South Africa has declared a lockdown, effective as of Thursday, March 26. What the lockdown means is that all shops and businesses are to close, with the exemption of pharmacies, laboratories, banks, supermarkets, petrol stations and healthcare services. All South Africans must stay at home and only leave the house for essential shopping trips (ideally you should only need to do this every week or so).
However, just because we can’t go outside it, our cultural heartbeat won’t stop and it feels like now more than ever there’s a need for arts and culture to keep our minds calm. Lots of galleries have already come up with creative solutions to showcase the arts in ways that mean you don’t need to leave the house such as virtual tours, online exhibition launches and 60-second art lectures hosted on Instagram.
Here are just a few to look out for.
Braamfontein’s edgy Kalashnikovv Gallery has some exciting online activations plans for the 21-day lockdown. These include ‘remote’ exhibition openings, Instagram takeovers, artist studio tours and other live activities that will be hosted on their Instagram page. Follow them online here.
Based in Rosebank, Everard Read Gallery represents many top South African artists and sculptors and is one of Africa’s oldest private art galleries. With the gallery closed for at least the next month, Everard Read is taking to artsy.net to publish more information about their artists and their works and to share virtual art exhibitions. Follow them on artsy to stay up to date.
Art explorations online with Stevenson Gallery
This gallery showcases cutting-edge contemporary art and photography and is known for its provocative and thought-provoking contemporary exhibitions and installations by young South African artists. Stevenson Gallery’s latest exhibition by Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi opened online on Thursday March 26 with an online Zoom ‘launch party’. Check out the Stevenson Instagram page and website, for ongoing art conversations, video art and more.
One of the country’s leading contemporary galleries, Goodman Gallery‘s latest show How To Disappear is themed around mass surveillance in modern society. The planned programme of events associated with the exhibition, which included talks and film screenings, will be going online and a virtual tour of the exhibition will also be going online this week.
BKhz Gallery 3D virtual tour
Artist and curator Banele Khoza’s contemporary art gallery has gone online and in the coming days you’ll be able to embark on a 3-D virtual tour of the latest exhibition via the gallery website.
60 second art posts by Norval Foundation
Cape Town-based Norval Foundation is a centre for art and cultural expression and one of this country’s most impressive art museums. Follow them on Instagram and check out their #60SecondArt posts in their Instagram stories. Every day there’s a different 60 seconds post about an artwork from the collection with a voiceover by invited curators, artists and colleagues presenting fresh insights into the artist and their work.
Centre for the Less Good Idea Season 7 goes online
Founded by world-renowned South African artist William Kentridge, The Centre for the Less Good Idea is one of Joburg’s most exciting new cultural projects of recent years. The ‘centre’ is hosted at Kentridge’s expansive artist studio in the Arts on Main building in Maboneng. A non-commercial collaborative space, it brings together artists, musicians, poets, dancers, actors and filmmakers who all work in the city of Joburg. The Centre for the Less Good Idea’s aim is to support experimental, collaborative and cross-disciplinary arts projects and give artists the breathing space to try out new things.
The seventh season of art performances hosted at the centre was due to start this April, although given the lockdown the season is now going online instead. From April 1 to 5 the seventh season performances will be premiered live on their page via Facebook Premier Video. Once the performances have premiered through Facebook the content will be available here on their website and on their Vimeo pages.
South African art podcasts to tune into
David Krut Projects One of South Africa’s finest art galleries, specialising in fine art printmaking, David Krut Projects has its own podcast, where artists talk about their works and inspirations. http://davidkrutprojects.com/category/news/podcasts
Anthea Pokroy Launched by Joburg based artist, photographer and co-founder of the Assemblage artist studio, Anthea Pokroy, this podcast is packed with interviews and debates about contemporary art in South Africa, led by the artists themselves. https://unframedpodcast.com/about/
Please note that this list is by no means comprehensive and every day there are new channels opening up online to find local culture. Follow us on Instagram for all the latest and make sure to sign up to our weekly newsletter for a fresh round-up every Thursday of things to keep you busy and inspired during the lockdown.