Friday, November 10, 2006

The Confirmed Participants

EMERGING CURATORS: Cindy Poole (Cape Town), Sarie Potter (Cape Town), Loyiso Qanya (Cape Town), Kudzanai Chiurai (Zimbabwe/ JHB), Ijeoma Uche-Okeke (Nigeria / Jhb), Rita Potenza (JHB), Amos Letsoalo (JHB), Fatima Maal (JHB), Ernett Nkwana (Limpopo), Beathur Baker (JHB), Yvette Dunn (Durban), Motseokae Klas Thibeletsa (Taba Nchu), Angela de Jesus (Bloemfontein)

ESTABLISHED CURATORS: Gabi Ngcobo (Cape Town), Sylvie Groschatau-Phillips (Cape Town), Andrew Lamprecht (Cape Town), Sipho Mdanda (Tshwane), Bret Pyper (JHB), Monna Mokoena (JHB), Christopher du Preez (PE), Nonto Ntombela (Durban), Carol Brown (Durban), Thivynaidoo Perumal Naiken (Mauritius)

INTERNATIONAL CURATORS: Eddie Chambers (UK), Bisi Silva (Nigeria), Giovanni Carmine (Switzerland), N'Gone Fall (Senegal)

KEYNOTE GUESTS: Clive Kellner (JHB), Zayd Minty (Cape Town), Khwezi Gule (JHB), Emma Bedford (Cape Town)

FACILITATION: Joseph Gaylard (JHB), Storm Janse van Rensburg (Cape Town)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Countdown to Curators Workshop

The Visual Arts Network of South Africa (VANSA) and Robben Island Museum proudly presents a Curators Workshop from November 20 until December 1, 2006 on Robben Island, Cape Town.

The workshop, a first for South Africa, will bring experienced local and international contemporary art curators together with emerging South African curatorial talent. It will provide a dynamic and interactive forum in which these groups can share experience, ideas and initiate collaborative curatorial projects, with a particular focus on the opportunities and challenges facing curatorial practice in contemporary African contexts. Emphasis will also be placed on the role of the visual arts and curatorial practice in social change and activism.

VANSA is an organisation established by and for South African artists and arts practitioners to represent and lobby for the interests of all active practitioners in the South African visual arts sector. Focused largely on issues of art and social development, VANSA foregrounds existing historical imbalances and deals with concerns around access, opportunities and coherence within the visual arts sector. Formed in 2003, it is an emerging national voluntary body that is establishing a broad membership base, which includes leading figures from the visual arts community nationally.

The Curators Workshop follows a successful conference hosted and organized by VANSA earlier this year in Cape Town, which brought together artists, administrators, museums, galleries, government representatives and arts media to deliberate on the state of visual arts since South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994. Delegates from all nine provinces attended.

The Curators Workshop is intended as a residency and laboratory on Robben Island. Whilst resonant with the legacies of the past, the site provides a fitting environment for contemplating the ways in which contemporary visual arts practice can play a role in shaping a robust and healthy public democratic culture.

The workshop takes place over two weeks, with the first week dedicated to presentations by 10 professional local and 4 international curators with 10 emerging curators in attendance. The second week, once professional and international curators have returned home, will be taken up by intensive workshops in curatorial practice and the shaping of future projects, with the group of emerging curators.

Local attendance to the workshop has been on application, and the deadline for proposals expired on October 1. A selection process is currently underway to establish participation. The travel, subsistence and participation costs of participants are fully subsidised through generous support from the project’s funders.

The international participants are Giovanni Carmine (Switzerland), Eddie Chambers (UK), Bisi Silva (Nigeria/UK) and N’Goné Fall (Senegal/France).

The Curators Workshop is generously funded by the National Arts Council of South Africa, The Arts & Culture Trust, ProHelvetia, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the British Council, the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) and the French Embassy.

Also see for more information.


GIOVANNI CARMINE (SWITZERLAND) is a curator, writer and critic based in Switzerland. In 2004 he initiated Zimmerfrei, a non-profit project dedicated to contemporary art and visual culture located in the South of Switzerland, a “very nice place, but an unfertile land for contemporary art”. He has written for numerous contemporary art magazines such as Flash Art International, Parkett, Kuns-Bulletin, Juliet, Frieze and others. He contributed to a number of books and exhibition catalogues, including “Bunker: Unloaded – Coming Up For Air” and “Ryan Gander: In a Language you don’t understand”. His curatorial work is wide and varied, and includes exhibitions for Art Athina (Greece), the Swiss Institute of Contemporary Art, Photocairo 3 (Egypt), the 6th Cairo Biennale (Egypt) and Kunstraum Walcheturm (Switzerland) amongst others. He was recently appointed as director of the Neue Kuns Halle St.Gallen, a museum of contemporary art in Switzerland.

EDDIE CHAMBERS (UK) is a curator and a writer of art criticism. He holds a PhD from Goldsmiths College for his thesis researching press and public responses to Black visual arts practice in England in the 1980s. He has curated a large number of exhibitions in Britain and abroad. In 1989 he established the African and Asian Visual Artists’ Archive, a Black artists' research and reference facility, co-ordinating the project for several years until the autumn of 1992. Living in Bristol, England, he continues to research visual arts activity, curate exhibitions and write on various aspects of visual arts practice. For the spring and fall semesters of 2003, he was Visiting Professor in the Art History Department of Emory University, Atlanta, teaching classes and seminars on the work of artists of the African Diaspora. He has returned to Emory University to teach for three semesters during the course of 2005 and 2006.

N’GONÉ FALL is a Senegalese contemporary art critic, curator, publisher and consultant in cultural policies. Fall has written extensively on contemporary African art and as editor with the Paris based published Revue Noire, co-edited the seminal book “An Anthology of African Art: The Twentieth Century” (2002) with Jean Loup Pivin. She also contributed to “An Anthology of African and Indian Ocean Photography, published by Revue Noire Editions. Fall has curated numerous shows in Europe and the continent, and was an invited curator for the 2002 Dakar Biennial. As a consultant she is the author of strategic plans, identification programs and reports on cultural events and structures for institutions such as the Ministry of Culture of Senegal, the City of Paris, Arts International in the US, Code Africa in Switzerland and the Prince Claus Fund in The Netherlands. Fall is a founding member of the Dakar based collective Gaw, an organisation focussing on visual arts and technology. She is also an advisory board member of “Res Artis”, a worldwide network of residency programmes, based in Amsterdam. Fall lives between Paris and Dakar.

BISI SILVA is an independent curator and critic based in Lagos, Nigeria. She is currently working on the forthcoming inaugural exhibition on contemporary African Art for the National Museum of Mali in Bamako in 2007. She was a co-curator for the Dakar Biennale (May/June 2006). Among her exhibitions are HairDaze: The Cultural Politics of Black (1999), Heads of State: Faisal Abdu’Allah (1997/98), 4 degrees in the Open (1996). She writes for ThisDay Newspaper in Lagos and has written extensively for international art magazines and journals such as Art Monthly, Creative Camera, Third Text, Nka, Journal of Contemporary African Art. She is on the editorial board of N Paradoxa, an international feminist art journal. She has an MA in Curating and Commissioning of Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art London.


FACILITATOR: Storm Janse van Rensburg
CONTACT: CELL: 083-287-6856 EMAIL:
CONTACT: CELL: 082-598-4107 EMAIL: