!Kauru Contemporary African Art Africa Month Exhibition – CLOSE #IkauruClose @ArtThisWay @Kauru_Art

Invitation To CLOSE

Johannesburg, South Africa – 09 May, 2018

!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), Minnette 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.  


Public Programs: *All programs are free and open to the public

Public Opening

Johannesburg Art Gallery

Cnr Klein and King George Streets, Joubert Park, Johannesburg, 2044

Thursday, 24 May 2018

18h00 – 21h00


Africa Day Art and Activism Panel Discussion

Johannesburg Art Gallery

Cnr Klein and King George Streets, Joubert Park, Johannesburg, 2044

Friday, 25 May 2018

18h00 – 20h00


Curator Walkabout, Seminar and Panel Discussion

Johannesburg Art Gallery

Cnr Klein and King George Streets, Joubert Park, Johannesburg, 2044

Saturday, 26 May 2018

11h00 – 14h00


First Thursday Jazz and Art

Johannesburg Art Gallery

Cnr Klein and King George Streets, Joubert Park, Johannesburg, 2044

Thursday, 7 June 2018

18h00 – 21h00


Youth Day Film Screening and Discussion

Johannesburg Art Gallery

Cnr Klein and King George Streets, Joubert Park, Johannesburg, 2044

Saturday, 16 June 2018



*Youth Workshop and Curator Masterclass with  Nyambura M. Waruingi

Johannesburg Art Gallery

Cnr Klein and King George Streets, Joubert Park, Johannesburg, 2044

Wed, 20 June 2018 and Fri, 22 June 2018

10h00 – 17h00



Johannesburg Art Gallery | Cnr Klein & King George Streets, Joubert Park. Johannesburg 2044

Saturday, 23 June | 13h00 – 15h00


About !Kauru African Contemporary Art

!Kauru African Contemporary Art aims to promote conversations in Africa and internationally that change perceptions of the continent through contemporary art. It provides a platform for African contemporary artists and cultural practitioners to engage with a showcase of contemporary art from the continent. The project is focused on dialogue around social and economic cohesion, transformation and access within the creative sectors in South Africa but also across the continent to strengthen engagement and build sustained relationships with creatives in countries around the African continent. The project was initiated in 2012, by Tshepiso Mohlala. Over the past 6 years, !Kauru Contemporary African Art has exhibited over 120 artists from over 25 African countries and the diaspora.


About the Curators

Zingisa Nkosinkulu was born in Eastern Cape, South Africa, Nkosinkulu is a Visual/Graffiti Artist, PhD scholar in Art History at UNISA and a Decolonial Curator with a calling to use art and decoloniality as a mediator to transcend beyond our living conditions and colonial legacies. As the founder of Art Curate Afrika (ACA), with experience in Visual Art and Project Management since 2007, he has held three solo exhibitions of which he self-curated at the Grahamstown Arts Festival. Nkosinkulu’s mission is to use decolonial art and writing to bring new hope, share creative wisdom and encourage people to be artistic, educated and conscious individuals.


Nyambura M. Waruingi is a disruptive creator & producer; experimenting with storytelling across platforms. At the intersection of visual arts, design, and cinema, Nyambura produces encounters that re-imagine our realities: Found Footage (2017) and 27 (2017). Her co-curation with Violet Nantume, Indulgence (2018), re-examines notions of bodies, pleasures, genders, weaving them together with the idea that art-making IS knowledge-making. Nyambura’s career in film, television, and theatre has span over 15 years. And, her recent focus on trans-disciplinary projects is an evolution of her creative production practices, merging visual arts, design, and cinema. Be it Nairobi, Delhi, Kampala or Montreal, Nyambura is creating and producing disruptively.


Violet Nantume is an artist and curator based at UNDER GROUND Contemporary Art in Uganda and a Director at Kampala Art Auction. She recently co-curated Indulgence; A group show at Goethe Zentrum that opened on 5th April 2018, BEING HER(E) in Luanda, Zikunta: Gale of Human, a solo exhibition by Wasswa August Donald.  Nantume curated Eroticism and Intimacy I: Faces, Places and Paths Exhibition in Kampala and Eroticism and Intimacy II, at the 2016 FNB Joburg Art Fair. She chaired the curatorial committee Kampala Contemporary Art Festival 2014 after co facilitating Know Go Zone; a curatorial project at Bayimba International Festival 2013. Following her participation as a curator in the Global Crit Clinic and 3rd International Art program held in Accra Ghana. She co-curated A history of Ghana In the last five weeks. Nantume attended TRANSCuratorial Academy Berlin, 2017 and currently lives in Berlin and pursuing a Masters in Fine Arts at HFBK Hamburg.


“With the introduction of our SA curator Zingisa Nkonsinkulu, !KAURU continues to stay true to its vision as a platform that embraces the dynamism and talent of our emerging creatives at multiple levels. We have had the privilege of contributing as a springboard for young curators and artists as they move to the next level to showcase their considerable talents nationally, continentally and globally”.

  • Tshepiso Mohlala, Founder/Managing Director


About Exhibition Support

!Kauru African Contemporary Art Project is made possible through the generous support of the Department of Arts and Culture – International Relations with additional support from the Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG). We wish to extend our deep appreciation to the Goodman Gallery Johannesburg and WHAT IF THE WORLD GALLERY Cape Town for their kind support and contribution to our project this year.  We are pleased to be partnering with JAG in 2018 under the new leadership of Chief Curator Khwezi Gule, in what we hope will evolve into a longer term relationship.

CLOSE exhibition will open on 24 May 2018 and will run until 24 June 2018 at the Johannesburg Art Gallery, Cnr Klein & King George Street, Joubert Park. Johannesburg 2044. Free Admission: Mon – Sun: 09h00 – 17h00.

For more information and full schedule: www.kauru.co.za

Interviews and images available upon request.

For media enquiries: Project Coordinator – Ijeoma Uche-Okeke: ijeoma@kauru.co.za

Website: https://kauru.co.za

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KauruAfricanContemporaryArtProject

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kaurucontemporaryart/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kauru_art
Invitation To CLOSE

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