portrait of Billie Zangewa
Billie Zangewa by Caroline Desbois

Back for its 11th year, the FNB Joburg Art Fair is the only place to be this weekend

Last night saw the epic opening of the annual FNB Joburg Art Fair. Presenting a refreshing mix of established and up-and-coming artists, with a strong focus on contemporary art from across the continent, here are five of our must-see artist:

Billie Zangewa (Afrinova)

This year’s featured artist is no stranger to art lovers. Known for her use of raw silk, delicate thread-work and hand-stitched collages, Zangewa’s work is an exploration of past and present intersectional identity, while questioning the ways in which black female bodies are stereotyped.

Billie Zangewa, Return to Paradise II, 2017

Haroon Gunn-Salie (Goodman Gallery)

The winner of this year’s prestigious FNB Art Prize, the young Cape Town born artist and activist’s work uses multiple mediums. Gunn-Salie’s installation at this year’s fair, Senzenina is a powerful remembrance of the Marikana massacre.

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Humbled to participate in the struggle against forgetting @newmuseum #Senzenina #RememberMarikana Senzenina (2018), raises questions of multinational and police complicity casting a group of seventeen life-sized hunched and ghost-like figures that seem to cower past the viewer in a display of surrender, incarnating the Marikana massacre, the most lethal use of force by South African security forces against civilians since the 1960s. The mass catastrophe took place on August 16, 2012, when the South African Police Service opened fire on a crowd of striking mineworkers in the Wonderkop sub-district of Marikana. Unionized miners demanded a wage increase at the Lonmin platinum mine and had been protesting for a week prior to the incident, with several casualties occurring even before the massacre occurred. In total, police shot and killed thirty-four, left seventy-eight seriously injured, and arrested two-hundred-and-fifty mineworkers. The state inquiry absolved key political figures accused of having a hand in the events leading to the massacre, with families of the slain miners still seeking reparations, attesting to the irreparable damage caused but not atoned for by the South African government or the company responsible. Gunn-Salie used police footage of the protesters at the precise moment before police opened fire, also used at the inquest to prove the protest’s peaceable assembly, to cast and memorialize the thirty-four slain in a sculptural graveyard. The sculptures are accompanied by a soundscape schematically recreating the scene from archival audio; including calls for the mineworkers to disassemble peacefully; the fortification of the surrounding area and entrapment of the workers by police; an anti-apartheid freedom song lamented by the mineworkers moments before live ammunition was discharged; and blasts from the mine recalled by low-frequency sonic vibrations of the surrounding landscape emanating from an outcrop of granite boulders on the site. Team: Team: @jannous.aukema Simon Elvis Bonase, Moreblessing Chaiwatura, Herbert Dube, Gavan Eckhart, Shirley Gunn, @setlamorago_mashilo @alinex_____ #haroongunnsalie

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Aida Muluneh (David Krut Projects)

Inserting her own body into some of her photographic frames, Muluneh’s use of surrealism, colours and traditional symbolism – bring us into a wider narrative that is also about visibalizing Africa.

Aida Muluneh, Lest We Remember 2017, David Krut

Jone Ferreira (Espaço Luanda Arte)

The Legend of Transformation, a project started in early 2017, is Ferreira’s presentation at this year’s fair, is a mix of sculpt museological pieces and photography which together are contextualized in a way that are given a context that allows them to be experienced through different interpretations and imaginations.

Jone Ferreira, The Legend of Transformation

Gemuce (Arte de Gema)

Using different mediums and materials in his practice including: canvas, paper, bronze through video, video-art and canvas, Gemuce – who has been instrumental in the artistic canon of Mozambique, invites us to think about the political history of his country.

Gumuce's O Pensador, The Thinker
Gumuce’s O Pensador, The Thinker

The FNB Joburg Art Fair is taking place at the Sandton Convention Centre between 7 – 9 September 2018.