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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:South African art in the global context
Author:Koloane, David
Periodical:Présence africaine
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:social inequality
visual arts
Abstract:The end of apartheid in South Africa did not resolve the racial divide. In some sectors in the creative sphere integration has been achieved to some extent, but not in the visual arts. This discipline is a rather specialized activity, which requires educational qualifications and special equipment. Black Africans still have less access to these prerequisites than white Africans. Museums, art galleries and libraries are foremost located within white residential areas. The black African practitioner is entirely dependent on the white client and the role of the black African communities is often that of mere spectators. The author recalls South Africa's participation in international art events since 1993, and critically describes the organization of two Johannesburg Biennales, which took place in 1995 and 1997. He stresses the role of the curator who has become a sort of choirmaster, who conceptualizes the whole process of exhibition and its theoretical underpinning. This trend, together with the use of new media techniques, especially by young white artists, has brought a new form of aesthetic exclusion. Black South Africans have been hardly visible at the first Biennale and have not been asked to participate in the second. Now that communication has become global, networks of artists are spreading. Contacts between black African artists and white Western artists are gradually changing the landscape of South African art. Ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]