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!Kauru Contemporary Art Touring Exhibition Opens



The !Kauru African Contemporary Art project opened at the UNISA Art Gallery on 22 May 2014 and will run until 27 June 2014. This is the third year of this project which aims to stimulate conversations within Africa and internationally to facilitate a change of perceptions about the continent through its contemporary art.

Through a series of talks, walkabouts, lectures, seminars and other programmes aligned to the exhibition, the project aims to sensitize and mobilize South African and African audiences as well as the media, in the appreciation of contemporary African visual arts. Art is seen as a means to promote inter Africa /Diaspora cultural exchange in a direct and meaningful way.

Supported by the department of Arts and Culture international department, !Kauru provides a platform for African contemporary artists and cultural practioners to engage around a showcase of contemporary art from the continent that will travel 5 regions of the African continent. The strategy aims to incorporate all the regions of Africa over the lifespan of the project, which began in 2012 with artists from the SADC region and east Africa. The exhibition will promote mid-career to established artists and will showcase the maturity and exceptional wealth of talent to be found within the region.

According to Project Director, Tshepiso Mohlala of Back2Back Experiential Marketing, “my vision is for this project to become a bi-annual event which will showcase the artworks of top African contemporary visual artists, starting with the SADC region, thereafter touring 4 regions of the Africa continent. Ultimately the long term future plan will be to tour these exhibitions internationally”, she says.

In 2014 the !Kauru African Contemporary Art project celebrates 20 years of South African democracy through the voices of artists across the African continent. Titled Rerouting Dialogue 1994-2014, the exhibition provides a platform for artist’s to engage issues which talk to who we are as Africans today. Attention is focused on our current identities, informed by our rich histories, cultures and contemporary experiences, which contribute to Africa as a dynamic continent.

The curatorial vision for Rerouting Dialogue 1994-2014, is according to !Kauru 2014 Curator Avitha Soonful “about unveiling the African truth.” This exhibition celebrates the continent of Africa as an integral player within the global village. 

More than 18 artists from to SADC countries have been selected to take part in the exhibition. Artists which will be in the 2014 exhibition include, Endale Desalengn from Ethiopia, Patrick Rorke and Stephen Mashaobathe from Lesotho, M. Alpheus Mvula from Namibia, Anesia Zefenias Filipe, Gemuce and Lourenco Dinis Pinto from Mozambique and Mohau Modisakeng, Dian Victor and Churchill Madikida from South Africa to name a few.

The !Kauru Contemporary Art project and the 2014 exhibition will include the initiation of the prestigious African Collectors club on the 30th of May. The collectors club aims to promote African art and create a platform where African collectors can gain knowledge of African art as an investment vehicle. Events which will be initiated in June include a community outreach programme which allows underprivileged Art students to interact with the !Kauru exhibition and take part in conversations and a youth day celebration driven by the UNISA art department students.

UNISA Art Gallery
Muckleneuk Campus, Ground Floor Kgorong Building, Preller and Ridge Street, Muckleneuk Ridge, Pretoria 
Gallery times: 10am – 4pm Mondays - Fridays. Note:The gallery is not open on weekends.

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