Stellenbosch’s proximity to one of the great players in the international art scene makes access to world-class art an exciting reality.
South Africa boasts with many famous artistic forces – Dylan Lewis, Mary Sibande and another favourite – William Kentridge.
The Zeitz MOCAA art museum in the V&A Waterfront recently opened the world’s largest exhibition of work by William Kentridge. This once in a lifetime experience is sure to be a treat to both seasoned art-goers and newcomers to the scene.
Kentridge uses various mediums – such as sculpture, drawings, and video installations to express himself. One of the things he is known for is his commentary on social justice – via his art.
The exhibition is titled Why Should I Hesitate – Putting Drawings to Work, and spans over 40 years’ worth of work. The title refers to Kentridge’s practice of drawing as his core activity in his studio practice and also references the impact that one person can have on history … but also the inverse – the impact of history on one person.
The Norval Foundation – another key art space in Cape Town – houses the other part of the exhibition, Why Should I Hesitate: Sculpture.
Back in the Apartheid days, Kentridge especially used his work as a commentary against the socio-political landscape of the time. Take for example his work Casspirs Full of Love (1980), which references the Casspirs filled with white Afrikaner servicemen who were sent into the townships to instil law and order. Kentridge was accustomed to being ‘on the outside’: as a son of Jewish lawyers, who defended victims of Apartheid, he could see the oppressive regime from another angle – which informed his art.
Do not miss this exhibition, running until the end of March 2020. Remember to bring along your smartphone to experience the world’s first museum guide created on Instagram.
If you haven’t heard – Stellenbosch will be hosting a Triennale from February 2020, curated by Khanyisile Mbongwa as well as Nontombeko Ntombela and Bernard Akoi Jackson. A feast of public art exhibitions awaits us next year – definitely something to look forward to as Stellenbosch morphs into the primary destination of public art in Africa.
Written by Crystelle Knoesen