Cape Town-born artist and activist Haroon Gunn-Salie has been announced as the 2018 recipient of the FNB Art Prize at the media launch of the 11th installment of the FNB JoburgArtFair.
The 11th FNB Joburg Art Fair has named Cape Town-born artist and activist Haroon Gunn-Salie the winner of the 2018 FNB Art Prize.
Gunn-Salie joins the ranks of previous winners such as Peju Alatise, Nolan Oswald Dennis, Turiya Magadlela, Portia Zvavahera, and Kudzanai Chiurai. He receives a cash prize as well as the opportunity to create a new project that will be showcased in a dedicated exhibition space at the FNB JoburgArtFair this September.
Chief marketing officer at FNB Faye Mfikwe says that the FNB Art Prize honours exceptional artistic talent and, at the same time, provides the winning artist local and international opportunities for the artist and the industry.
“Our commitment to the FNB Joburg Art Fair ensures that in the years to come, we continue to introduce African artists to an international audience, galleries, collectors, writers, thinkers and art lovers from across the world, further enabling growth through maintaining a platform that empowers the artist.”
Gunn-Salie has established a collaborative art practice that translates community oral histories into artistic interventions and installations. His multidisciplinary practice uses a variety of mediums, drawing focus to forms of collaboration in contemporary art based on dialogue and exchange.
Currently based between Johannesburg and Belo Horizonte in Brazil, he completed his BA Hons in sculpture at the Michaelis School of Fine Art in 2012. His graduate exhibition, titled Witness, presented a site-specific body of work focusing on still unresolved issues of forced removals under apartheid, working with veteran residents of District Six, an area in central Cape Town where widespread forced removals occurred.
His installation for the FNB JoburgArtFair continues to delve deeper into unresolved issues in South Africa’s contemporary history with an extended site-specific installation of his project titled Senzenina. The installation – envisioned as a reflection space – transports the viewer to the site, inside which an immersive soundscape presenting a schematic recreation of the scene using archival audio and composed elements. The soundscape includes calls for the mineworkers to disassemble peacefully; the fortification of the surrounding area and entrapment of the workers by police; an anti-apartheid freedom song lamented by the mineworkers moments before live ammunition was discharged; and blasts from the mine recalled by low-frequency sonic vibrations of the surrounding landscape emanating from an outcrop of granite boulders on the site.