AFRICAN ROBOTS | CAPE TOWN 2016

RALPH BORLAND with DANIEL HIRSCHMANN

7 - 14 Jan 2016

AFRICAN ROBOTS is a project by South African artist and researcher Ralph Borland to create interactive electronic street art. ‘Street art’ in this instance means art sold by people on the street in South Africa and Zimbabwe: forms of handicraft using inexpensive materials like fencing and electrical wire, beads and waste wood, plastic and metal. The project focuses particularly on wire work, where artists make three dimensional forms from wire, using a cheap material to create complex results. Basic electronic components can with the necessary know-how also be used as cheap material for creating interactive sculptures.

AFRICAN ROBOTS is a project that functions at many levels: as an interventionist art project, catalyzing change in real life and creating new sculptural works and cultural forms; as a work of ‘design fiction’ that envisages and accelerates alternative futures through designed objects; and as an exercise in friendship and skillsharing to catalyse innovation - a social development project working with the informal sector in African cities. It aims to democratize access to technological know-how by recovering basic principles of mechanics and computing.

Work on the project so far has included hacking cheap Chinese electronic toys, bought in urban markets in Sao Paulo, Brazil and made into wire work toys for the Harare International Festival of the Arts in Zimbabwe, and using motors and custom circuits to activate the ideas of wire work artists on the streets of Cape Town.

The next stage of the project is the implementation of a circuit board with a cheap array of electronic parts, designed with Londonbased electronics-in-education wizards Technology Will Save Us, to bring street-level production a step closer to reality.

Following the first exhibition of AFRICAN ROBOTS in London in August 2015, at MachinesRoom, a British Council Maker Library space, “African Robots” comes to MUTI Gallery in Cape Town to document work to date.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

RALPH BORLAND
Artist, designer and curator, and a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He is currently working on Global Arenas, an investigation of Southern contributions to global knowledge. He has curated exhibitions including SURFACE TENSION: THE FUTURE OF WATER at Science Gallery Dublin in 2011 and is working on DIY - an exhibition of South African art, design and ingenuity. His public sculptures were installed on Jetty Square in Cape Town in 2005. He is part-owner of a cooperative brewery and bar in Cape Town.

DANIEL HIRSCHMANN
Artist, maker and educator who uses relationships with technology as the core of his practice. He is Cofounder and Head of Kit Experience at Technology Will Save Us.
Daniel’s work at Technology Will Save Us focuses on research and development, exploring new technologies and creating DIY Gadget kits that bridge science, technology design and education. He is also the founder of Hirsch&Mann, a creative technology consultancy specialising in responsive objects, installations and environments.
He has been making interactive installations, spaces and objects for over 10 years and has worked with organisations ranging from Nike and AOL to the Science Museum and the Whitney Museum of Art.

AFRICAN ROBOTS is grateful for the support of the SA-UK Seasons Programme 2015 – 2015, a partnership between the Department of Arts and Culture, South Africa, and the British Council. Additional support for work in Zimbabwe by Pro Helvetia’s Southern African Ant Funding programme.

AfricanRobots.net
TechWillSaveUs.com


UILIEN

INGE BECKMANN

Solo Exhibition - 8th to 17th October 2015

BROWSE CATALOGUE

UILIEN is my altar of gratitude to the ‘Elementals’ for ushering me through deaths and transformations.

The exhibition was inspired by my relationship with the ‘Elementals’ and a deep desire to share and acknowledge their humble teachings with the hope to encourage others to nature gaze. It is a collection of personal power treasures discovered in the Cape Peninsula over a period of time.

I experience an undeniable sense of belonging when walking up Table Mountain or swimming in the ocean. I recharge around trees and rocks and I wash and pray in the ocean. My public persona falls away in the natural church and my heaviness is swallowed whole.

UILIEN is my homage to the ‘Elementals’ celebrated through the mediums of natural art, photography and sound sculpture.

I crafted a series of nature spirits by respectfully manipulating alien tree bark, pods and sea shells, leaving other natural treasures exactly as I found them.

Each character or mask has a unique meaning to me. Each with a different message.

I collaborated with photographer Guto Bussab in order to capture the interaction for the prints.

I have created a special sound sculpture, gently weaving my roots as musician and vocalist into the collection.
It carries no words rather vocal patterns and percussive motifs.

A chosen bouquet of alien plants will be burnt as an offering, completing UILIEN’s sensory experience.”

~Inge Beckmann~


WAITING

SENZENI MARASELA and GUTO BUSSAB

Group Exhibition - 18th June to 4th July 2015

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Senzeni Marasela

Marasela is interested in the multiplicity of the experience of waiting. The pathologies of the women that are either forced to wait or choose to wait. There is no easy way to wait in any society, especially so because it is women who are always expected to wait.” - Profile of 2015 FutureGreat artist, selected by Koyo Kouoh / Art Review – March 2015

The figures in Senzeni Marasela’s linocuts and etchings cut the familiar forms of that woman so much a part of the fabric of any South African day; so often lost against the swirl, camouflaged by her sheer ubiquity, bowed by stoic servitude - doek, the servants uniform, a thin echo of some French maid’s dress, the head in shadow or silhouette. Marasela wedges this woman into the center of our consciousness. She is after all the very backbone of her country; and like all successful fulcrums, the tragedy is that her invisibility stems from her efficiency – if only she were not so expert at waiting for her husband to return, not so proficient at walking. Marasela’s prints originate from her performance work, and on this exhibition in particular come from her foundational work “Theodorah comes to Johannesburg“ (2003 - ongoing) and 2013’s “Ijeremani Lam – Waiting for Gebane Mthetyane” as well as select new work.

“Theodorah comes to Johannesburg”, is a performance based on her own mothers’ stories about travels from the village of Mvenyane to Johannesburg. A distance of 11 hours. Like many young black women in the city her mother was traumatised by events that took place in the 1960s Johannesburg. Many young black women returned to live in the villages and many more were forced to undertake journeys into strangeness. For this work Marasela wore a yellow dress given to by her mother. This dress has been translated into many drawings, linocuts and thread work.
In 2013, Theodorah took on another journey, we find her in Johannesburg looking for her husband Gebane Mthetyane. The migration system of apartheid South Africa forced many black women into mysterious forms of waiting. The disintegration of a black family, first by men and second by women who left their children and followed their husbands coming into the city.

For her latest work, The Red Dress, Marasela has made a choice to stay in the same red dress daily, fully embodying Theodorah and to be seen as such by people she comes across. She has to date collected ten dresses, and they are all made by the same person, with same material and same pattern. She intends on having 150 of these dresses and will wear all of them throughout the project which she envisages will last until 2018/2019. There is an intensity to the wait, the heaviness of the experience; an extreme that is unique to women like Theodora; ubiquitous, stoic, the camouflaged backbone.


Guto Bussab

Orginally from Brasil and working primarily in photography Guto Bussab draws his subject matter from the similarities within the South-South paradigm; be they of identity, inequality, civic responsibility or gender politics.
There is a clear sense of unease in his work, whatever the subject matter - be it the indistinct line between sleep and death, or psychosexual embodiment - in order to articulate and reflect the South-South as places where society functions in extremes.


Performance by Angel~Ho - ‘reConditioning The Consumer’

Air freshener supposably can create an ‘escape’ or fantasy - according to the marketing on the can. If a space is governed by air freshener understanding Angel-Ho cannot exist in it.

Angel-Ho is a binary character in conflict with how society distributes power. She deconstructs identity archetypes and how these montage in society and play in the narrative of South Africa. She deconstructs the genealogy of public space and her body falling into systems which try to govern or rehabilitate her heritage and self.

Or as Angel-Ho tell us, “Sounds becoming sourced from the net and distys transformed into a narrative which deconstructs identity archetypes and how those function and play within the structures of society. The sound accentuates my performance and becomes the backstory of Angel-Ho, a binary, or a difficulty in living within structures which distribute power”.


ANGEL-HO

Runnin’ With Knives (2015)

ANGEL-HO is the performance persona of Angelo Valerio, a Cape Town-based artist.

Valerio uses the character of Angel-Ho to challenge tropes around classism, identity, sexuality, gender and race.

His performance work surrounds a representation of the “Nu-Queer” identity: one that is not subject to dehumanisation, objectification or “othering”, and instead elevates the body to a position of power.


kEda Gomes

Rubixed Out 1 (2014)

medium: Acrylic on wood
Dimensions: 800 mm x 1200 mm

Rubixed Out 2 (2014)

medium: Acrylic on wood
Dimensions: 800 mm x 1200 mm

kEda Gomes is a South African artist, formally trained as a Fine Artist and founder of ARTfarm. Having done time in traditional media at UKZN, kEda indulged in some self-taught digital media on arriving in CT. Never having been one for blinkers, she doesn’t settle on one media and enjoys finding ways to transgress boundaries between platforms and media. The only trouble with having an open mind, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

Symbolism is a key aspect to Gomes’ work, with motifs repeated across individual which works to weave a continual narrative. Her works directly respond to surrounding environments and use everyday experiences from the artist as a starting point. Often these are framed instances that would go unnoticed in their original context. With a conceptual approach, she tries to increase the dynamic between audience and author by objectifying emotions and investigating the duality that develops through different interpretations.


You Have My Word

a solo exhibition by Chris Auret

4th - 17th November 2014

BROWSE CATALOGUE


THINK NO EVIL

Michael Elion

Dimensions: 1200(H) x 600(W) x 400(D)
Materials: Polygnite and automotive paint


RESISTANCE” Collaboration #4
Collaboration between artists RALPH ZIMAN and GUTO BUSSAB for RESISTANCE PROJECT.

Medium: Wood board, Paper, Enamel paint, acrylic medium
Dimensions: 2400mm (W) x 1200mm (H)
Price: R20.000,00 (inc. VAT)

Ziman kindly donates all proceeds of the RESISTANCE series to charity organisations involved in gun-control issues in Africa.


GHOSTS

Solo exhibition by Ralph Ziman.

24th April to 18th July

(The GHOSTS series is currently represented by the LOVELL GALLERY. For sales visit www.lovellgallery.co.za)

“Do you love your guns? YEAH! God? YEAH! Government? F* YEAH!!” So sings Marilyn Manson of America’s rabid obsession with ballistic, religious and political weapons of mass destruction.

While America has its God and its government – and certainly no shortage of guns – it is from a handful of Africa’s most volatile nations whence any form of “god” has fled and whose anarcho-fascist kleptocracies reduce just about any notion of “government” to a brutal, bloody farce.

Ziman may have made America his home but it is the continent of his birth upon which his dark, disturbing vision continues to fall.

GHOSTS” confronts the complex socioeconomic and political circumstances of the African arms trade – a multinational, multibillion-dollar industry that moves in one direction only – into Africa.

BROWSE CATALOGUE

Ziman spent six months collaborating with African artisans to produce wool garments and beaded replicas of the iconic AK-47 used in the series.

“They have lived around crime and violence both in their adoptive South Africa and their native Zimbabwe,” Ziman says.
“There is a sadness about the pictures—a loneliness and distance.”

Ziman’s work challenges the tragic cliché of our times: a war torn, violent Africa of militant and corrupt dictators, child soldiers,
and unceasing civil wars fed by a growing international arms-trade.

BROWSE PICTURES OF THE OPENING NIGHT EVENT

For him, the series is a platform to discuss the corruption, greed and influence of foreign world superpowers who, eager for a stake in Africa’s abundant natural resources, provide weapons to dictatorial governments in trade, and often to opposing factions as well, ensuring a perpetual cycle of war for generations.

Ziman is a South African artist currently living and working in Los Angeles. He is the director of hundreds of music videos for superstars ranging from Ozzy Osbourne to Michael Jackson, and held the reigns as writer/director/producer for
Hearts and Minds that premiered at the Berlin and Montreal Film Festivals, as well as Jerusalema, South Africa’s official entry to the 2008 Academy Award Foreign Language section.

Ziman is also well-known in the U.S. for his public art in Venice and is currently working on a private commission in Santa Monica.

Ziman kindly donated all proceeds of this exhibition to charity organisations involved in gun-control issues in Africa.



SIT

title: Kowwboy nr 15
medium: Acrylic on paperboard
dimensions: 70cm (W) x 50cm (H)


SIT
title: Kowwboy nr 14
medium: Acrylic on paperboard
dimensions: 50cm (W) x 50cm (H)

MARCH 2014
Artist Sitnie Waerts, better known as “Sit” is an Amsterdam based mixed media artist whose body of work has been detoxed from bits and bytes, media, hypes, lovers, haters and colours to find the true essence of creativity again. He creates evocative surrealist paintings that are sexy, violent and darkly appealing. Featuring fashionistas and symbols of death and romance, Sit’s paintings entertain the viewer with their darkly provocative nature.



STUB

February 2014

STUB001 final exhibition: Meet the young talents and celebrate their identities.

STUB001 is proud to present the artworks of the Ubuntu Academy students. Under artist SIT’s guidance they’ve worked for two weeks to find and visualise their unique identities. The design process included self-reflection, moodboards, collages with mixed materials… to ultimately create self-portraits.

The final exhibition showcases the process, portraits and a “wandering mural”. Limited number of prints will be on sale. And last but not least, we can’t wait to finally introduce you the Ubuntu Academy students.

Selected designs are also used by fashion label Kuyichi for the Summer 2015 collection, a limited t-shirt range co-created by the students and SIT. Last year’s co-created t-shirts are already on sale in Europe. SIT’s limited t-shirts with his self-portraits will already be available at the exhibit.

http://www.sitnie.com
http://www.ubuntuacademy.co.za
http://www.kuyichi.com
http://www.stub001.com


SUPERMARKET

(19 September 19 October 2013)

A Winter group show featuring Cape Town based fine artists exhibiting paintings, sculptures, illustration, video and photography.
Exhibiting artists:
Monique Pelser, MJ Lourens, Michael Elion, Louis Nel, Guto Bussab, Ree Treweek and ST(E)AK.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ARTWORKS EXHIBITED

Opening night event




Michael Elion

title: A Problem With Beauty
medium: Mild Steel, Polygnite, Ferrari Automotive Paint
dimensions: 122,5 x 75 x 60cm

15 March to 15 May 2013)
Michael Elion is interested in the perception of beauty. After graduating from the Architectural Association in London Michael spent 6 years in Paris where he obtained a Masters in Philosophy, continuing into the doctoral program in aesthetics for three years.

His research thesis, which was co-supervised at Oxford University, focused on visual perception. He proposed the hypothesis that there is a visual language in the world around us that is mostly universally understood. His artworks are often an extension of this investigation and deal with concepts in aesthetics that range from; form and meaning, to representation and language.



MJ LOURENS

title: Ads Infinitum (2012)
medium: Acrylic on Board
dimensions: 70 cm x 90 cm


MJ Lourens

title: City Outskirts XXV
medium: Acrylic on Board
dimensions: 70 cm x 90 cm

15 November - 15 March 2013
MJ Lourens’s evocative paintings of the Cape Peninsula are at once familiar and strangely foreboding.
Suffused with the quality of light at dusk, the landscapes are permeated by stillness, devoid of human drama.
They speak of absence and emptiness, of isolation and alienation. Yet the distance effected by the panoramic viewpoints and the fading light is simultaneously disrupted by evidence of human intervention.”
- Karin Preller

MJ has exhibited in major galleries locally such as Everard Reed, Chris Möller and Grand Provence.
His sought after work is part of private and corporate collections including The SOUTH AFRICAN Reserve Bank, UNISA, Telkom, Weber Wentzl Attorneys and Nandos UK.



JILJARVIS
title: WORDS UNSPOKEN (2012)
medium: lightjet digital print on photographic paper
dimensions: 60cm x 85cm


JILJARVIS
title: THOUGHT SEEDS
medium: lightjet digital print on photographic paper
dimensions: 60cm x 85cm


JILJARVIS
title: WHEN THE GODS RETURN
medium: lightjet digital print on photographic paper
dimensions: 60cm x 85cm

06 JULY - 06 AUGUST 2012
JILJARVIS is from durban, studied fine art at UKZN - pmb and multi media at MEDIATEK - dbn collage illustration and 2D puppet animation. Lives and works in Cape Town.


JESSEJAMES
title: BIRDS ON A WIRE (2011)
medium: wooden light box and perspex
dimension: 1700 x 550 mm

11 NOVEMBER - 10 DECEMBER 2011
JesseJames is a Cape Town based design collaborative blurring the margin between art and design.



LAUREN FOWLER
title: FLYING (2011)
medium: Black fine liner on Fabriano Accademia 200mg
dimension: 69 x 54 cm


LAUREN FOWLER
title: DROWNING (2011)
medium: Black fine liner on Fabriano Accademia 200mg
dimension: 69 x 54 cm

10 OCTOBER - 11 NOVEMBER 2011
Lauren Fowler, a graduate of the AAA School of Advertising, draws “stuff” and does “other stuff”.
“Stuff” being illustration, typography and graphic design. “Other stuff” being knitting, cross stitch, arty things, blogging and music.


MICHAEL ELION

(13 SEPTEMBER - 30 SEPTEMBER 2011)

Michael Elion is an artist/architect working mainly on large scale public artworks. He obtained his architecture degrees in Cape Town (UCT) and London (AA), and a Masters in philosophy (aesthetics) in Paris. He has worked with world renowned architects and artists in Paris, Rome and Berlin and has produced giant artworks that engage with the urban environment. Now based in Cape Town he designs and manages the production of three dimensional outdoor media for brands, and is working on a series of new public artworks for different cities.

title: THINK NO EVIL (2010)
medium: Copper plated wood
dimension: aprox 50 x 20 x20 cm


MJ LOURENS

title: SUNDAY (2011)
medium: Acrylic on board
dimension: 100 x 80 cm

MJ LOURENS

title: IN THE GARDEN (2010)
medium: Acrylic on board
dimension: 90 x 70 cm

(25 AUGUST - 08 SEPTEMBER 2011)

MJ Lourens was born in Pretoria, South Africa, in 1973. He studied Fine Art Sculpture at the University of Pretoria from 1992 to 1996. His body of work includes paintings, sculptures and film, having exhibited in several prominent galleries around South Africa. MJ lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa.

SUPERMARKET

Fropm 11th Feb to 15th March 2009

Alexandra Ross
Paul Shelly
Theresa-Anne Mackintosh
Justin Fiske
Roger Sakamoto
Barend de Wet
Linda Stupart
Caroline Suzman
Catherine Othello
Gabbi Raaf
LIzza LIttlewort


IN OUR MIDST

solo exhibition by Gabrielle Raaf

23rd April to 4th June 2009

TEE HOE

Solo exhibition by FRANCOIS VAN REENEN

From 11th June to 31st July 2009


UN-NATURAL HISTORY

2nd October to 30th November 2008

Group Exhibition

Inge Prins
Monique Pelser
Antonia Steyn



DIFFERENT STROKES FOR DIFFERENT FOLKS

solo exhibition by BAREND DE WET

From 11th May to 13th June 2006


CORPUS

solo exhibition by GUTO BUSSAB

From 29th September to 27th October 2005


SIMPLICITY MISS PETITE SIZE 8MP

solo exhibition by SUE PAM-GRANT

From 16th to 26th February 2005


THE BIRTHDAY PARTY

solo exhibition by NICOLA DEANE

From 14th April to 5th May 2005


SaNCTUARY

solo exhibition by ARYAN KAGANOF

From 18th November to 9th December 2004