works speak to a particular mode of black socialisation that is represented through traditional mediums such as painting, drawing, printmaking, and sculpture.

The exhibition seeks to offer an interventionist reading and grouping of these works in the context of contemporary art and contemporary black thought. It seeks to draw attention to the prominence of a return to the spiritual, and to in fact highlight that there is no return: the spiritual has always been present and prominent, willfully and unapologetically guiding South African artistic practice for centuries. It seeks to ask what strategies can be employed in dealing with the tenuous, albeit widespread spiritual practices in the context of South Africa, and what is at stake in necessarily bringing these questions to the fore?

Artists: Gladys Mgudlandlu, Noria Mabasa, Jackson Hlungwane, Cyprian Shilakoe, Gerard Sekoto, Trevor Makhoba, Dumile Feni, Thomas Kgope, Sithembiso Sibisi, Peter Clarke, Phuthuma Seoka and Billie Mandini.


Historical Glitch

Gallery 1-9 and Sculpture Garden

Curated by Khanyisile Mbongwa

7, 14 and 28 July 2018 | 13:00-15:00

Historical Glitch explores the social and political dimensions of remembrance and amnesia through a series of live art events taking place over the month of July.

Remembrance is understood as an emancipatory practice, setting up counter memories through art that challenge the history of colonialism, apartheid and homophobia, and facilitating commemoration and recognition of black lived experience and queer identities. Following on scholar Kodwo Eshun, remembrance is a form of resistance to the dominant historical narrative, which has preferred European and heteronormative voices.

To highlight creative practices that initiate remembrance, Historical Glitch will also explore the inverse: the collective amnesia of black and queer voices in the South African archive and contemporary life, a failure to remember events, acts or peoples that have not been advantageous or useful to those in power. Taking as its basis scholar Russell Jacoby’s concept of social amnesia as a conscious erasure of voices, an intentional forgetting, this exhibition seeks to develop a framework for creative practices that investigate and challenge erasure.

Within the context of South Africa’s violent history of colonialism and apartheid, Historical Glitch brings together black and queer musicians, poets and vogue artists who use body, language and touch to explore the complex relationship between amnesia and remembrance in the creation of emancipatory practices.