Arena for Contemporary African, African-American and Caribbean Art

Author: Athi Mongezeleli Joja

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Black Chronicles IV

BChroiclesWellington Majiza, The African Choir. London, 1891. By London Stereoscopic Company. © Hulton ArchiveGetty Images. Courtesy of Hulton Archive, and Autograph ABP, London.

But caught between limits of representational possibilities and the contradiction of colonial representation, here portraiture finds itself in an interesting aporia. That is between an enchanting representation, and the existential reality of knowing oneself as a problem for humanity. This performative contradiction creates problems for the lauded humanizing acts of the photograph as a general conflict in Black Chronicles IV.

Athi Mongezeleli Joja on the travelling exhibition Black Chronicles IV
Wellington Majiza, The African Choir, London 1891. By London Stereoscopic Company.©-Hulton Archive/Getty Images. Courtesy of Hulton Archive and Autograph ABP, London.

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Igshaan Adams: Oorskot


Using found material to make statements about the intimacy between sexuality, religion and race Adams’ oeuvre renews our interests in topical subjects in ways that beckon us to pay attention to subtly sustained institutionalized bigotries and discontinuities.

Athi Mongezeleli Joja on the South-African artist Igshaan Adams

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Two remarkable exhibitions in Joburg

Drinks Cabinet The West Indian Front Room-Geffrye Museum 2005-06)©John Nelligan (1)

The work of two British born artists – Michael McMillian’s Inna Joburg situated above, and Christine Checinska’ The Arrivants below – shown at the University of Johannesburg’s gallery FADA reconstruct quotidian moments that tend to vegetate into the margins of history.

Athi Mongezeleli Joja on two remarkable exhibitions at the University of Joburg.
Drinks Cabinet of The West Indian Front Room (Geffrye-Museum-2005-06) ©John Nelligan.

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Kemang Wa Lehulere


Like a true sadist, Kemang Wa Lehulere’s show disavows any grand finale by always opening up “the end.” We leave the show content, filled but not certain with what exactly.

Athi Mongezeleli Joja on Kemang Wa Lehulere.
Red Winter, 2016.

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Sikhumbuzo Makhandula


“I discovered that I come from a family of practitioners, of healers, something that in the family…a Christian family, was silenced actually. It was never spoken about, even till today,” he reveals.

Athi Mongezeleli Joja in conversation with Sikhumbuzo Makhandula

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