STEVENSON, Johannesburg, South Africa 08 Sep 2018 - 19 Oct 2018
Dada Khanyisa, Another Round, detail of mural in progress as part of 9 More Weeks
STEVENSON presents the launch of 9 More Weeks, a book of artist interviews by Sinazo Chiya, accompanied by an exhibition of works by the interviewed artists: Dada Khanyisa, Zander Blom, Bronwyn Katz, Kemang Wa Lehulere, Mame-Diarra Niang, Guy Tillim, Claudette Schreuders, Simphiwe Ndzube and Portia Zvavahera.
9 More Weeks follows 9 Weeks, a series of conversations with artists conducted by visiting writer/curator Hansi Momodu-Gordon and published by Stevenson in early 2016. Where the first volume, in Momodu-Gordon’s words, ‘mapped a journey through an artistic landscape, at a particular moment in time’, Chiya’s edition functions ‘to reflect rather than map the elasticity of artists’ perspectives and practices in an accelerated social moment’.
At the entrance to the exhibition is a mural by Khanyisa, who in his interview delves into nakanjani, ‘by whatever means’, his description of the mixed-media technique that underpins his approach to painting. Blom exhibits a recent figurative work, introducing a new era in his painting through a discussion of his disillusionment with previously held beliefs in the ‘transcendent power’ of abstraction.
Tillim describes his relationship with the photographic medium as ‘a quest to know, to some extent, the world and one’s place in it’. In his series Museum of the Revolution, included on exhibition, he looks towards understanding shifts in aspirations across the continent.
Niang, who presents a sound installation, clarifies her practice as encompassing multiple disciplines, rejecting labels as encumberments: ‘It’s as if having an identity and naming it denies you the possibility of changing. Territory, on the other hand, allows for fluidity: you constantly discover who you are.’
A covenant between instinct and materiality underpins Wa Lehulere’s words, while Katz asserts the role of humour and play in the rituals of self-assertion. Conversation with Schreuders reflects on the gaps of language and its particular keenness in the South African symptomology. Ndzube recounts the role that magical realism and ancestral belief have played in allowing him to develop a cosmology that challenges dominant systems of knowledge-creation. Zvavahera discloses her paintings’ rootedness in love and faith.
A reprint of 9 Weeks will be available for purchase alongside 9 More Weeks, emphasising the contradictions and continuities inherent in a project anchored on conversation, and, writes Chiya, ‘reflecting the urgency for engaged, empathetic, pluralistic and productively discordant views in expanding the common project of visual literacy’.
Sinazo Chiya is a writer whose day job encompasses social media and press liaison at Stevenson.
The book launch and opening take place on Saturday 8 September from 10am to 4pm. Chiya and 9 More Weeks editor Joost Bosland will discuss the format of the artist interview from 11am.