Up and Down – Bekkersdal, Gauteng and Masiphumelele, Western Cape

Up and Down aims to create an experience of participation somewhere between sport and artistic site-specific interventions. Bandoma and Mbikayi aim to build two soccer pitches, one in Gauteng and one in the Western Cape. Playing with the metaphor of the ‘level playing field’, they will be traditional soccer fields with a difference: one will be built on a hill and the other in a valley with the fields conforming to the shape of the landscape. The project intends to foster dialogue between foreign nationals living in the town and local residents through soccer matches on these pitches.

UP and Down is one of the diverse projects supported and initiated by the Visual Art Network in South Africa (VANSA). UP and DOWN is runned by Maurice Mbikayi and Myself It's actually still in its research step as we didn't yet get all funding required for its realisation.However for the research funding we got we run two different workshops one in Bekkeersdal-Gauteng(Down)and another one in Masipumelele-Western Cape(DOWN).

In May 2010, VANSA put out a call for proposals for the project "Two Thousand reason to live in a small Town" and Ten Reasons to live in a Small Town, with a deadline for submissions in August. A series of project briefing and proposal writing workshops were held across the during the course of June and July. Please visit http://www.vansa.co.za/2010-reasons-to-live-in-a-small-town-submission-guidelines-1/
to find out more about the brief for the project.

A large number of exceptional proposals were received, and we would like to thank all who engaged with the project concept. A total of seven projects were finally chosen by the curatorial team VANSA convened for the project, comprised of Nontobeko Ntombela, Rat Western, Rike Sitas, Dorothee Kreutzfeldt and Joseph Gaylard. VANSA has also made available smaller project development commissions against four proposals that were felt to show substantial potential.

In October 2010, we convened a weekend workshop involving all of the commissioned artists and the curatorial team, aimed at sharing ideas, building a ‘community of practice’ and putting in place practical plans for the realization of projects. Kindly hosted by the Nirox Foundation, the weekend was a great success, opening up lots of new possibilities and ideas for all involved.

For ongoing updates, insights and images related to the project posted by the artists and curators, visit: http://www.vansa2010reasons.blogspot.com/

The Menippean uprising

There would be tears and there would be strange laughter. Fierce births and deaths beneath umbrageous ceilings. And dreams, and violence, and disenchantment.
- Mervyn Peake (Titus Groan)

Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisoned by the enemy, don't we consider it his duty to escape?. . .If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we're partisans of liberty, then it's our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!
- J.R.R. Tolkien

If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform a million realities.
- Maya Angelou

The Menippean Uprising explores the idea of the imaginary, the unreal and the fantastical. The focus is on artworks that are of an escapist nature; works that intuitively venture toward the irrational, the grotesque, the pleasurable.

The title of the exhibition references Menippean Satire*, and it aims to illustrate the power that fantastical artworks have in framing contemporary issues in new ways, while interrogating some of the traditional reservations of the genre. These reservations include the mutual dependency of realism & the fantastic, the subservience of fantastical art to literature & mythology, and the perilous proximity of the fantastical sublime to its populist counterpart - fantasy**

The following artists will exhibit works in a variety of media and presentation strategies: Steve Bandoma, Belinda Blignaut, Dirk Bell, Anja De Klerk, Adriaan de Villiers, Pierre Fouché, Alice Goldin, Liza Grobler, Walter Oltmann, Mendisa Pantsi, Michael Taylor, Hentie van der Merwe, Dale Washkansky and Niklas Wittenberg.

* Menippean satire is one of the earliest genres of fantastic literature. Petronius's Satyricon, Varro's Bimarcus & Lucian's Strange Story are examples of writings of this genre which had representative works from ancient Christian-, Byzantine-, Medieval-, Renaissance- and Reformation periods. Jackson, in Fantasy, the literature of subversion (1981 - Methuen) describes the genre:

Steve Bandoma, The players,2010

It was a genre which broke the demands of historical realism or probability. The Menippea moved easily in space between this world, an underworld and an upper world. It conflated past, present and future, and allowed dialogues with the dead. States of hallucination, dream, insanity, eccentric behaviour and speech, personal transformation, extraordinary situations, were the norm. It was a genre which did not claim to be definitive or knowing, Lacking finality, it interrogated authoritive truths and replaced them with something less certain (15-16).

** Populist fantasy refers to the iconography of fantasy paperback illustration, subcultures of amateur practitioners, and its often tired tropes based on medievalist and Celtic mythology.

Open studio

Steve Bandoma

Facilitated by Contemporary African Art Connect
Friday 30th July 2010
At 18h00
On 18 Roeland street, Cape Town
(Old Ogilvy Building)
Ref: Parliament main entrance
(Parking available also inside)


After premiering in 2009 FOCUS is ready to launch its second edition. FOCUS10 is designed to present and connect the vibrant African art scene to the world. Conceived as a complement to Art Basel (June 16-20, 2010), the fair showcases Galerie Peter Herrmann (Berlin) and features emerging and established artists from Africa and the Diaspora in a show curated by Christine Eyene (London) and Lerato Bereng (Johannesburg) and supported by Fondation Blachère (Apt) and Pro Helvetia Cape Town. In a relaxed and intimate atmosphere visitors of FOCUS10 can expect to enjoy a huge variety of artistic production from the diverse scenes of the African continent and from the African Diaspora.

FEATURING Galerie Peter Herrmann (D):

Dalila Dalleas (Alg/D)- Amouzou Glikpa (Togo/D) - Bill Kouélany (RC) - Goddy Leye (Cam) - Malam (Cam/Fr) - George Osodi (Nig/UK) - Chéri Samba (RDC) - Ransome Stanley (D)

Curated Show
Curators: Christine Eyene (UK) - Lerato Bereng (ZA)

Steve Bandoma (DRC/ZA) - Faith47 and Rowan Phybus(ZA) - Justin Fiske (ZA) - Ricky Lee Gordon (ZA) - Bers Grandsinge (DRC/B) - Ibrahim el Hadad (ET/CH) - Victor Mukelekesha (Z/N) - Samuel Olou (RT/N) - Cameron Platter (ZA) - Frauke Stegmann (ZA) - thanksthanksafrica (CDN) - Christian Tundula (DRC/B) - Breeze Yoko (ZA)

Chocolate Banana - a video project in a Stern-taxi touring around in Basel by Bill Kouelany and Goddy Leye. Call: 061 691 44 44
Carlo Mombelli and the Prisoners of Strange (European Edition) – Jazz concert on Thursday, June 17, 2010, 8 p.m.

For further details please refer to our homepage: www.focus10.ch.

AFAI Organises a Workshop with African Artists Living in Cape Town

The African Arts Institute organised a workshop with African artists living in Cape Town with the view to establish some of the challenges which they are facing in the country in order to plan on how to assist them to overcome them. This workshop was also an opportunity for the organisation to introduce its three new projects, that is, the AFAI help desk, the African artists showcase and stories of African artists living in the diaspora to the artists. The workshop was attended by artists from South Africa, Zimbabwe, DRC, Congo, Malawi, Mozambique and Kenya. It established that most artists from African countries other than South Africa are facing challenges in accessing South African markets and funding. It was also noted that most artists need training in arts management.


African Arts Institute (AFAI) a organisé un atelier avec des artistes africains vivant à Cape Town en vue de mettre en place certains des défis auxquels ils sont confrontés dans le pays afin de planifier sur la façon de les aider à les surmonter. Cet atelier a été aussi une occasion pour l'organisation de présenter ses trois nouveaux projets, qui est, le centre d'assistance AFAI, la vitrine les artistes africains et des histoires d'artistes africains dans la diaspora, aux artistes. L'atelier a réuni des artistes de l'Afrique du Sud, Zimbabwe, RDC, Congo, Malawi, Mozambique et au Kenya. Il a établi que la plupart des artistes de pays africains autres que l'Afrique du Sud sont confrontés à des défis dans l'accès aux marchés d'Afrique du Sud et le financement. Il a également noté que la plupart des artistes ont besoin de formation en gestion des arts.
The African Arts Institute (AFAI), based in Cape Town, launched three projects this month to support, showcase and market the arts of African artists living in South Africa.
In line with its vision to harness South African resources, markets and expertise in the service of Africa’s creative sector, the projects include a Help Desk for artists from behind the Limpopo, a collection of stories about the struggles and achievements of African artists in South Africa and a monthly showcase of work by artists from other African countries.

Steve Bandoma (Democratic Republic of Congo), a visual artist working in South Africa, will manage the Help Desk which will advise and assist African artists to access resources and infrastructure, distribute their work, obtain legal documents and to facilitate travel around the country, on the continent and globally.

“I am excited by this project as I see myself as a successful visual artist working and operating in a foreign country and now I am in a position to engage with the African Diaspora community in the form of AFAI’s help desk,” said Bandoma.

Zimbabwean musician Patricia Matongo will take charge of a regular forum to showcase the works of African artists to facilitate dialogue/collaboration between African artists and their South African counterparts and to educate South African publics about the arts from the continent. In this way, AFAI plans to create new markets for and greater integration of African artists living in South Africa.
Said Matongo: “This is a great opportunity for African artists to showcase their talents and to tell the world that there is more to a ‘refugee’ than meets the eye; they not only bring their expertise but also wonderful talents to South Africa.”

Mwila Mambwe, also from the Democratic Republic of Congo, an enthusiastic poet living in South Africa, will collect and compile valuable stories of African artists and the conditions they encounter in South Africa. This collection of short stories will be compiled in various forms including a book, DVD and internet video clips to be hosted on the Institute’s website.
Bandoma, Matongo and Mambwe will initially run their projects as part of internships that vary between 3 and 6 months.

Joburg launches Artists of Africa

Joburg launches Artists of Africa
The Artists of Africa was launched late last week by the City of Johannesburg and the Department of Arts and Culture. VIP's and the media gathered at the Joburg Theatre for a briefing on the official 2010 FIFA World Cup Host City Johannesburg event.

Melissa Mboweni, curator, speaking at the Artists of Africa media launch
The pan African Contemporary art exhibition will be hosted at Museum Africa, Newtown, Johannesburg from 11 May to 11 July 2010. Curators, artists, writers and poets will collaborate on the project in order to showcase African talent.

The event was attended by MEC for Sports, Arts Culture and Recreation: Nelisiwe Mbatha Mtinkulu; MMC for Community Development of Johannesburg: Bafana Sithole, executive director 2010: Sibongile Mazibuko; director of Arts, Culture and Heritage: Steven Sack; COO of the LOC: Nomfanelo Magwentshu and the 2010 Joburg Soccer Legends.

Professor Pitika Ntuli opened the ceremony with a poem to capture the essence of the event.

Executive director of the 2010 office, Sibongile Mazibuko stated that the City of Johannesburg (COJ) was pleased to be partnering with The Department of Arts and Culture on this initiative. Mazibuko added that the COJ, the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC), FIFA and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) are proud of this project that will show benefits to and promote the arts industry of Africa.

Says curator Melissa Mboweni: “This exhibition will be promoted globally to people of all races, ages and cultures as it aims to educate and portray African art for what it is truly worth.”

Curator Thembinkosi Goniwe outlined the exciting curatorial concept of “Space - currencies in African contemporary art”. Thembinkosi drew attention to the relevance that the words “space” and “pace” hold for art and soccer. The defending of one's “space” and the attacking of another's is of much relevance to the game of soccer.

Space is however an important concept when related to the arts industry. This includes issues relating to the “space” that African contemporary art occupies within the global arts industry and the interaction that an artwork has with the “space” that it occupies.

The word “pace” refers to speed. Soccer players have become renowned for their ability to either use speed or talent to slow down the period of play for the benefit of the team.

“Pace” can also refer to the speed at which the African contemporary art industry is or is not changing and can bring to mind what affect we expect the 2010 FIFA World Cup to have on this industry.

In her closing, Mazibuko encouraged all art lovers, media, soccer legends, curators, artists, poets, government officials for their support in steering this project now and beyond 2010.

The sound of the iconic South African vuvuzela, gourmet food and a performance by Khanyo Maphumulo ended the occasion.

Space "Currencies in Contemporary African art" at the Museum Africa

Huge art show planned for 2010

Written by Ndaba Dlamini
Friday, 18 September 2009
An exhibition of works collected from around the continent will add an artistic legacy to the football tournament, and show Africa to the world.
ARTISTS of Africa, an art and craft exhibition featuring the work of artists from all over the continent, will take place at Museum Africa in 2010.

Head curator of Artists of Africa Thembinkosi Goniwe
Billed as one of the main attractions during the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, the exhibition will run at the Newtown venue from 11 May to 11 July 2010. It is expected to attract thousands of visitors during the month-long World Cup, which kicks off on 11 June 2010.
At the official launch of the exhibition on Wednesday, 16 September at the Joburg Theatre Complex in Braamfontein, the head of the City's 2010 unit, Sibongile Mazibuko, said the exhibition was a City of Johannesburg initiative that was meant to augment the World Cup as a truly African event.
"This is an important pan-African contemporary art exhibition recognised as an official 2010 World Cup host city event. We are calling on African artists from all over the continent to participate," she said.
The member of the mayoral committee for community development, Bafana Sithole, said every passing day brought the 2010 World Cup closer. Artists of Africa was conceptualised by the City to use the pressure from hosting the football tournament to ensure that a lasting arts legacy was left after the competition was over.
"When the World Cup has come and gone, there should be something of value left behind ... This exhibition is meant to portray the continent's diverse cultures and for African artists to showcase their work. It is also meant to draw global attention to Africa. The City is proud to host the event," said Sithole.
Also present at the launch was the MEC for sport, arts, culture and recreation, Nelisiwe Mbatha-Mtimkulu, who said the exhibition would become part of South Africa's heritage and at the same time, expose the work of African artists to the rest of the world.
"The exhibition will develop the contemporary African art industry and thus give an opportunity for African artists to make a decent living for themselves."

Head of the City’s 2010 unit, Sibongile Mazibuko
At the launch, a sneak preview of what people could expect from the exhibition was beamed on to a huge screen. The video showed some artwork from African artists.
"From what I have heard and seen about the Artists of Africa exhibition so far, the best football has to be played at the 2010 World Cup for people to attend matches, otherwise this exhibition will draw most of the crowds. The exhibition features an exciting programme that the City is putting together," he said.
Giving a brief outline of the exhibition, the head curator of Artists of Africa, Thembinkosi Goniwe, said it was entitled Space.
"We are working towards a projection of what Africa is all about. But Africa is complex; that is why we have given the exhibition the title Space - it gives us space to try to map out this continent."
Goniwe said the exhibition would also give artists space to produce ideas about "beautiful and pleasurable things". He would not name any of the participating artists, however: "This will be a surprise," he said.
In preparing for the exhibition, 11 curators were working in different parts of Africa, looking for "diversity".
"The exhibition is also a creative and an intellectual space for African artists, curators, writers and various audiences to engage in dialogue on culture, aesthetics, politics and mobility," Goniwe explained.
One of the curators, Melissa Mboweni, said the exhibition would benefit the visual arts and, in turn, Africa.
"The visual arts, generally speaking, have little voice and are not acknowledged as a significant medium, and the role they play outside of supposed aristocracy and investment. Art has always brought to attention important and salient issues.
"It has also influenced how issues like HIV/Aids, poverty, social snobbery and the like can be seen in a different light," she said.

La Retrospective

la rétrospective/le demi siècle
Sat 26th June 2010 | 12 pm to 10:30pm

The culture of the Democratic Republic of the Congo reflects much of the diversity of its hundreds of ethnic groups and their differing ways of life throughout the country—from the mouth of the River Congo on the coast, upriver through the rainforest and savanna in its centre, to the more densely populated mountains in the far east. Since the late 19th century, traditional ways of life have undergone changes brought about by colonialism, the struggle for independence, the stagnation of the Mobutu era, and most recently, the First and Second Congo Wars. Despite these pressures, the customs and cultures of the Congo have retained much of their individuality.

The Congolese are known for their art, “art is life”, a well known slogan to the locals, so prevalent that even the economic hardship of the last few decades had fail to dent the artistic spirit that prevails in every “localité”. Thousands of students still enroll to the celebrated Academie de Beaux Arts, which is the only arts academy of a university level in Central Africa. Traditional art includes masks and wooden statues, malachite, ceramic, paintings and copper. Notable contemporary artists are Chéri Samba or Bodys Isek Kingelez. The best known artists successful inside and outside the country are Lema Kusa (painting), Alfred Liyolo (sculpture), Roger Botembe (painting), Nshole (painting), Henri Kalama Akulez (painting), Mavinga (painting), Freddy Tsimba (sculpture), Claudy Khan (painting).

We have the pleasure of having Mr Serge Diantantu (based in France) and Steve Bandoma (based in South Africa) to be amongst the many artists exhibiting with us in London.

Sat 26th June 2010

The Bernie Grants Art Centre

Doors Open 12 pm to 10:30pm


la rétrospective/le demi siècle

Special exhibitor
Serge Diantantu www.sergediantatu.com