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Jo'burg art picks: March 24 2012

Matthew Krouse

Umuzi Photo Club is holding an exhibition and campaign launch titled I Am an Activist to showcase creative youth activism initiatives.

The delightful art of Joël Mpah Dooh is described as “a perfect blend of intellect and emotion with a sophisticated understanding of the formal properties of art to produce a refined and passionate record of the important aspects of living life”.

There is something everyday and autobiographical in his humorous depictions of humans in often mysterious circumstances. His press bumf tells us he “explores the fragility of individual human identity and how it reinvents itself while moving and evolving in the city”. The exhibition, titled Let’s Take a Walk!, includes works on paper, canvas, corrugated iron and Perspex, mixing earth, colours, clay, packaging and wood. Mpah Dooh lives and works in Douala, Cameroon, and studied fine art in Amiens, France.

Momo Gallery, 52 7th Avenue, Parktown North, until April 16.

? Umuzi Photo Club is holding an exhibition and campaign launch titled I Am an Activist on March 29 to showcase creative youth activism initiatives across Johannesburg.

A month-long photography exhibition will include multimedia screenings featuring personal stories from youngsters, as well as large-scale photography installations intended to transform Braamfontein into a youth activism hub. Two multimedia presentations created by youngsters from Umuzi can be viewed online. In the first, Rudzani Matshili wants to raise awareness about service delivery problems in Diepsloot. Watch the video at mg.co.za/Rudzani. In the second, Morgan Faku, haunted by his mother’s unemployment and alcoholism, is driven to document the fate of Alexandra’s school ­dropouts. Watch the video at mg.co.za/Faku.

Velo, Melle Street, Braamfontein, on March 29 at 6pm. Website: umuzi.org.

? Goethe on Main will host a performance piece titled Not No Place, a work that takes the book-making process into a formal art space. The gallery will be turned into a studio in which material for a book on Johannesburg is shown as print, text, painting, performance and installation. The book is said to “interweave personal memories with quotations and reflective accounts, as well as ­science fiction, in an attempt to explore the complex making and shifting of a city as both a lived place and an imagined no-place”.

Goethe on Main is at Arts on Main, corner of Main and Fox streets, Jo’burg central business district. The performance begins at 6pm on March 24.

? Even though the paint on its walls has not yet dried, the Wits Art Museum is already hosting events. The venue will host the launch of the book Figuring Faith: Images of Belief in Africa (Fourthwall Books). It is a documentation and extension of a 2006 Standard Bank Gallery exhibition curated by Fiona Rankin-Smith, who is also the brains behind the book. It apparently brings together “debates and discussions on faith and art that the exhibition gave rise to and shed[s] light on the ways in which art interprets, exemplifies and challenges belief and ritual”.

Wits Art Museum, corner of Jorissen and Bertha streets (extension of Jan Smuts Avenue), Braamfontein, on March 27 at 6pm.


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