If you missed out on the William Kentridge Performance Tickets or would like to purchase alternative tickets, please make your selection below:
Saturday – 02.09.2023:
10am to 6pm
Centre for the Less Good Idea
Arts on Main
264 Fox Street &, Berea Road
Maboneng, Johannesburg, 2094
An Art & Culture, weekend-long immersion – The BMW Art Generation, proudly supported by FNB brings celebrated and established artists, curators and academics into the same room as an emerging generation of future greats for a conference of global creative thought on African soil. Featuring field leaders, the weekend’s conversations will span themes including artistic practices relevant to our ecosystem, collection as cultural ownership, as well curation as a tool to recreate narratives.
Programming will be further activated through a selection of curated open studios, performances, live music as well as a lifestyle market featuring food, coffee, wine, design and fashion stalls demonstrating Johannesburg’s reach as the continent’s cultural capital.
Located in central Johannesburg, The BMW Art Generation will be hosted at The Centre for the Less Good Idea. A space conceptualized by William Kentridge to pursue incidental discoveries made in the process of producing working, the space prioritises process as a resource. Extending this premise to The BMW Art Generation, we aim to explore the unforeseeable future of contemporary African art by allowing discourse and discovery through conversations that usually take place in abstract of our continent.
A FUTURE IN FOCUS
Kinetics of Art & History
Yesterday’s road has led
To yesterday’s destination.
Today is a new chaos.
A new journey. A new city.
Needing new paths. And new standards.
Ben Okri, “The Ruin and the Forest,” Wild, 45
As attention turns increasingly towards the art of the African continent and its diaspora we reach a conundrum on how we add to the continuing debate about the destiny of Africa. The above epigraph taken from a poem included in the work Wild by the celebrated poet, novelist and artist Ben Okri is characteristic of the duality contained in his works between strife and hope and potential. Working through the prism of postcolonial and postmodernism Okri looks to the possibilities presented by the future informed by the adversity of the past.
In 1995 Denis Ekpo coined the theory Post-Africanism as an alternative to postcolonial thought. Ekpo defined Post-Africanism as an attempt “first to deconstruct the disaster-prone emotionalism, hubris and paranoias indwelling to most ideologies of Africanism whether in art, politics or development discourse and, second, to seek newer, fresher conditions for a more performative African intellectual engagement with Africa, modernity and the West.‟ (Ekpo 2010:182). In making this proposition Ekpo notes the failure of the post-colonial rhetoric of Africanism that informed modern African and post colonial discourse – read African identity, African nation, African rationality, African personality, African authenticity (Ekpo,1995:125) – that misconstrued itself in the conflict of Africa vs. the West. He posits a future which rejects post-colonialism as well as the over emotional harkening on the past and focuses rather on Africa’s position in the (post) modern world in which we, “learn, copy or steal” from the west to hasten the growth of Africa.
In recent practice the re-imagining of black culture and identity has presented ideological ways forward; the landmark exhibition The Black Fantasticby curator Ekow Eshun conceptualised this concept as beginning from an understanding of “race as a socially constructed fiction rather than a scientific truth, albeit one that maintains a determining sway over popular perceptions of the world” going on to say “it also operates with a skepticism about Western narratives of progress and modernity, predicated as they are on the historical subjugation of people of color.”
More recently Lesley Loko notes in her positioning for the BIENNALE ARCHITETTURA 2023 “For the first time ever, the spotlight has fallen on Africa and the African Diaspora, that fluid and enmeshed culture of people of African descent that now straddles the globe. What do we wish to say? How will what we say change anything? And, perhaps most importantly of all, how will what we say interact with and infuse what ‘others’ say…”
In discussing our way forward we question what the future of Africa in the 21st century holds for cultural practitioners. Considering the opposing views taken by Okri and Ekpo above together with the position taken by Ekow we question; How do these shifts in discourse colour the future for the practices and ambitions of artists, curators and collectors of cultural history.
2 September 2023
10:00am – 11:30am
Building on The Interview project as an ongoing collection of conversations between renown curator and seminal practitioners in the cultural and art world, we invite a conversation between Hans Ulrich Obrist and William Kentridge that contributes to this project and inserts the contribution of a leading South African artists into this developing cannon of global art history.
The Interview Project as an ongoing initiative in which Hans Ulrich Obrist conducts interviews with a wide range of creative individuals from various fields. Building on this extensive project we see two important figures in contemporary practice coming together to explore document and preserve the thoughts, ideas, and experiences of South Africa’s foremost contemporary artist for the benefit of current and future practitioners and cultural cannon.
Conducted in a free-flowing and open-ended manner, The Conversation seeks to allow a sharing and transmission of insights, inspirations, and perspectives on the work of William Kentridge. Leaning on the Obrist’s purpose for this project we seek to create an archive of thought and an insight into Kentrdige’s practice – offering valuable archiving for future generations to access.
Having amassed an extensive collection of interviews with some of the most prominent and innovative figures in contemporary culture, we invite Obrist to undertake The Conversation to provide a glimpse into the thoughts and personality that fuels the multidisciplinary practice of William Kentridge.
2 September 2023
13:00pm – 14:00pm
Rejecting eurocentric and patriarchal patterns and practices around art purchasing, patronage and preservation, black women like Dr Joy Simmons and Maruping Mangwedi apply instincts that serve the personal more than they do an external political agenda.
Speaking to Financial Times about the premise of her art collecting practice, Los Angeles-based art collector and radiologist, Dr. Joy Simmons explains how her sensibilities were first developed in a domestic setting. “When I was in college, I visited my aunt’s home in New York. She had sculptures by Melvin Edwards, paintings by Howardena Pindell and Jack Whitten: the heavy hitters. It was eye-opening for me to see works by black people that reflected my reality; at that point I started to think about how such works could have an impact on my own space.” More thanfour decades later, Simmons has built a sizable collection of work by black artists including Kerry James Marshall, Julie Mehretu, Mark Bradford and Mickalene Thomas. Collecting to build legacies, not trophies.
A BMW Young Collectors Co. member and collector, Maruping Mangwedi is a private equity investor and a member of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants. She joined The BMW Young Collectors Co. programme to serve her interest in accelerating her momentum around the acquisition of art in a manner that is intentional and informed.
We take a look at how practices of collecting have changed and how patronage is being used to shape our developing cultural history.
2 September 2023
16:00PM – 17:30PM
HOW | Showing the Making:
William Kentridge on
The Great YES, the Great NO
William Kentridge will give an insiders view into the making of The Great Yes, the Great no, which follows a boat trip from Marseille to Martinique – a small island that was an important site for many well-known figures including Frantz Fanon, Aimé Césaire, André Breton and Josephine Baker. Using the potential of the boat as a metaphor for power, trade, migration and more.
2 September 2023
17:00pm – 18:00pm
Collection tour of Anglo American
144 Oxford Rd, Rosebank
8 September 2023
The Anglo American art and object collection is a combination of art collected over several decades through four different companies: Anglo American, de Beers Group, Anglo American Platinum and Kumba Iron Ore.
The collection comprises of 3600 works, with around 1000 pieces in the collection on display at the newly commissioned Rosebank offices. Although vast, the collection experienced an acquisition hiatus from the early 2000s until 2021 creating a significant gap in the collection’s representation of contemporary art. The collection now has a dedicated curator, Megan Scott, tasked with its cataloguing and digitisation, opening an exciting new chapter which will see the gradual procurement of significant works that reflect our contemporary South African and African art world.