The Johannesburg Pavilion

The Johannesburg Pavilion

The Johannesburg Pavilion

Posted by Artlogic on 17 Feb 2015

The Johannesburg Pavilion Film Performance Venice


VENICE: 6 -14 May 2015

One of the key objectives of the 2015 FNB JoburgArtFair is to create an ongoing platform for the exposure of African artists abroad. With this year’s Special Project programme focussed on finding new ways to promote emerging, interdisciplinary practices, the inaugural JOHANNESBURG PAVILION unites both ambitions.

THE JOHANNESBURG PAVILION is a programme of contemporary African film and live performance to take place during the 56th Venice Biennale. It is curated in memory of the final Johannesburg Biennale directed in 1997 by Okwui Enwezor, the current and first African, Director of the 56th Venice Bienniale.

Still from film 'Necktie Youth' (2014) by Sibs Shongwe-La Mer

The project encapsulates the spirit of the expansive and mythical African city of Johannesburg, both in its provocative title as a non-official civic pavilion, and as a temporary intervention in the everyday urban fabric of the city of Venice.

Hereafter, selected live performances and films will be shown at the FNB JoburgArtFair (11 – 13 September 2015).

The participating artists each have an affiliation with Johannesburg, a city built by relocated and dislocated immigrants since its founding in 1886.

Within the live performance programme, Farieda Nazier and Alberta Whittle challenge perceptions of idealised beauty shaped by norms of racial classification. Senzeni Marasela embodies the genealogical narratives of subjugated black women like Saartjie Baartman and her current performative muse, Theodora Hlongwane. Athi-Patra Ruga is (re)writing the future history of The White Woman of Azania while Bogosi Sekhukhuni meditates on the deferred rainbow dream of those born after 1989.

The film component, explores borders and their crossing. Dan Halter and Thenjiwe Nkosi together with Meza Weza and the Dulibadzimu Theatre Group unravel the river separating South Africa and Zimbabwe. Michael MacGarry investigates the banal poetics of instant, empty cities built by Chinese migrant workers in Luanda, Angola while Kudzanai Chiurai explores a utopian notion of statehood in his second home, South Africa.



Athi-Patra Ruga
Anthea Moys & Gerard Bester
Bettina Malcomess
Farieda Nazier & Alberta Whittle
Jemma Kahn & Robert Pombo
Mandi Poefficient Vundla
Senzeni Marasela


Bogosi Sekhukhuni
CUSS Group
Dan Halter
Donna Kukama
The Dulibadzimu Theatre Group
Kudzanai Chiurai
Meza Weza
Michael MacGarry
Mpumelelo Mcata
Nicholas Boone
Riaan Hendricks
Shannon Walsh & Arya Lalloo
Sibs Shongwe-La Mer
Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi


Still from film 'Hillbrow' (2014) by Nicolas Boone


'Right of Admission' (2014) a performance by Farieda Nazier and Alberta Whittle