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Fig.1 (Top) Labour 2: Vertigo (2016), Johan Thom (polyurethane foam, material one, pine, found object). Sizes: 60 x 60 x 125 cm (Photo credit: Johan Thom)

PRIEST presents Critical Discharge.

Critical Discharge 1.a physical discourse (dis- away; Currere- to run) constituting an extended form of linguistic criticism that views image, action and object as critical (criticus/ diseased or ill); a discursive formula and phenomena. (?.) critical response to crisis or threat in the socio-political dynamic that often seeks to adequately and even inadequately produce insight into the way language, in its extended forms, both generates and resists power, abuse and dominion.

To unload but not as a release from “obligation.”

2.a phrase or trope that allows for maximum projection; more explicitly, a difference that can extend the metaphor.

Dischargees:

Izanne Wiid
Nicholas Hauser
Alison Shaw
Oliver Mayhew
Johan Thom
AD-Reflex

Curated by Wayne Matthews.

Runs from 6-20 October 2016.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1605800116385763/

j-thom-labour-cleaner-webFig. 2: Labour 3: The cleaner (2016), Johan Thom (polyurethane foam, material one, saligna wood, found object). Sizes: 80 x 60 x 130 cm (Photo credit: Johan Thom)

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The Bag Factory Artists’ Studios is thrilled to announce its 25th Anniversary Exhibition entitled
FOUNDATIONS AND FUTURES

When: Opening on Friday, 28th October, 2016

Time: 6pm

Where: Bag Factory Artists’ Studios, 10 Mahlatini Street, Fordsburg

The Exhibition Foundations and Futures runs from
Monday 31 October until Saturday 10 December 2016,
Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.

For 25 years the Bag Factory Artists’ Studios has been more than just a building and studio space. It has provided the foundation of many an artist’s career. Built out of the dream for artists from different backgrounds to be able to work together, the Bag Factory is a community that continuously supports and builds on its ethos of “the community studio space where artists practice is held in the highest regard and experimentation is encouraged.”

Over 25 years these foundations have been strengthened by the artists and staff who have poured their passion and efforts into the community and ethos of the space. In recent years the Bag Factory has worked hard to encourage a younger community of artists to engage in our programming ensuring that the life-blood of the space – interaction and development – continues to pump.

The community has played host to artists such as Helen Sebidi, Deborah Bell, Sam Nhlengethwa, Penny Siopsis, Benon Lutaaya, Blessing Ngobeni, Neo Matloga, Dinkies Sithole, Kay Hassan and many, many more. We have created an international following through our visiting artists programme and a consistent space for art loving members of the public to experience outstanding work.

While many things have changed over the past 25 years, 3 have more or less stayed the same.
1. After 25 years, artists David Koloane and Pat Mautloa still have studio space at the Bag Factory.
2. We remain in the hessian bag factory in Newtown that gave its name to the organisation.
3. We have never changed our creative community ethos.
The organization without any of these would not exist and each is linked.

On Friday 28th October 2016, the Bag Factory begins the celebration of an incredible 25 years with an exhibition entitled Foundations and Futures. Since the inception of the organization, over 300 artists have been through the space either as studio artists, visiting artists, participants in workshops and exhibitions and as winners of award programmes. All of them have been influenced and have influenced the space in many rich and diverse ways.

Foundations and Futures is an acknowledgment of these influences and the celebration of a space that not only supports the artistic community but is driven by it. The programme continues with artist performances, conversations and master classes through the months of October, November and December 2016.

Artists participating in the exhibition Foundations and Futures opening on Friday 28 October 2016 include Blake Daniels; Paul Emmanuel; Jarrett Erasmus; Marie Fricout; Gordon Froud; Carlo Galli; Arash Hanaei; Diana Hyslop; Sharlene Khan; Asanda Kupa; David Koloane; Shenaz Mahomed; Pat Mautloa; Tshepo Mosopa; Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi; Tracey Rose; Usha Seejarim; Lerato Shadi; Johan Thom; Stijn van Dorpe and Mary Wafer

Join us on this momentous occasion to celebrate 25 years of outstanding artists, art and art enthusiasts.

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‘A luta continua ( Victory etc.)’ 2015
Johan Thom
Medium: Site specific intervention in mixed media for the conference ‘Art of Wagnis: Christoph Schlingensief’s Crossing of Wagner and Africa’ held at Iwalewahaus, Bayreuth, Germany, 4-6 Dec 2015

This artistic intervention is based upon a creative re-reading of the political slogan A luta continua, vitória é certa (The struggle continues, victory is certain). Historically this political slogan is associated with Mozambique’s armed struggle for independence from Portugal during the mid to nineteen seventies. To be specific, the slogan is considered the political rallying cry of Samora Michel, the erstwhile leader of the Frente de Libertação de Moçambique or Frelimo.

During the recent student protests against the rising costs of tertiary education in South Africa this slogan was often appropriated by students and their various supporters, appearing in social media on handmade posters in shorthand form simply as ‘A luta continua’. In this particular form, the slogan does not make explicit the possibility of victory, leaving instead the rather dispiriting possibility of a never-ending struggle. However, I think it may well be argued that the obverse is also true – that contemporary South African students are deeply aware of just how naive any hope for victory singular and total appears today.

By replacing the second part of the slogan ‘é certa’ with the term ‘etc’ (‘et cetera’) I wish to playfully shift the meaning of the original slogan into a somewhat humorous even self-critical statement that encapsulate elements of all the aforementioned (the history of the slogan, its appropriation and conditional re-employ in the present post-revolutionary moment). Today victory is no longer certain and nor is it understood as being the sole outcome of any revolutionary, anti-colonial struggle: instead it is joined by a host of other possible outcomes and post-colonial narratives, some of which have become all too familiar. In this regard, although the term ‘et cetera’ is mostly understood as meaning something to the effect of ‘and other related things’, at least one of the more discrete meanings inherent in its usage is the idea that the unspoken, or absent, terms it stands in for are so well known that it would be a waste of time to include them in full. In this way, the modified slogan embodies a form of cynicism borne from our familiarity with the disappointing, even wholly fatigued socio-cultural and political narratives and realities that have become the hallmarks of the post-revolutionary moment (the debt-ridden, corrupt post-colonial regime, the contemporary neo-colonial, capitalist sell-out of principals, assets, land and services et cetera).

Lastly, this artistic intervention is a meditation on the possibility of art to defamiliarise otherwise commonplace, accepted ideas, forms and meanings. In this much the work seeks to celebrate the fearless capacity of contemporary art to generate creative space for imaginative journeys into an unfamiliar future, an ‘etc.’ that signals space to explore, imagine and complete existing ideas without reifying the familiar.

Art cannot pray in the church of fear.

In memory of Christophe Schlingensief (1960-2010).

Terms of endearment by Johan Thom

Video still 1 ‘Terms of endearment’ Johan Thom, 2007

At Iwalewahaus for a 3 day festival/ screening of ‘The film will always be you’ curated by Abrie Fourie​ and Zoe Whitley​ as of this Saturday. Then for some mischevious fun with a dark performance as part of the conference program for ‘Art of Wagnis’ dedicated to the life and work of provocateur Christoph Schlingensief.

More details about the ‘Art of Wagnis’ conference here:

http://www.iwalewa.uni-bayreuth.de/de/program/20151204_Schlingensief-Tagung/index.html

and for ‘The Film will always be you’ here:

http://www.iwalewa.uni-bayreuth.de/de/program/20151127_Film-Will-Always-Be-Yo/index.html

 

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Johan Thom & Willem Boshoff Elephant Peepsite, 2014. Etching using elephant skull with lines made up of alphabet beads on extruded acrylic super 220 x 127.5cm

Johan Thom & Willem Boshoff Elephant Peepsite, 2014. Etching using elephant skull with lines made up of alphabet beads on extruded acrylic super 220 x 127.5cm

Prints from The Animal Series
@ The Collectors Room, Fried Contemporary
Johan Thom with Willem Boshoff, Diane Victor, David Koloane and Bevan De Wet.

Opens Saturday 24 October @ 12 – 2pm
Concludes Saturday 21 November 2015 @ 14:00

Fried Contemporary Art Gallery is pleased to present a body of work by Johan Thom created at the Nirox Foundation in 2014 and exhibited at its Project space in the Maboneng precinct, Johannesburg. The series of prints, titled: ‘Prints from the Animal Series’ is a series of etchings produced by Thom in collaboration with a number of well-known artists.

More info here: Fried Contemporary