The launch for the sixth FNB Joburg Art Fair took place up in the sky at the Shine Studios in Braamfontein. With an almost 360-degree view overlooking the train tracks and the iconic Nelson Mandela Bridge, the location embodied the cover image for this years’ event, East Fog by Leon Krige, and the caption ‘Pictures you don’t see every day’.
This years’ Fair will have photography as the focus. Fitting, renowned South African photographer, David Goldblatt, was announced as the Featured Artist. He will be showing a selection of works from the series The Structure of Things Then – And After, which explore the relationship between monumental structures and the people who make them, both during the apartheid years and now after.
Two special projects this year bring photography from Africa to the Fair: The LagosPhoto Festival will present a selection of images that reflect on how the rapidly developed urban centres in Africa and the technical advance of photography have transformed our sense of place in a globally connected world. And a partnership with the French Institute will see a selection of 12 photographers that have exhibited at previous Bamako Encounters, the African Biennial of Photography.
Another special project that will be presented at the Fair is a video piece sponsored by Samsung called Inzilo by the Soweto-born artist Mohau Modisakeng.
FNB (the long-running sponsors of the Fair) also announced their launch of an Instagram competition, which will coincide with the Fair and invites anyone and everyone to use the digital realm as a canvas to express their creativity with the #FNBJoburgArtFair. This follows on from the bank’s innovative user-centred approach and focus on technology.
The FNB Art Prize winner was also announced. Mocke J Van Vueren and Neliswe Xaba were the winners, for their video piece Uncles & Angels. The prize is valued at R100 000 and their work will be presented at the Fair in a dedicated booth. The work is a 3D stereoscopic film, created from the live performance of the same name. The film continues the questions raised by the original work, namely those of chastity and the notion of purity in the traditional Reed Dance, and “continue these into different modes of thinking that challenge the relationship of the body and the screen” Van Vueren and Xaba explained.
These are just a few of the 21 Special Projects that will be presented at this year’s Fair. Ross Douglas, Artlogic Director, also announced that there will be 33 galleries exhibiting, with 11 of these taking part for the first time. There will also be more galleries from Africa and Europe taking part at the event, namely; England, France, Germany, Mozambique, Spain, Nigeria and Zimbabwe. This reflects Douglas’ statement that the international interest and demand for Africa contemporary art is steadily on the rise.
Listen to Ross Douglas speak more about the contemporary arts economy in this podcast interview with ArtTactic:
The FNB Joburg Art Fair will take place at the Sandtoon Convention Centre from the 27th – 29th September 2013.