!Kauru Contemporary African Art presents CLOSE,a contemporary art exhibition at the Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG), Johannesburg from 24 May - 24 June 2018, curated by Zingisa Nkosinkulu (South Africa), Violet Nantume (Uganda) and Nyambura M. Waruingi (Kenya). Currently in its 7th year, !Kauru Contemporary African Art continues to promote cultural diversity and stimulate discourse about issues affecting the continent using contemporary visual arts. The project continues to grow and expand its reach through the support of the Department of Arts and Culture, International Relations.
CLOSE features works by 11 accomplished established and emerging artists from Africa and the African diaspora including: Lungiswa Gqunta (SA), Yaye Kassamali (Kenya-USA), Stacey Gillian Abe (Uganda),Lady Skollie (SA), Jenny Nijenhuis (SA), Henry “Mzili” Mujunga (Uganda), Nondumiso Msimanga (SA), Athi-Patra Ruga (SA),Neo Musangi (Kenya), Minette Vári (SA),and James Muriuki(Kenya).
CLOSE relates to proximity, it can be considered to be tension-ridden and to illuminate experiences of ambivalence, delirium and entanglement. The exhibition interrogates tension as a critical moment of reflection on the liminal spaces between things and beings, sex and desire. Contemporary artworks will explore themes of proximity, intimacy, personal space, tension, between things, perspiration, violence, discomfort, gender binaries, and breathlessness.
The space between the female body narrative and that of the male has become increasingly wider in general. In the wide “a-woke-ning” that has recently erupted the world over, we have begun to recalibrate, redefine and re-measure this state of “closeness”. The element of discomfort is at the fore of engagement on these subjects and casting a light on this very discomfort could be a way of addressing the barrier. The project seeks to rupture the fabric of society in order to find space to breathe and speak about tension. Although the concept of closeness can be explored in a personal, more self-reflective mode, the artists will also bring us closer to the more nuanced, universal questions and are invited to present artworks that offer a critique of and proffer different views from the spaces they may necessarily occupy.