Points of Engagement
CNR Pop up space
Corner De Korte and Reserve Streets, Braamfontein, Johannesburg
The work of Pro Helvetia, the Swiss Arts Council, is fundamentally centred on artists, ensuring the best possible circumstances for their professional development and the creation and presentation of new work. They are indeed our institutional reason for being.
Points of Engagement is a special presentation of two projects in the context of our 20th anniversary programme in September; Artists in Africa, from the SPARCK (Space for Pan African Research, Creation and Knowledge) platform of Basel-based Kadiatou Diallo, and the other a “listening project” from Berlin-based Mats Staub. Both are concerned in different ways with providing new insights and points of entry into the complex contemporary experiences of artists globally, and on the continent in particular.
This unique joint presentation of the two projects opens on the 5th of September at 6:30 pm at the CNR and Artivist spaces on Reserve street, Braamfontein.
Artists on Africa
The Artists on Africa podcast started as an experiment in content generation about Africa, from Africa, from a different perspective and out of the desire to make the continuous conversations that inspire, inform and result from SPARCK projects accessible to a wider public.
The podcast takes the form of conversations, featuring artists working across diverse disciplines – from performance to animation, installation to writing, street art to sound, film to architecture and more. Each episode offers unique insights into the artists’ distinctive work, approaches and ideas and how they relate to knowledge and understanding of Africa as part of a global experience – past, present and future.
The development of the series has been supported through our regional cultural programme financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. In the wake of a Pro Helvetia curatorial residency in 2015 at Ausstellungsraum Klingental, the director and editor of the series, Kadiatou Diallo has been based in Basel, and developing episodes particularly concerned with the experiences of artists in the diaspora.
Artist (Working Title)
‘Artist (Working Title)’ makes the curricula vitarum of twenty-seven artists audible. The artists interviewed are from Egypt, India, South Africa or Switzerland and practising in various artistic fields. A residency supported by the Swiss Arts Council, Pro Helvetia, is the common ground in the biographies of each of these artists. Mats Staub and his team met the artists and asked questions about their history, their present, their art. Sandra Gysi, Maia Marie, Ana López Escudero and Peter Schürmann worked with Staub in the conducting and editing of interviews in Egypt, India, South Africa and Switzerland.
Staub (from Bern, now based in Berlin) first came to South Africa on a research residency in 2014. That visit has given rise to a South African and Congolese edition of the acclaimed project “21 – Memories of Growing Up”, presented at the District Six Museum in Cape Town and the Market Photo Workshop in Johannesburg in 2017; as well as an entirely new project: “Birth and Death”. Staub’s work is characterised by an unusual listening methodology, working with the experiences and memories of others as it’s base material.