Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Prince of Kliptown @ STAY- Ithuba Arts Gallery



Featuring Prince Massingham from the Kliptown Stories Project tonight, 6pm @ 100 Juta Street

Benji Francis: Director-facilitator
Banele Motha: Cinematographer and editor

"Memory takes root in the folds of the brain: half's the concrete streets we have lived along"
Lionel Abrahams 

Participating Artists: 
Alexia Webster, 
Tjorven Bruyeel, 
Kutlwano Moagi, 
Jenna Burchell, 
Prince Massingham, 
Desire Seko and 
Vivien Kohler 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Kliptown Stories Exhibition: Opening 13 October 2013

This multimodal show entitled ‘Kliptown Stories Exhibition’ brings the Kliptown Stories book (2008) back into the spotlight and home to its origins. The artworks and archival material showcased at this event will highlight and explore selected texts and images of the said book by Prince Massingham and Clifford Charles.  

(Massingham the author, was born and raised in Kliptown. He is currently still resident in Kliptown).

Through dramatic performance, readings (by Massingham), drawings and paintings (by Charles), as well as photographs and other archival material (provided by Gene Duiker); the Kliptown Stories exhibition curated by Farieda Nazier aims to re-activate the thread of historical narratives present in the Kliptown Stories book. The book, published by Chameleon publishers in 2008, is the product of collaboration between actor Prince Massingham and artist Clifford Charles. The show will highlight the often unheard histories of the still marginalised Kliptown community.


Kliptown is the origin of many iconic South African political leaders, activists and artist. The experiences and stories of its vibrant multicultural community are analogous to locations affected by the implementation of the Group Areas Act of 1950; such as Sophia Town and District 6.

The semi-auto biographical art book by Prince Massingham and Clifford Charles titled Kliptown Stories, is a valuable historical archive composed of Kliptown-based encounters and experiences. It constitutes poetry and stories of childhood memories about characters that reappear in a loosely woven structure. The narration juxtaposes a keen understanding of the traumatic political situation between the 1960’s and 1980’s and wry observations of the present day context interspersed with Charles’s impressionistic drawings. The book is a reservoir of essential historical knowledge, contributing to our understanding of both previous and current meta-narratives, twenty years post-democracy. As such, it contributes to filling gaps in apartheid and post-apartheid discourse – providing resources for researchers, scholars, students, community members and broader society.

A subsequent collaboration between Massingham and Benji Francis as director-facilitator in (2009) resulted in a theatrical performance, based on selected elements of the book. In 2012 the Rockefeller Ballagio Residency provided resources for further exploration and development of the performance piece script. In 2013, Massingham and Francis with the sponsorship of the Ithuba Arts Fund collaborated to produce a performance piece and video work entitled KLIPTOWN: UNSUNG, UNREWARDED AND ON THE BRINK OF DEATH. 

The Kliptown Stories exhibition team included Khwezi Gule (Chief Curator: Soweto Museums: Hector Pieterson Memorial & Museum and Kliptown Open Air Museum), Prince Massingham (Principal Artist; Actor, writer, facilitator), Clifford Charles (Artist;, Farieda Nazier (Curator; Artist-curator and academic) and Mocke J van Veuren (Independent artist, experimental filmmaker, researcher and educator).

Special thank you to: 
Soweto Museums: Hector Pieterson Memorial & Museum and Kliptown Open Air Museum
National Arts Council
University of Johannesburg: Multimedia Department 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Emerging Arts Activist: Take's TWO on the 18th Sept @ UJ

An opportunity to view South Africa
 through the eyes of our youth

Visit the Faculty of Art Design and Architecture from the 18th to the 20th September, during UJ's Diversity Week to view works produced by 15 diverse Johannesburg-based youths. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Chewing the Cud: Visualising a shared future rooted in a divided past

emerging arts activist programme 

Environmental issues (pollution)
Theme: Plight of township living
By: Evidence
Collage - Pencil, mixed media on matte board
June 2013 
Image by Jermaine Adriaanse

The Emerging Arts Activist programme is a partnership between the Apartheid Museum and UJ Transformation unit. The programme is an initiative of Joburg based artist-curator Farieda Nazier, who is currently an academic at the University of Johannesburg.

The aim of this three day workshop is to expose, explore and instil a basic socio-political grounding in young arts activist, towards a broader reconciliation and transformational end. This long term intervention will launch during National Youth month, which commemorates the June 16, 1976 uprising of youth against Bantu Legislation laws. An objective of the programme is to promote arts practice as a transformative tool by focussing on critical contemporary histories toward a broader reconciliatory end. The programme includes topical presentations by Farieda Nazier (sculpture and installation), Mocke J van Veuren (film and performance) and Prince Massingham (author and performer), situated in a post-colonial theory framework.

The Emerging Arts Activist programme will end in a travelling exhibition, platforming works produced by our young arts activist. This year’s exhibition titled Chewing the cud: Visualising a shared future rooted in a divided past, will launch at the Apartheid Museum on 27th June at 18h00. The exhibition will be on display for two weeks at the Museum and then move on to the UJ Transformation Unit.

Click on the links provided below for photographic documentation of the workshop:

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Visual Activism Workshop for Youth @ Apartheid Museum

emerging arts activist programme 

The fundamental aim of this workshop is to expose, explore and instil a basic socio-political grounding (within a post-colonial theory framework) in young arts activist, towards a broader reconciliation and transformational end. This long term intervention will launch during National Youth month, which commemorates the June 16, 1976 uprising of youths against Bantu Legislation laws. 

The workshop will run during the June vacation and is open to youth aged 15 to 20 who aspire to transform our nation through visual art. Artworks produced by participants will be exhibited at the Apartheid Museum for approximately 2 weeks (exhibition opening 27 June).

See the official advert below:

FOR BOOKINGS please contact Wayde Davy at 011 309 4700 
or email at

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tom Waits For No Man - Walkabout at UJ Art Gallery

Tom Waits For No Man exhibition by eNCA (screenshot)

Please join us for a walkabout!

Place: University of Johannesburg Art Gallery, Crn Kingsway and University Rd, Auckland Park, Johannesburg.

Lecture and Walkabout:
Wednesday 22 May @ 10:30 am

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Tom Waits - For no Man exhibition 2013

"Tom Waits has been a major inspiration for artists, musicians, poets, writers and thinkers for more than 50 years. He is considered as one of the Godfathers of grunge and poetic rock and is held in high esteem by musicians, singers and artists. I see Waits as a master of contemporary narrative who is able to weave emotion and intrigue into his stories of urban grit and rural abandonment...Waits is a master wordsmith whose ability to create disturbing narratives sets him apart from other songwriters. From his achingly beautiful love songs to his social and politically charged tales, Waits creates powerful lyrics interlaced with unusual musical arrangements and with his penchant for unusual musical instruments (or objects used as instruments), the sound is a memorable one that hooks most listeners from the very first chord...

Gordon Froud (curator), 2012

The Tom Waits For No Man travelling group exhibition, curated by Gordon Froud, was recently launched (30 March) at the KKNK in the Klein Karoo. It comprises approximately 100 LP sized (30cm), multi media works.

The show will be moving to Grande Provence Wine Estate for the Literary Festival in May, The University of Johannesburg Art Center in July and hopefully Oliewenhuis Gallery, Bloemfontein in August. Other venues may be explored in Natal and the Cape. Please watch this space for opening dates of this not to be missed show!

Below, find the artist statement and an image of my contribution. 

Vinyls in the flat

Formed vinyls folded, on LP players.

'the wrong lips'
Vinyl flooring, red paper and record player
400 x 150

Based on song titled ‘It’s all right with me’ the work is a playful exploration of psycho sexual behaviour in pure Tom Waits fashion. More specifically, it focusses on erotic exchanges between strangers; such as flirtation and other ephemeral encounters. The work is mounted on a record player, visually enticing viewers through the slow hypnotic rotation of two voluptuous ‘lips’ produced from folded vinyl flooring.

Its all right with me - Tom Waits 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Site-Specific installation what not...

Image by Ryan, Jimmy and Nanka 

The above work titled 'This is my home now...', previously exhibited at the After Math show, was later re-installed at the 'traversed and recorded' exhibition in November 2012. In a walk-about of the show I described this work as a site-specific installation. This phrase seems to be relatively novel to many viewers and required some further elaboration.  I recently came across a great theoretical analysis by Miwon Kwon (cited below) that introduces the topic.

According to Kwon (2004) the idea of site-specificity first emerged in the wake of minimalism in the late 1960's and early 1970's. Kwon (2004) in his One Place After Another: Site-Specific Art and Locational Identity, infers that site-specific work was and is antithetical to the claim "If you have to change a sculpture for a site there is something wrong with the sculpture". He claims that both interuptive or assimilative site-specific art surrenders to its context and in fact formally determined by it. Below find a snippet from the artist statement of This is my home now, one of my site specific works. 

This is my home now...
Fold formed aluminium 
Farieda Nazier 

For over a century, the Johannesburg city’s buildings have undergone constant shifting effected by wave upon wave of its diverse residents. From families to businesses, homes to offices; the city has witnessed a broad demographic of settlers who varied in class, race and gender.

Image from: 
The city of Johannesburg has evidenced years and years of radical transformation brought about through shaping and erosion by humans and the environment alike. These changes have manifested and accumulated as unique traces within a relatively formal urban landscape.

The sculptural installation titled ‘This is my home now...’ addresses this by illustrating a formally controlled landscape that maintains all evidence of often random or chaotic inscription, physical indications of the history long past i.e. marks, dents and fractures.

'This is my home now'... embodies the shape-shifting nature of the construct that it depicts. Its site-specificity allows for furthered visual associations with architectural structures and cityness by assimilating existing elements within the space; incorporating a section of perpendicular floor-meets-wall, its depth and height, as well as playing with lighting and shadow.

References consulted: 
Kwon, M. 2004. One Place After Another: Site-Specific Art and Locational Identity. MIT Press: Massachusetts

Other links: