By Edward Tsumele, CITYLIFE/ARTS Editor
You know the feeling when you miss an event that you feel you should have attended, especially these days when we do not get to attend as many of the events as we would love to because of the precautions around Covid-19. I am talking about Berman Contemporary Art Gallery’s Winter exhibition opening on July 30. I missed it and somehow felt that I needed to create time for it. Well, I did yesterday, August 5, 2021. I must say it was a good decision that I did, because I got to see some of the most interesting experiential art works on display by the 10 participating artists, most of them young people with fresh approach to their art. This group exhibition is like a window into an oasis of experimental art. Some of the participating artists, it was the first time for me to see their works, while others I had seen their works before. But it felt like I was seeing these works for the first time because some of them have taken a risk by going further into interrogating ideas that call for a lot of courage from the artist as anything can go wrong in the process of experimenting in art.
For example, I was first introduced to the work of Nomfundo Mkhize, born, bred and educated in Pietermaritzburg in Kwa-Zulu Natal. I saw her work at the same gallery last year. A perceptive photographer, her body of work then also in a group exhibitionexclusively featuring the works of female photographers, interrogated her cultural background, especially society’s expectations of how a woman should behave, including the position she sits in among adults in a communal set up. But with her new work on exhibition, she has gone further into interrogating the space of culture and traditions in especially black society. This time, she is investigating the central role spirituality still plays in her immediate community back home. Her photograph of a sacred place in her community, a shrine, grass thatched, and seeming to decay and yet very much alive, almost takes the viewer deep into spiritual contemplation.
Besides Mkhize in this exhibition titled The Liminal Space, curated by Morgan Kunhardt, other participating artists who also I must add, have tested the limits of what an imaginative mind could do with regards to experimenting artistically, are Amogelang Maepa, Chrisél Attewell, Gina van der Ploeg, Natalie de Morney, Odette
Graskie, Robyn Denny, Stefan Blom, Thokozani Mthiyane and Tré Mkhabela.
The Liminal Space is Kunhardt’s debut curatorial endeavour at Berman Contemporary, which is at the Rand Steam Shopping centre in Richmond, Auckland Park, Johannesburg.
“The Liminal Space – aims to propel the viewer into a parallel world – a space of otherness that is identifiable but unfamiliar. This exhibition explores the anthropological concept of liminal through space and time and how these intangible states of in-between-ness fluctuate and mutate. Berman Contemporary is pleased to present a dynamic group of artists that explore these notions of liminality,” states Kunhardt in her curatorial statement accompanying the exhibition.
Berman Contemporary is situated at Rand Steam, Corner of Barry Hertzog and, Napier Rd, Richmond. Visits are by booking through calling: 010 880 5240.