Gallery News for Nelisiwe Xaba
Nelisiwe Xaba at Dance Umbrella 2016
Dancer, performance artist and multimedia conceptualist Nelisiwe Xaba appears at this year’s Dance Umbrella on 27 February in the performance titled The Last Attitude and created with fellow performers Mamela Nyamza and Boyzie Cekwana. In 1997, Nyamza and Xaba were the only black dancers in the Pact Dance Company – one of the first official dance companies of the post-apartheid era. The Last Attitude cleverly and humorously targets one of the last strongholds of white elitist culture: ballet. An uncompromising duo about the damage that classical dancing inflicts on both body and mind.
Uncles & Angels in London
A new version of the performance piece titled Uncles & Angels, created by Nelisiwe Xaba and Mocke J van Veuren, will be presented at the Women for Women International ‘She Inspires’ Gala in London on 16 September 2015. Since 1993, Women for Women International has helped nearly 420,000 marginalized women in countries affected by war and conflict by offering support, tools, and access to life-changing skills to move from crisis and poverty to stability and economic self-sufficiency. The acclaimed performance piece gave rise to a stereoscopic film that was awarded the FNB Art Prize in 2013.
Various artists at the South African Pavilion at Venice Biennale
Works by David Koloane, Gerhard Marx, Maja Marx, Philip Miller, Sam Nhlengethwa, Sue Williamson & Nelisiwe Xaba are featured on the South African Pavilion at the 55th la Biennale di Venezia. Curated by Brenton Maart, the exhibition is titled Imaginary Fact: Contemporary South African Art and the Archive. The exhibition is presented by the National Arts Festival and funded by the Department of Arts & Culture. The 55th la Biennale di Venezia will take place from 1 June to 24 November 2013.
Nelisiwe Xaba & Mocke J van Veuren win FNB Art Prize 2013
Nelisiwe Xaba and Mocke J Van Veuren have been awarded the 2013 FNB Art Prize for their dance and video collaboration Uncles & Angels. The prize is awarded annually within the frame of the FNB Joburg Art Fair, and includes R100,000 cash prize and a dedicated booth at the fair in September, where a new incarnation of the work will be shown. Previous winners are Cedric Nunn (2011) and Kudzanai Chiurai (2012).
Goodman Gallery Johannesburg
4 June 2016
Nelisiwe Xaba’s The Urban Mermaid takes its inspiration from the mythical creature with a body half-woman and half-fish, known by various names – Mami Wata, Sirene, Mamlambo, Watermeisie, Madame Poisson. The myth of the mermaid appears in different guises in many different cultures and geographical regions, each with its own unique story and characteristics. Xaba recreates these stories in her performance through costume – made of a children’s swimming pool and blue plastic wrap – and sound, a mix of Diamanda Galas. The performance took place at the opening of the exhibition New Revolutions at Goodman Gallery Johannesburg.
Vusi Beauchamp / Jaco Bouwer / Tegan Bristow / The Brother Moves On / Cuss Group / The Frown & Vintage Cru / Haroon Gunn-Salie in collaboration with Dereleen James / Murray Kruger / Gerald Machona / Misheck Masamvu / Tiffany Mentoor / Thenjiwe Nkosi / Johan Thom / MJ Turpin / Jessica Webster / Nelisiwe Xaba & Mocke van Veuren
In July this year Goodman Gallery Johannesburg will present the group exhibition [Working Title] 2013. This is the second installment of the annual group exhibition of the same name, the first of which premiered at Goodman Gallery Cape Town in 2012 and was curated by Federico Freschi. The [Working Title] exhibitions are part of a new initiative by the Goodman Gallery aimed at supporting young artists, curators, independent projects and major installations and performances.
In the past Goodman Gallery has collaborated with independent curators such as Simon Njami and Bettina Malcomess, who curated the US exhibition, part of which was shown at Goodman Gallery Projects at Arts on Main in 2009. In 2010 independent curator and academic Nontobeko Ntombela curated the exhibition Layers at Goodman Gallery Projects as part of her ongoing research into the creative strategies of women artists, in particular those that aim to contextualise socio-political issues. In 2011 Goodman Gallery curators Tony East and Claire van Blerck produced The Night Show, a 3-part exhibition staged at Goodman Gallery Cape Town, which sought to destabilise the notion of the white cube and to engage with contemporary art practice on its own terms, courting the spontaneous and embracing the ephemeral.
Previous projects also include the site specific street performance Cut / Cute by Joel Andrianomearisoa, which premiered in Johannesburg as part of SA Fashion Week, and Nelisiwe Xaba and Mocke van Veuren’s performance Uncles and Angels, which was presented at Goodman Gallery Projects as part of the Dance Umbrella.
Goodman Gallery continues to collaborate with academics and theorists, and has hosted lectures by Jane Taylor, Federico Freschi and Alfredo Jaar – whose lecture coincided with his 2012 exhibition at the Goodman Gallery Gold in the Morning – and panel discussions with David Goldblatt, Ivan Vladislavic and Marlene van Niekerk.
While Goodman Gallery Projects closed at Arts on Main in 2012, the [Working Title] exhibition series exists as a resolution to the Goodman Gallery’s continued interest in independent and collaborative projects and allows for the continuation of previous projects and relationships, as well as the introduction of new artists, theorists and creatives into the Goodman Gallery. Each year the [Working Title] exhibition will have a new curator, either from the Goodman Gallery or through collaboration with an invited external curator.
This year’s [Working Title] is curated by Emma Laurence and includes artists who are pushing the limits of the contemporary South African art scene and who have produced work that is at the cutting edge of current art production. The exhibition is concerned with works that are born out of dynamic and independent practice. Included in the exhibition are artists who work across disciplines and who bring into the perceived elite gallery space sub-cultural aesthetics and standpoints.
The show incorporates artists working in various and perhaps unconventional media such as 3-D cinema, interactive gaming, short stories and punk inspired performance, as well as artists who begin to interrogate modes of representation and viewing in painting and photography. During the run of the show, a series of scheduled events will take place as part of [Working Title] and will include an off-site project by Cuss Group called Video Party, a performance after the opening by The Frown and The Brother Moves On and an opening address and lecture by distinguished theorist Achille Mbembe, who will speak on “The Postcolony Revisited”. Professor Mbembe’s lecture is co-sponsored by WISER (Wits Institute for Economic Research).
Goodman Gallery Johannesburg welcomes you to 2012 with Advance/… Notice, an exhibition of new works by a dynamic group of contemporary artists from around the world. As we advance into a new calendar year, this exhibition gives notice of innovations from some of our artists who are already familiar to you, and of our new ventures into an intellectual exchange with artists with whom we are excited to work for the first time. This show will also give audiences a preview of what is to come, as many of the featured artists have solo shows planned for 2012 at Goodman Gallery spaces and other prestigious South African institutions.
Advance/… Notice introduces newly perfected techniques or processes for some of our well-known artists, such as platinum photographic prints by David Goldblatt, and a completely new turn of direction and field of interest for African American artist Hank Willis Thomas, who first exhibited with us on In Context in 2010, as well as for Sigalit Landau, the acclaimed Israeli artist we co-hosted at last year’s Venice Biennale. These international savants are joined by South African artists such as Hasan and Husain Essop, Moshekwa Langa, Mikhael Subotzky, Sue Williamson, William Kentridge, Rosenclaire, and Frances Goodman revealing either brand new works, or works not yet seen in Johannesburg. Also featured are works by Kendell Geers, whose retrospective exhibition will open at IZIKO South African National Gallery in late March 2012.
Our first show of the year seems an apt time to introduce the novel and the unexpected in the work of a number of artists and to also welcome prominent figures including Liza Lou, a world-renowned American now living and working in KwaZulu Natal; South African Candice Breitz, now resident in Berlin; Chilean-born New Yorker Alfredo Jaar; London-based Iranian Reza Aramesh, as well as Carla Busuttil – a young South African artist based in Berlin who is well-established in the United Kingdom, but has never before exhibited in her home country.
Liza Lou presents a work titled Gather Forty, one of a series of forty individual sculptures made from gold-plated beads that have been expertly threaded onto four hundred individual pieces of stainless steel wire and bound in a sheaf – continuing the shift of the beadwork medium from craft to conceptual art. Alfredo Jaar, internationally recognised artist, filmmaker and architect, celebrated for the public interventions he has created all over the world, shows From Time to Time, a panel of nine Time magazine covers focusing on Africa that either feature animals or malnourished Africans – revealing how the rest of the world often encapsulates its second largest continent. Breitz, who opens a major survey of her work titled Extra! at the Standard Bank Gallery this February, presents The Character, a video installation filmed in Mumbai that seeks to understand the role and influence of child characters in mainstream Indian cinema through interviews with a group of young moviegoers. In Action 78, Aramesh uses familiar scenes from news footage of the first Gulf War to restage, re-present and destabilise any easy readings of the conflicts we think we understand. Oil paintings by Busuttil offer a sinisterly-executed perusal of the exploitation of power and cruelty.
We are also very pleased to present for the first time the work of Nelisiwe Xaba, who will be presenting an interactive dance and video collaboration with Mocke J van Veuren at Goodman Gallery Projects in February. The crossover into visual art is exciting new territory for this renowned performer/dancer.
Goodman Gallery hopes you will join us to be inspired, challenged and excited by this exhibition and its promise of advances in the visual arts of South Africa. We trust you will find the exhibition gives notice of an innovative and exciting programme for 2012 in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Born and raised in Dube, Soweto Nelisiwe Xaba began her vibrant career in dance
almost 20 years ago. In the early 1990s she received a scholarship to study at the
Johannesburg Dance Foundation, as well as the Rambert School of Ballet and
Contemporary Dance in London. Returning to South Africa in 1997, Xaba joined
Pact Dance Company and later launched her solo career, and began working with
a variety of esteemed choreographers, including Robyn Orlin. Since then Xaba
has been involved in various multi-media projects, collaborating with visual artists,
fashion designers, theatre and television directors, poets and musicians. Xaba’s
seminal works such as Plasticization and They Look At Me & That’s All They Think
have toured to various parts of the world for the past several years. The latter piece,
inspired by the Hottentot Venus (Sara Baartman) saw Xaba collaborate with fashion
designer Carlo Gibson of Strangelove. In 2008, Xaba collaborated with Haitian
dancer and choreographer Ketty Noel to create a duet titled Correspondances – a
satirical look into the politics of women to women relationships, which toured to
various countries in South America, Europe and Africa. Her piece Black!..White?
premiered in Paris in 2009. In the same year Xaba produced The Venus, combining
two of her solo pieces, the earlier work They Look At Me and Sakhozi says non to
the Venus, originally commissioned by the Musee du Quai Branly. A performance
by Xaba forms part of Imaginary Fact – Contemporary South African Art and the
Archive at the South African pavilion exhibition at this year’s Venice Biennale.
2012 Uncles & Angels, with Mocke J van Veuren, Goodman Gallery Projects, Arts on Main, Johannesburg, South Africa
2016 Dance Umbrella Festival, The Dance Factory, Johannesburg, South Africa
2013 Imaginary Fact: Contemporary South African Art and the Archive, South African Pavilion, 55th la Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy
2013 [WORKING TITLE], Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
2012 Advance/Notice…, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
Press for Nelisiwe Xaba
Nelisiwe Xaba / Mail & Guardian / South Africa / 3 March 2015Nelisiwe Xaba makes her moves on the politics of exoticism By Stefanie Jason (244.5 KB)
Nelisiwe Xaba / Dance Umbrella Gazette / South Africa / 1 March 2015Protests art lives on By Stefanie Jason (176.4 KB)
Nelisiwe Xaba / IOL Tonight / South Africa / 24 February 2015Politics of looking to dominate festival By Same Mdluli (111.6 KB)
Nelisiwe Xaba / IOL Tonight / South Africa / 10 February 2015Exotic encounters with Nelisiwe Xaba By Diane De Beer (96.2 KB)
Nelisiwe Xaba / Chic Jozi / South Africa / 25 September 2013Review of Uncles and Angels / Scars and Cigarettes at Dance Umbrella 2013 by Ayesha Kajee (244.8 KB)
Nelisiwe Xaba / Business Day Live / Johannesburg / 5 December 2013From tomboy to 'big bang artist by Christina Kennedy (150.5 KB)
Nelisiwe Xaba / Mail & Guardian / Johannesburg / South Africa / 27 September 2013Thing Of Beauty: Uncles and Angels by Matthew Krouse (140.4 KB)
Nelisiwe Xaba / Mail & Guardian / Johannesburg / South Africa / 2 March 2012Meditation on the meaning of power by Murray Kruger (1.3 MB)
Nelisiwe Xaba / Between The Lines / South Africa / 23 October 2012A Dancer With Balls by Jedi Ramalapa (185.4 KB)
Nelisiwe Xaba / The Star / South Africa / 21 February 2012Moving Into Virgin Territory by Adrienne Sichel (158.2 KB)
Nelisiwe Xaba / Ballet-Dance Magazine / 19 October 2009Ketty Noel and Nelisiwe Xaba in 'Correspondences' by David Mead (133.2 KB)