Cape art picks: April 13 2012

In the 15 years since its staging, the second and last Johannesburg Biennale has obtained almost mythical status.

It has been revisited, debated and evoked as an illustration of the country’s seeming inability to realise a recurring international exhibition. It has been remembered with nostalgia and with scorn. Its critics recall the simmering tension between local and international participants and the City of Johannesburg. Its proponents praise curator Okwui Enwezor and his team’s vision, bravery and conceptual dexterity. Now Stevenson is boldly entering the fray with Trade Routes over Time, the first instalment of a project marking the 15th anniversary of the Biennale. Participants include Olafur Eliasson, Angela Ferreira, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Isaac Julien, Wangechi Mutu, Odili Donald Odita, Jo Ractliffe, Yinka Shonibare, Penny Siopis and more, who present both the works that they showed in 1997 and new works.

Stevenson, Buchanan building, 160 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock, until May 12. Tel: 021 462 1500. Website: stevenson.info.

■ With her mixture of immediate honesty and everyman wit, Georgina Gratrix has emerged as a cult artist of millennials who have come of age in the Facebook era. Her first solo exhibition is a case in point. Titled My Show, it’s an exhibition for the “me generation”. Focused on portraiture, the more than 50 works on display offer a fascinating downward spiral through sex and television to pills, blogging and love, ­technology, celebrity and despair. It is all knit together with vibrant wit and deadpan, often ironic humour in bold, breathless brushstrokes.

SMAC, 1st floor, De Wet Centre, Stellenbosch, until May 24. Tel: 021 882 8335. Website: ­smacgallery.com.

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Miles Keylock
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