In its seventh edition, Investec Cape Town Art Fair will elevate the fair’s engagement with some of the most exciting artists from around the world, through the second iteration of SOLO. The fair section offers insight into artistic practice through curated solo presentations. In 2019, SOLO’s focus is the relationship between the digital and physical space, placing new and traditional media in dialogue.
By incorporating an emphasis on new media into its major platform, Investec Cape Town Art Fair is confirming its commitment to artists working in ways which resist easy interpretation and categorisation. The section will highlight the experimental practices of a number of emerging and established artists from around the world.
Exploring the effects of the digital world on our lived realities and on artistic practice, 2019’s edition of SOLO will include presentations by Tabita Rezaire, Ibrahim Mahama, Kyu Sang Lee, Sitaara Stodel, and Jake Singer. The section will present a varied selection of artists with different aesthetics and contexts, at differing stages in their careers, each with unique perspectives of the digital space and new media. Each artist has been invited to play within the section’s theme in ways that fit into the trajectory of their practice.
Tabita Rezaire, French Guiana/Denmark | Goodman Gallery, Cape Town/Johannesburg
Rezaire is a new media artist, intersectional preacher, health practitioner, tech-politics researcher and Kemetic/Kundalini Yoga teacher. Her work has been exhibited globally in prominent institutions including Tate Modern (London), Museum of Modern Art (Paris), and The Broad (Los Angeles). One of her most recent, major institutional exhibitions is her inclusion in ‘Virtual Insanity’ (2018) at Kunsthalle Mainz (Germany). Rezaire analyses the power structures that exist on the internet and in the everyday, using her multi-disciplinary practice within physical and digital spaces. Through her practice, she tackles coloniality and its effects on identity, sexuality, technology, and spirituality.
Ibrahim Mahama, Ghana | APALAZZOGALLERY, Brescia
Mahama explores globalisation, migration, economic trade, and labour through tapestry-like works made from objects such as wood, jute sacks, and other textiles, salvaged in urban spaces. He has exhibited in galleries, museums, and biennials throughout Europe. His largest installation was presented at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2014. Mahama will present a solo exhibition at the Norval Foundation (Cape Town), opening in February 2019.
Kyu Sang Lee, South Korea | Eclectica Contemporary, Cape Town
Lee currently lives and works in Berlin, after graduating from the Michaelis School of Fine Art (Cape Town), where he received a handful of awards including the Cecil Skotnes Award for Most Promising Artist (2016). His photography and video art explores the concepts of time, fate, and death. Lee tests the potential of the captured image to portray the real and the hyperreal, through his constructions of the metaphysical, the spiritual, and the surreal. Lee’s presentation will combine photography, video, and installation.
Sitaara Stodel, Cape Town | SMITH, Cape Town
Stodel uses photography, digital and physical collage, video, installation, and print-making to explore themes including gender, identity, and space. On the feelings of domestic alienation which inform her presentation at ICTAF 2019, Stodel comments: “I have memories of these many spaces and homes but more prominent in my memory are the desires my sisters and I had for an ideal home”. She has participated in numerous curated group exhibitions in Cape Town, most recently shady tactics, SMAC Gallery (2018) and Close Encounters, SMITH (2018).
Jake Singer, Johannesburg | Matter Gallery, Toronto
Singer is a multidisciplinary artist with a practice that includes sculpture, photography, and digital collage. He has presented four solo exhibitions through galleries in South Africa, the Netherlands, and Canada with his most recent solo, entitled But a storm is blowing from Paradise (2018), taking place at Matter Gallery. Singer’s steel sculptures are created through a technique that combines traditional thatching with ‘emergent behaviour’, a system that does not depend on the individual elements which make up the whole, but on the relationship between these individual elements. There are many manifestations of this phenomena, including bird flock formations, and the organisational structure of the Internet.
Unlike in 2018, ICTAF 2019 will see SOLO interwoven with the booths in the Main Section, integrated into the body of the Fair. Galleries and Special Projects Manager Khanya Mashabela says of the thematic focus, “For the second iteration of SOLO, we want to explore the effects of the digital space on lived realities and on art-making. The section includes a wide range of both new and traditional media. By exploring the impact that new media has had on traditional media, and vice versa, we hope that a broader picture of the nature of artistic practice and its future will emerge.” The inclusion of more new media into ICTAF will provide visitors with an experience in keeping with the developments occurring in the international art world at large. Through this focus, SOLO aims to encourage Fair audiences to think more deeply about the current technological revolution and its impact on art.
Image Credit: Sitaara Stodel, My favourite sport is channel surfing, 2018, Transfer print, 19 x 17cm. Image courtesy of Sitaara Stodel and SMITH.