The Foundation Department will be hosting the lecture “1910-2010: From Pierneef to Gugulective” by Riason Naidoo on Friday 13th November.
Riason is an exhibition curator, writer and artist from South Africa. Born in Durban, Riason graduated with a BA and MA in Fine Arts from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. Initially practicing as an artist (painter), his work is represented in several public collections in South Africa.
Since 2004, Riason has curated exhibitions shown in Durban, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Bamako, Dakar, Saint-Denis (Reunion Island), Vienna, Barcelona, London and Paris. He was also director of the South African National Gallery from 2009 to 2015. Currently based in Paris, he is an independent curator and writer focussing on modern and contemporary African art.
“The exhibition I curated at the South African National Gallery from April 15th to October 3rd 2010 as newly appointed director there in 2009 was also an opportunity to present a new vision for the institution. One that would see previously marginalized artists and audiences reflected in the museum via their art and their histories.
While the title itself marks the timeline, bookends if you will, encompassing significant moments in the country’s history, the exhibition explores the entwined relationship of art and politics.
An important idea was to juxtapose different interpretations of the country’s past. So apart from including recognised artists such as Maggie Laubser and Irma Stern, for example, how did the unacknowledged Black artists such as Peter Clarke and Lucas Sithole, for instance, represent the same? How does their work differ in the broader discussion on the representation of Blackness? This was another major thread that ran throughout the exhibition: the politics of representation.”