By CityLife Arts Writer
(RMB TAF), a unique South African art fair that brings together exhibitors from around the country to present, sell and celebrate art, is going virtual this year – a first of its kind in South Africa. RMB TAF has become the epicentre of emerging art in South Africa. It presents a space for the showcasing of established and new talent in an environment that is immersive, accessible and inclusive.
August 2020 will be the 8th edition of RMB Turbine Art Fair with the aim of offering a bigger, bolder and exhilarating fair as we look forward, look back, look in and look out to the rich cultural and creative landscape of South Africa. RMB TAF where visionaries meet!
“Due to Covid-19 and lockdown safety precautions across the country, a physical fair is not possible. But a fair is most definitely required to offer support and a platform for galleries and artists alike,” says Glynis Hyslop, founder of RMB TAF.
The virtual RMB TAF will take place from 27th August – 2 September 2020. A virtual fair gives galleries a chance to exhibit work of selected artists, and provide a platform to showcase their brands and capitialise on the extensive marketing opportunities RMB TAF offers. A virtual fair also enables galleries and artists to harness a national, and possibly an international, audience.
|“We believe that there is no better time than right now for collectors to actively support artists and galleries. We also see this as an opportunity to support art schools in ensuring a generation of new artists. Through our special projects we showcase the work of emerging artists at the start of their careers, giving them a much-needed launch pad. We feel that it is vital to keep the art ecosystem engaged during this time and keep the conversations ongoing, and through our planned virtual talks and walkabout programme, sponsored by RMB Private Bank, we are able to so,” adds Hyslop. “As the proud headline sponsor of RMB TAF we are able to co-create a powerful platform to showcase artistic talent, which is needed now more than ever. The virtual fair will give galleries and artists access to a broader and more diverse audience,while appealing to both existing and new collectors,” says Chief Marketing Officer at RMB, Alison Badenhorst. “RMB TAF creates an authentically African art experience brought to life for the first time in a virtual digital format. Unlocking and supporting diverse young African talent, demonstrates RMB’s vision to positively transform lives through partnering the Creative Economy.”|
Each gallery will have a dedicated virtual viewing room where they will display their artworks with interactive messaging, behind the scenes profiling of artists, and video. Visitors to the virtual RMB TAF will be able to search artist, exhibitor, or medium.
“The public has embraced the ethos of RMB TAF and over the years have built a long-standing, trusted relationship with the fair, which provides a safe and curated space in which to buy art,” says Hyslop.
RMB TAF 2020 projects and spaces
Tactile Visions – Woven curated by Professor Sharlene Khan
A curated selection of textile-based work by South Africa’s leading and emerging artists.
Looking Out – Installations and Sculpture
Exciting new installations and sculptural work by young artists with Jake Michael Singer as the featured artist for 2020.
Looking Forward – Digital and New Media
A new edition to the RMB TAF, presenting work by artists working in digital and new media art.
New world order – curated by Johan Thom
The exhibition will focus on artists in academia who dedicate part of their practice to teaching and building future artists.
First Look – The Graduate Exhibition
Viewing rooms for each university, where selected works from each of the masters students will be showcased.
RMB Talent Unlocked– curated by Londi Modiko
This year Talent Unlocked will focus on alumni artists who have participated in the 2019 Fresh Produce and Talent Unlocked programmes.
Looking in – Galleries
Looking in will showcase galleries exhibiting new work by emerging, mid-career and established artists, enabling access to and meaningful engagement of art across media and career levels.
Looking back – Masters and Secondary Market
Looking back will highlight artists who have and continue to be showcased and exibited within the contemporary art landscape. This section features exhibitions from auction houses, independent secondary dealers and art consultants. A highlight will be Strauss & Co’s curated exhibition profiling the works of two South African female artists, Maggie Laubser and Gladys Mgudlandlu.
Dual Vision – Editions
Master printmaking and photography studios and galleries specialising in print-based and editioned artwork.
Visions Unite – Collectives and Project Spaces
Collectives and Project Spaces will highlight the importance of spaces committed and dedicated to the support and development of artists’ careers.
Stilled Life – a community photographic project
Under the auspices of the TAF NPO (152-943 NPO), South Africans can tell their stories by submitting their own photographs documenting ‘life in times of Covid SA’. Entries open 1st June and closed midnight 10th July 2020.There are 3 categories for entry: #YourStory, #NewNormal, #HelpingHands. The top 100 photos will be selected by a panel of 4 judges and exhibited online at the RMB Turbine Art Fair. The selected photos will then go on to be auctioned by Strauss & Co in August with all proceeds to the BASA Artists Relief Fund.
Media partner, Kaya Fm will create curated playlists that visitors to the virtual fair can listen to online while viewing the fair.