La Maison Rouge will host My Joburg from June 20 to September 22. An exceptional show of contemporary art, My Joburg will gather 40 artists who will share their multiple regards on the South African capital. This exhibition, organized within the framework of the South African-France Cross season, will offer the French public a wonderful occasion to discover the effervescence of the South African contemporary artistic scene, yet still little known in France.
Joburg, Jozi, J’burg, the Wild city, so many names that will almost make you forget how complex and diverse Johannesburg is. This cosmopolite and ‘elusive metropolis’ constitutes today a cultural, historical and economical African exception.
The South Africa contemporary art scene is reflective of its country, deeply rooted in the tradition of a continent for who it constitutes the chief engine for change, and at the same time tormented by its historic, politic and social troublesome legacy.
This is what artists of the MY Joburg show attempted to display and to adapt artistically, each in his own way, each through his own language. But if it is often a catalyst of subversive social, political and memorial expression, shifting away from the traditional functional characteristic of African art, South African contemporary art has successfully reached the place of the contemporary art market and this, worldwide, and is represented through all its diversity.
The show is a rare opportunity to discover this astonishing social, identitarian and generational diversity of this South African artists generation, and some of its leading actors, such as Pieter Hugo, Sam Nhlengethwa, Sue Williamson and William Kentridge. Also, it is the occasion for AAD to highlight the committed individuals of this generation and their works: such as Billy Zangewa’s silk appliqués, sublimed version of a tarnish feminism as the artist is working around the notion of the ‘triumphant African woman’; David Goldblatt’ s socially engaged photography; or, at the frontier of Street Art, the artist Robyn Rhode denunciates poverty, while Kudzanai Chiurai target’s is politic. Other choose a way more conceptual art to explore certain issues faced by their country through the relationship between art and language, at the heart of artist Willem Boshoff’s work, or through the large sculptural work of Nicholas Hlobo, for who the process of making echoes ritualistic practices.
With My Joburg, these South African contemporary artists formulated a strong statement: that they have became a reference for the contemporary artworld : with a strong and growing network of art galleries, (Goodman Gallery, Gallery MOMO, Afronova) and welcoming since 6 years now the Joburg Art Fair, a major annual event in Africa on the contemporary artworld, Johannesburg is today the first African city to which has been dedicated such a complete exhibition.