First Thursday is always a cultural feast for the eyes, and tonight’s offering is no different. Here are four exhibitions in Johannesburg and Cape Town you need to see at First Thursday.


Love Story by Candice Breitz at The Goodman Gallery

Love Story – a seven-channel installation by Candice Breitz is based on the personal narratives of six individuals who have fled their countries in response to a range of oppressive conditions: Sarah Ezzat Mardini, who escaped war-torn Syria, José Maria João, a former child soldier from Angola; Mamy Maloba Langa, a survivor from the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Shabeena Saveri, an Indian transgender activist; Luis Nava, a political dissident from Venezuela; and Farah Abdi Mohamed, a young atheist from Somalia. The interviews were conducted in the cities where each individual is seeking or has been granted asylum (two in Berlin, two in New York and two in Cape Town).

In the first space of the installation, re-performed interviews Alec Baldwin and Julianne Moore, who were asked to channel excerpts from three of the first-person narratives in front of a green screen. In a second space accessible only via the first, the original interviews are projected in their full duration.

Palinopsia / seeing again by Jurgen Meekel at Point of Order

In the one-time installation piece, ‘Palinopsia / seeing again’, the artist laser-projects monochromatic images with a nearly invisible purplish-blue UV laser on a large fully covered glow-in-the-dark canvas to expose the visual elements line-by-line.

Cape Town

Fluid by Stephen Allwright at SMITH

SMITH Studio presents Fluid, Stephen Allwright’s second solo exhibition. The collection in ink, graphite crayon, pencil and watercolour on paper is drawn from over 100 works compiled by Allwright during a characteristically prolific period in late 2017 and early 2018. The title refers to the artist’s sense that nothing is cast in stone nor unchangeable. The fluidity inherent in everything – whether concerning gender, current affairs or sexuality – makes attempting any sort of definitive statement like trying to archive the incomprehensible.

Unbecoming by Marie-Louise Koen at Youngblood Gallery

“Maybe this journey isn’t so much about becoming anything, maybe it’s about unbecoming everything that isn’t really you so that you can be who you were meant to be in the first place”  is the quote that inspired Koen to create this collection. Through the exhibition, she aims to change the conventions around the need to become what society wants and expects women to be and by harnessing the subject matter of the female form in an unconventional approach, she looks to make a positive movement towards feminism and gender equality in our society.