If You Go Out Into The Woods Tonight

This evening adjective will be hitting First Thursdays in Cape Town with our first printed edition, Issue 1. If you’re interested in getting your own copy, come to SMITH tonight where you can check out some of the surprises in store. (Hint: the magazine contains a limited edition artists print by Robin Rhode whose exhibition Paths and Fields in currently on show at the Stevenson in Cape Town).

If you’re too busy, or simply are afraid of the thronging crowds that descend on the City Bowl at the beginning of every month, you can get a copy at Clarkes Bookshop on Long Street, The Book Lounge on the corner of Roeland and Buitenkant, AKJP on Kloof Street or at participating galleries in Cape Town. Otherwise you can contact us on our Facebook page to secure you own copy. (The print run is limited to 500 so stocks are limited).

If you’re in Johannesburg tonight, the Goodman Gallery in Rosebank will be hosting the South African debut of WYE, a three-screen film installation by Mikhael Subotzky. Originally commissioned in 2016 by the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation in Sydney, WYE was produced by Laurence Hamburger and filmed by the German cinematographer Jörg Schmidt-Reitwein who worked on Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu the Vampyre and Woyzeck.

Known for his prolific photographic repertoire, this filmic installation represents Subotzky’s broadening oeuvre as he explores other mediums that include drawing and collage.  Reflecting on this new film,  curator and writer Nina Miall notes that “At the heart of WYE is an artist attempting to convey the evolving political nuances of his own position in relation to his subject, and to ‘scratch at the surface’ of the vexed terrain of post-apartheid South Africa, to mine its historical scars, contemporary anxieties and future disaffinities.”

For those who fancy the offerings of the secondary market, you can catch the preview of Strauss & Co’s March sale taking place at the Vineyard Hotel in Newlands on Monday 6th. Open from Friday to Sunday from 10 till 5 the sale is a tour de force of painting that features significant examples from Irma Stern, J.H. Pierneef, Alexis Preller, Walter Battiss and Robert Hodgins.

An undeniable highlight is Stern’s Young Arab estimated to fetch between R12m – R16m. Produced after her trip to Congo in 1942 it was exhibited at the Gainsborough Gallery in Johannesburg where it sold for just £40.

Should you be looking for something a little more contemporary, an early photograph by Subotzky taken in 2004 will be go under the hammer for between R80 – R120k. Titled Preacher, Dwarsrivier Prison, the panoramic image, measuring just over 3 meters long, signals an early obsession with group portraiture that characterised the career defining series Die Vier Hoeke (2004) in which Subotzky travelled to correctional facilities such as Pollsmor and Dwarsrivier to capture intimate photographs of the everyday lives of some of South Africa’s most notorious prison inmates.

For more on this series check out Sean O’Toole’s essay  ‘A Group Portrait’.

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