5 June – 5 July
Gerald Machona’s exhibition at the Goodman Gallery focuses on themes of xenophobia, identity, estrangement and the experience of being a Zimbabwean artist working in an increasingly intolerant South Africa. The exhibition is entitled Vabvakure, meaning in the Shona language ‘people from far away’, and was, in part, inspired by the riots of 2008 in South Africa against other African migrants who had come to South Africa to live and work. The works on show include photographs, sculpture, and films and explore the harsh realities of being a foreigner in modern South Africa. There are elements of magic realism and you might see echoes of the heads without faces of the surrealist René Magritte in Machona’s style. Each face in Machona’s work is obscured by masks and objects created from decommissioned Zimbabwean banknotes.
The Matisse Gallery in Marrakech has been promoting established and young Moroccan artists for over 12 years now. Abderrahim Iqbi falls into the former category and has been exhibiting in Morocco since the early 1990s. He will be his presenting work at the Matisse for just under a month this summer after last year’s exhibition in Rabat. His works are influenced by Francis Bacon, Hieronymus Bosch, and the philosophy of the French intellectual Gilles Deleuze – they concentrate on tough, uncomfortable questions on existence and the challenge of deriving purpose and meaning in a world of chaos and disaster. Iqbi’s figures are distorted, surreal, perhaps even grotesque, and they hint at tragedy, distempered minds and violent events. Perhaps the most unique painter working in Morocco today, Iqbi offers a stimulating and challenging selection of works this summer.
Matisse Gallery, 61 rue Yougoslavie, No 43 Passage Ghandouri, Marrakech, +212 5 24 44 83 26
31 July – 27 August
The Circa Gallery in Johannesburg is supported by Deutsche Bank and supports and exhibits the best in contemporary art from across Africa and internationally. This summer sees one of the finest photographic artists in the world, Roger Ballen, exhibit works entitled Asylum of the Birds, which is a retrospective of his 40 years living and working in South Africa. Ballen works in black and white in a hybrid aesthetic often featuring photographs as props within an image formed with sculpture and collage techniques. His subject matter has varied from hauntingly empty small-town South Africa, to interior images with people missing and only birds appearing, juxtaposed with strange dummy and doll figures – altogether, his work is unique and unforgettable.
5 September – 31 October
The Windhoek Triennial, a Namibia-based exhibition, is arranged by the National Gallery of Namibia and Bank Windhoek to promote artists working in various media. Artists were invited in the summer of 2013 to start preparing entries to the Triennial, out of which the finest works will be selected and exhibited at the National Gallery in Windhoek in September with prizes awarded to the selected artists. You can expect to find works in four different categories – two-dimensional artworks including drawing, painting, and prints; new media such as photography, video installation, conceptual and performance art; three-dimensional work like sculpture and ceramics; and craft and design, which includes pottery, weaving, jewellery and textile works. The Triennial is a huge showcase and draws the finest talent in Namibian art into one event.
National Gallery of Namibia, Robert Mugabe Ave, Windhoek, Namibia, +264 061 231 160
By Matthew Keyte