Monday, 30 June 2014

The Department of Arts and Culture’s international Relations Department cites !Kauru as a key project in developing bi-lateral and multilateral relations

DAC, Department of international relations
Director Ruphus Matibe and
!Kauru Director Tshepiso Mohlala.
As the !Kauru African Contemporary art exhibition draws to a close, we would like to acknowledge the role of the DAC as a key sponsor of the !Kauru initiative

The !Kauru African Contemporary Art Exhibition opened on the 22nd of May at the UNISA Art Gallery, to positive audiences. The !Kauru project has already brought together Africa in 2014 through a variety of events, stimulating conversation between international artists, dignitaries, embassies, academics, arts professionals and the Department of Arts and Culture. Events which took included an artist’s meet & greet evening hosted by the French Ambassador Elisabeth Barbier, the official exhibition opening at the UNISA Art gallery, an Artists Walkabout and a stimulating Round Table discussion, a youth day celebration and a community outreach programme.

As the !Kauru African Contemporary Art Project’s primary sponsor, the Department of Arts and Culture’s international Relations Department has provided solid support.  The aims and vision of the !Kauru project align with those of the Department of Arts and Culture’s (DAC), Department of International Relations. To quote their website, “ The DAC’s vision is for arts, culture and heritage to contribute to sustainable economic development, through partnerships for a socially cohesive nation .”

The visions of both DAC are closely aligned to !Kauru’s project vision, which is to provide a platform for African contemporary artists and cultural practitioners through which they may engage with each other around a showcase of contemporary art, created in and inspired by the continent; a continent with a rich cultural heritage and many creative and innovative artists.  Its ultimate aim is to incorporate all the regions of Africa over the lifespan of the project. The project promotes the visual arts as a viable career choice, and showcases the innovative and significant contemporary artistic voices of Africa.

!Kauru director Tshepiso Mohlala says that “Director of the DAC, Department of International Relations Ruphus Matibe, has supported the vision of the project since 2013 and played an important role in the growth and development of the project”. When addressing the guests at the !Kauru artists meet and greet, Louise Graham his colleague from the DAC Department of International Relations, spoke about how “!Kauru has created new opportunities as well links to the South African art market for the participating artists from the African continent”. The project thanks the DAC and all of its representatives for recognising its vision and providing support to grow this initiative.


10am – 4pm Mondays - Fridays.     
Note: The gallery is not open on weekends.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Paul Emmanuel’s The Lost Men, France public memorial installation is set to launch on 1 July 2014 adjacent to the site of theThiepval Memorial, Somme region, France

Paul Emmanuel’s The Lost Men, France public memorial installation is set to launch on 1 July 2014 adjacent to the site of the Thiepval Memorial, Somme region, France

The Lost Men, France is the third installation of South African artist Paul Emmanuel’s ongoing memorial The Lost Men Project. The Lost Men is a series of site-specific, temporary, outdoor, installations which aim to engage with memory, memorials and public grief. Each selected site has a relevance steeped in its own histories as well as engaging the thematic content of Emmanuel’s imagery. The first public exhibition of The Lost Men project took place in Grahamstown, South Africa in 2004 and was installed on Monument Hill. The second phase implemented in Maputo Mozambique in 2007, with the ephemeral artwork installed on the Catembe Ferry Jetty.  Now in 2014 the third artwork of Emmanuel’s public counter memorial project will be installed adjacent to the Thiepval Memorial on the extension of rue de l’Ancre in France.

The installation is comprised of five, 5m x 5m silk banners. These banners will hang along rue de’l Ancre; a public road which runs from the Thiepval Memorial towards the Lonsdale Cemetery, where headstones mark the graves of soldiers who died in WWI. The banners will be left in this landscape to the wind and the elements; possibly to disintegrate over time. The silk banners bear photographs of Emmanuel’s body with the names of French, German, South African and Allied servicemen who fell on the Western Front. The names were pressed into Emmanuel’s skin, without reference to rank, nationality or ethnicity. The Lost Men artwork also questions the exclusion of Black South African servicemen’s names from the walls of the Thiepval Memorial. The installation is not a permanent construction; rather it portrays a marked male body as something fragile and vulnerable. It is a non-partisan, ‘counter-memorial’ that reflects on impermanence and forgetting. The Lost Men, France does not glorify war but poses questions about masculinity and vulnerability. It questions the exclusion of people in traditional memorials – in particular black South African servicemen.

The Lost Men, France will be launched 1 July on a site where thousands of soldiers from England, France and their colonies, Germany, Russia to mention some of the countries involved and including South African servicemen died during the terrible battles of World War I (WWI). The 1st of July is a significant date not only in respect of Emmanuel’s project but also to the town of Thiepval. It is the day that commemorates the commencement of the Battle of the Somme in 1916; one of the most significant battles of the Great War

This contemporary art project is the artist’s personal expression which he created for this specific arena. It is intended to stimulate conversations about memory and memorialisation.

Remembrance services will be held at the Thiepval Memorial to remember and commemorate the thousands of lives lost. French, British and other dignitaries are expected to attend the services.

The project has been selected by the Government of France as an official exhibit of the World War One Centennial. Emmanuel has also received support from Institut Francais, La Mission du Centenaire de la Premiere Guerre Mondiale, the French Institute and the National Arts Council, South Africa amongst others.

Paul Emmanuel states he is “ many are, affected by these terrible historic battles. A was has a lasting psychological effects that are passed from generation to generation; we lose humanity, gentleness and vulnerability, feeling, empathy and sensitivity. We lose dignity, treasured relationships, potentiality, hope and the future. We become defined by ideologies that can confine and define our world view. As the Thiepval Memorial bears witness. It is a non-partisan artwork that aims to stimulate contemplation about all of this.”

Tuesday 1 July 2014 at 11 am
Wednesday 2 July 2014 at 11 am
Thursday 3 July 2014 at 11 am
Friday 4 July 2014 at 11 am
Saturday 5 July 2014 at 11 am
Walkabouts will be conducted in English with a French interpreter.


Thursday, 5 June 2014

About the !Kauru Project

! Kauru African Contemporary Art Touring project
Rerouting Dialogue 1994-2014

The !Kauru African Contemporary Art project aims to promote conversations in Africa and internationally that change perceptions of the continent through contemporary art.
It provides a platform for African contemporary artists and cultural practioners to engage around a showcase of contemporary art from the continent that will travel to various locations. The strategic plan aims to incorporate all the regions of Africa over the lifespan of the project, and began in 2012 with the SADC region.
In 2014 the !Kauru African Contemporary Art project celebrates 20 years of South African democracy through the voices of artists across the African continent. Titled Rerouting Dialogue 1994-2014, the exhibition will open at the prestigious UNISA Art Gallery on 22 May 2014. !Kauru is in its third year and is a South African initiated project aiming to stimulate conversations about African contemporary art both in Africa and internationally. The exhibition provides a platform for artist’s to engage issues which talk to who we are as Africans today. Attention is focused on our current identities, informed by our rich histories, cultures and contemporary experiences, which contribute to Africa as a dynamic continent.
The curatorial vision for Rerouting Dialogue 1994-2014, is about unveiling the African truth. This exhibition celebrates the continent of Africa as an integral player within the global village.

As a key stakeholder, !Kauru is supported by the Department of Arts and Culture, (International Relations Department) and seeks to instil and increase Inter Africa, Caribbean and Diaspora arts and culture activities between civil society, government and the private sector. This is achieved by collaboration in various capacities between sponsors, State organisations and civil society in realising the projects vision. The 2014 season welcomes the UNISA Art Gallery to the team as a host venue and facilitator for key educational outreach programmes.

BacktoBack Advertising are the project managers under the guidance of !Kauru Director Tshepiso Mohala.