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Fine Art

South African presence at Decolonising Art Institutions Symposium in Basel

Same Mdluli and Nkule Mabaso will be participating in the symposium “Decolonising Art Institutions” convened by the Institute for Cultural Studies at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHDK) in conjunction with Kunstmuseum Basel, from June 20-21.  The symposium forms part of the Summer Academy of the Institute organized under the same rubric, and is presented in association with the on-line platform, Oncurating.org.

The symposium tackles a set of questions about the embeddedness of the institutional system of art museums, biennials and art market platforms in a Western cultural-historical framework. Participants will explore thinking around new institutional forms and approaches that draw on a diversity of cultural-intellectual heritages and resources, and which are responsive to the immediacies of culture as it is being generated and experienced today. These are questions which have a particular intensity in the South African and regional context, saddled as it is with a complex and fraught institutional legacy in the cultural field.

Same Mdluli is an artist, art historian, and writer living in Johannesburg. She holds a PhD in History of Art, MA in Arts and Culture Management from the University of the Witwatersrand and a B-Tech degree in Fine Arts from the University of Johannesburg. She has worked as an administrator at the Goodman Gallery and projects in both Cape Town and Johannesburg and taught art at various school levels. She has also participated in various exhibitions, conferences locally and internationally and won some awards. In 2012 and 2013 she was selected as a Junior Research Scholar at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles and as a participant at the Diversitas Summer School in Oldenburg, Germany respectively. This was followed by an invitation as guest researcher at the Institut National d’histoire de l’art (INHA) in Paris for the ‘Culture Profession’ programme under the department of Art and Globalisation. Her research interest art are in contemporary African Art, Black Expressive Modes and Aesthetic as well as the conversation between Jazz and Visual Art. She currently serves as council member for the National Arts Council, a member of the Black Mark: Critical Creative Thought collective and a lecturer in the divisions of Visual Art and History of Art at Wits University.

Nkule Mabaso is a curator and writer based in Cape Town. She graduated with a Fine Arts degree from the University of Cape Town (2011) and received a Masters in Curating at the Postgraduate Programme in Curating ZHdK, Zürich (2014). She has worked as Assistant Editor of the journal OnCurating.org and founded the Newcastle Creative Network in Kwazulu Natal. As an artist, she has shown work in Denmark, Switzerland, South Africa, Germany, and Zimbabwe. She has curated shows and organised public talks in Switzerland, Malawi, Tanzania, and South Africa. Currently she works as a curator of the Michaelis Galleries at the University of Cape Town. She is a PHD Candidate at Rhodes University as part of the research team SARChI Chair ‹Geopolitics and the Arts of Africa›. Her research focuses on the Kwazulu Natal interior and calls for the development of context specific policy and that will provide strategies for the realisation of the economic potential of culture in the context of small cities and large towns in South Africa. Specifically the research aims to produce recommendations for the creation of a well-structured municipal cultural policy for the small city of Newcastle that will be a resource that can generate new localised possibilities for the support of local cultural projects at municipal level.

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