By CityLife Arts Writer
From 25 August to 9 September, Open City presented by FNB Art Joburg will open up the city with 15+ days of art, music, performance, food, and fashion across the city. Open City fulfills FNB Art Joburg’s quest for economic stimulation, inclusivity, and better access for all in how it encourages Johannesburg’s visitors and inhabitants to immerse themselves in Johannesburg’s rich and layered cultural offerings. Open City Hubs include Rosebank and surrounds, Braamfontein, Newtown, Soweto, Joburg City Centre and 44 Stanley. For tickets and the latest info FNB Art Joburg at the Sandton Convention Centre 2 – 4 September visit artjoburg.com.
“Open City was born out of Covid-19 as a response of the fair looking at how we can engage with communities around Joburg. We are quite excited this year to go back into the communities with a new line-up. It’s very exciting because we’ve created various hubs for people to navigate during the weekend,” says FNB Art Joburg director, Mandla Sibeko. “It really is about collaboration between the art, music, film, food and fashion industries to usher in Spring in Johannesburg. More than anything, for us at FNB Art Joburg, it’s an educational tool and a way to coordinate the cultural landscape in the city. Johannesburg being a culture capital on the continent called for such organising. The 15+ days are really about the best cultural talent you can find in Johannesburg.”
Highlights of the Open City programme include:
To Recall the Past and the Present
Play Braamfontein, 73 Juta Street
To Recall the Past and the Present is a solo exhibition by Jabulani Dhlamini. Dhlamini (b. 1983, Free State, South Africa) lives and works in Johannesburg. Dhlamini majored in documentary photography at the Vaal University of Technology, graduating in 2010. He is an alumni fellow of the Edward Ruiz Mentorship programme and the Market Photo Workshop in Johannesburg. His work focuses on his upbringing while also reflecting on various communities within contemporary South Africa. Dhlamini’s approach is meditative and subtly provokes a closer look at what lies on the edges through an exploration of personal and collective memory. Incorporating landscape imagery and intimate portraits, his work captures historical moments — such as the recollection of the Sharpeville Massacre, the effects of land dispossession and the funeral of anti-apartheid activist Winnie Madikizela-Mandela — while
This exhibition runs until 9 September.
Shop 45 (Opposite Tashas) The Zone @ Rosebank
Cameroonian historian and political theorist Achille Mbembe and South African Associate Professor of Literary and Cultural Studies Sarah Nuttall’s book Johannesburg: The Elusive Metropolis (2008) is described as “a pioneering effort to insert South Africa’s largest city into urban theory, on its own terms. Drawing on themes from Mbembe and Nuttall’s essays interrogating life in Africa’s economic and culture hub, this group exhibition will examine the dialogue created between the city and its people; those creating socio-cultural artifacts, those making and eking out a living and those passing through.
This exhibition runs until 9 September.
Ophelia Does Backstroke
Play Braamfontein, 68 Juta Street
An exhibition presenting an immersive installation by Natalie Paneng and 10 artworks, Ophelia Does Backstroke brings life to spaces and stories which are said to be lifeless. Blending performance, collage, video and installation, Natalie Paneng is a digital artist exploring contemporary clown theatre to satirically interrogate the ways people navigate the virtual worlds they occupy. Through this exhibition, Paneng aims to inspire and create a sense of fantasy in relation the the Black femme body.
Natalie Paneng will lead visitors on a walkabout on 27 August at 13:00.
Towards New Frontiers
Play Braamfontein, 5th Floor, 73 Juta Street
Presented by Location Studio Practice, this exhibition takes its point of departure as a call to explore different forms of presentations of expressions. It moves through multiple realms; the self, the public, the absurd, and the uncanny— the plethora of ways artists relate to themselves and their surroundings. Central to these representations and presentations is how the artists think about themselves and the world around them. This experimental premise lends itself to the idea that new frontiers are never known, but can always be hinted, or pointed towards. This is the first iteration of probing in the possible direction(s) these frontiers might be; and the youth will take us there.
Lesole Tautswala will lead visitors on a walkabout on 27 August at 11:00
Paint and Sip at The Playground – Open City x Johannesburg In Your Pocket
10:30 + 13:30
Play Braamfontein, 73 Juta Street
Book your tickets here.
Unleash your inner Picasso at The Playground Market’s Paint and Sip class. The painting class starts at 10:30 or at 13:30 and lasts 2.5 hours. The class costs R200 and includes all painting equipment, a complimentary cocktail, and free entrance to the market.
Art and High Tea at Rand Club – Open City x In Your Pocket
10:00 – 13:00
Rand Club, 33 Loveday St, Joburg City Centre
Admission: R350. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for bookings. We advise you to book early, as spaces are limited.
While there are many places for a delicious and recommended High Tea experience in Joburg, this is the only location where your partaking of tea and dainty pastries is amid beautiful and grand historic surroundings. The Rand Club is a thriving member’s club downtown – with a history stretching back more than century. The High Tea is accompanied by a tour of the club’s art and special collections by dashing architect and city maven Brian Kent. Start at 10:00 with a guided tour. Tea to follow.
City Skate Tours – walking tour – Open City x In Your Pocket
City Skate Tours is the brainchild of Joburg-born Ayanda Mnyandu and Daniel Monegi. Self-confessed ‘skater boys’ the two fell in love with skateboarding at a tender age, and first conceptualised the tour after showing their friends around the inner-city on skateboards. Join them on a walking tour in Braamfontein focusing on street art, culture, cool hangouts, the history, and the evolution of the city.
Braamfontein Walking Tour
Admission: R450 per person
Starts at 11:00. Meet at Kalashnikovv gallery. The walk focuses on the incredibly rich street art and graffiti in the neighbourhood (highlighting cultural hubs such as GrayScale Store & Gallery, Mangrove’s Gallery Space and The Forge/Commune). It ends with a visit to the The Playground market and a chance to see the city from a high point, Thirteen.
Maboneng Skateboarding Tour
Admission: R650 per person
Meet at Curiocity Backpackers, explore street art and graffiti in Maboneng, Marshalltown and Newtown. Transport will take guests from Newtown to The Playground in Braamfontein for a visit to the market and a chance to see the city from a high point, Thirteen.
Spaces are limited. Book via WhatsApp on +27 79 839 8833 or email email@example.com
Native Rebels Bike Tour – Open City x In Your Pocket
12:00 – 15:00
Native Rebels, 1345 Kadede Street, Jabavu, Soweto
Admission: Tickets R500. Bike rental R200
Native Rebels is the heart of cool in Jabavu Soweto. Overlooking Morris Isaacson High School (from where the momentous 1976 Soweto school protests began).
As part of FNB Art Joburg’s Art City programme you can explore Soweto with a guided bike tour followed by a delicious lunch at Native Rebels restaurant.
The itinerary: Meet at Native Rebels, Ride to LeboLand Backpackers and Vilakazi Street, visit Thesis clothing and lifestyle centre, take a turn at the incredible sculptures at Credo Mutwa cultural village, and end back at Native Rebels for a signature Soweto Burger, music and other delights.
Contact +27 10 023 6110 for bookings. https://www.facebook.com/Native-Rebels
Open City Film Programme,
44 Stanley Avenue, Milpark
The French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) in collaboration with FNB Art Joburg and Open City present season 2 of CONSTRUCT. This year the CONSTRUCT film series continues to focus on emerging female artists. Under the season 2 theme Reflections of Self CONSTRUCT interrogates how women artists have allowed for personal issues to be viewed through the female lens. Social reflection, identity, sexuality, the body and self-validation are explored on the artists’ own terms bringing the personal-political continuation to the fore. Featured artists are: Teresa Kutala-Firmino, Reshma Chhiba, Cinthia Sifa Mulanga and Zandile Tshabalala.
Keep an eye out for the film screening date.
InfluenZArt powered by Swiss Arts Council Prohelvetia
Carfax, 39 Gwigwi Mrwebi St, Newtown
Admission: Pay as you can
InfluenZArt is a live art and video art platform focussed on staging experimental performance works with local and international artists. InfluenZArt’s first iteration titled What’s The Point? will present a series of short performances, live video projections and sound installations at an iconic Joburg venue in Newtown, Carfax. With its multiple spaces and associated with off-centre and experimental art, Carfax is the ideal venue for ten live works to play out over an evening dedicated to ephemeral art.
The programme is curated by and includes work by Nelisiwe Xaba, a renowned Joburg-based artist and choreographer, who will perform “Hominal/Xaba” a collaboration with Swiss dancer / choreographer Marie-Caroline Hominal. Its Joburg debut follows performances in Geneva, Basel, Lausanne, Paris and Brussels and here in South Africa at Jomba festival and Univercity of Cape Town. They dance a choreography of appropriated cultures via youtube tutorials, threading journeys and intersecting by chance.
Other artists presenting works at this live art event include, Joao Renato Orecchia, Kamogelo Molobye, Qondiswa James, Kwanele Finch Thusi, to name but a few. This artist-driven initiative aims to create a new space for artists to present experimental live works that often can’t be accommodated in conventional theatre spaces or formats.
What’s The Point? will give art fair audiences an opportunity to experience the possibilities Joburg artists are exploring with different live and digital art forms.
Secret Courtyards of Parkwood – Open City x In Your Pocket
15:00 – 22:00
The stretch of Jan Smuts Avenue between the corner of Bolton Road and Wells Avenue in Parkwood has long been Joburg’s ‘Art Gallery Row’ and has in recent years become a major dining hotspot too with close to a dozen bars, cafes and restaurants clustered together within this one city block.
As part of the 2022 edition of Open City event, a two-week, art-focused celebration of Joburg that runs in tandem with the annual FNB Art Joburg art fair, Parkwood’s courtyard venues present some special activations on Saturday 2 September.
Here’s a look at what to look forward to at the Secret Courtyards of Parkwood.
Art exhibitions at Toasted
08:00 – 18:00
138 Jan Smuts Avenue
Start your day at the Toasted courtyard. Known for their exceptional toasties, the courtyard is housing COSMOS, a digital exhibition (accessed via QR code) curated by Nisha Merit that invites visitors to dive into a multiverse of outer and inner spaces between stars, pixels and our bodily manifestations on earth. The exhibition features art by Bubblegum Club, blk banaana and Francois Knoetze, AR collages by Magolide Collective and Aluta Null, photography by Sukuma Mkhize and sound drawings by Mia Thom.
From 15:00-18:00 catch a special screening in the courtyard of two short films by artists Oscar O’Ryan, Gemma Shepherd & Rochelle Nembhard.
Dining and karaoke at Saigon Suzy
17:00 – 22:00
Parkwood Mansions, 144 Jan Smuts Ave, Parkwood, Johannesburg, 2193
Saigon Suzy’s courtyard is another favourite on the strip and on Saturday 3 September the restaurant and karaoke bar presents a R500 per person special from 17:00-22:00 (group bookings only). Feast on a delicious Asian sharing menu and then head upstairs for a one-hour karaoke session in your own private karaoke room. The offer is based on a group of five and space is limited.
Contact +27 76 284 9786 to reserve your space.
Cocktails and live music at Sin + Tax
15:00 – 22:00
4 Bolton Road, Parkwood, 2193
The award-winning cocktail bar Sin + Tax celebrates its new spring cocktail menu in the courtyard with live music and a selection of Asian-inspired small plates. This one is based on a first come first served basis, we advise you come early.
Parking is available here:
The free car park on the corner of Jan Smuts Ave and Wells Ave, Parkwood
Ticketed car park on the corner of Bolton Rd and Newport Rd, Parkwood
Rosebank’s Art Galleries tour with Thabo The Tourist – Open City x In Your Pocket
Keyes Art Mile, 19-21 Keyes Avenue, Rosebank
Admission: R880 per person
Take a guided walking tour with Thabo the Tourist – gallery-hopping across Joburg’s premier art district, Rosebank. An opportunity to interact with curators, gallerists and artists along the way while experiencing the buzz of the neighbourhood.
Starts at 14:00. Meet at Keyes Art Mile precinct in Rosebank for an exploration of the Everard Read and Circa galleries and an art tour of the landmark Trumpet building and its gallery and exhibition spaces. The tour then heads for a walk through Joburg’s Art strip in Parkwood, visiting David Krut Gallery, Gallery2, and Goodman Gallery. The tour ends with a meal at Toasted.
Spaces are limited. Book via WhatsApp on +27 67 992 7247 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Link to FNB Art Joburg tickets: https://tickets.tixsa.co.za/event/art-joburg-2022
Media information online
For the latest info on FNB Art Joburg, visit artjoburg.com. You can also find us on Facebook at facebook.com/fnbartjourg or by follow @fnbartjoburg on Instagram and Twitter. On LinkedIn we’re FNB Art Joburg.