Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa 14 Aug 2017 - 05 Nov 2017
A LABOUR OF LOVE focuses on a key part of the contemporary art collection of the Weltkulturen Museum, Frankfurt on the Main – 600 works from South Africa, which the museum acquired in 1986.
A LABOUR OF LOVE came 28 years after the first exhibition of this collection was held in Frankfurt. It re-examines a selection of more than 150 works inspired by very different readings of the idea of love – prints, paintings, sculptures and to date unpublished archival materials reflect on the theme from interpersonal relations to the passion and commitment which influenced both the creation of the works and the history of the collection’s acquisition. At the JAG the exhibition will at certain moments be in conversation with works from the JAG collection, some of which were created by artists whose work forms part of the collection at the Weltkulturen Museum.
The exhibition also integrates a contemporary perspective on this special collection through ten new works produced by Gabi Ngcobo and four South African former art students Michelle Monareng, Matshelane Xhakaza, Chad Cordeiro and Nathaniel Sheppard, who have dealt with the collection and its specific history since mid-July 2014 when they were students at the Wits School of Arts. In this process of artistic reappraisal, the students have responded to the collection by creating new prints and videos. This perspective is further expanded by works created in the Weltkulturen Labor by Sam Nhlengethwa, during a residency in July 2015.
The accompanying publication not only includes new articles by Yvette Mutumba, Gabi Ngcobo, Ciraj Rassool, Same Mdluli and Neo Muyanga, but also interviews with, among others, David Koloane, Peter Clarke, Bongi Dhlomo-Mautloa, Charles Nkosi and Lionel Davis. In addition, it contains unique archival material as well as numerous images of works from the museum’s collection and new productions. Published in German and English by Kerber Verlag.
Opening: Sunday, 13th August 2017, 4 pm The artist Sam Nhlengthwa (Johannesburg), the curators of the exhibition Gabi Ngcobo (curator, artist, educator at the Wits School of Arts Johannesburg and curator of the 10th Berlin Biennial) and Dr. Yvette Mutumba (founder, editor-in-chief, Contemporary And (C&), curatorial team of the 10th Berlin Biennial) and the participating former students of the Wits School of Arts Michelle Monareng, Matshelane Xhakaza, Chad Cordeiro and Nathaniel Sheppard will be present.