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#WeART 2022 Programme

UJ Arts & Culture, a division of the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (FADA) at the University of Johannesburg, has embraced the challenges of producing and presenting content during the height of the pandemic. It’s virtual interdisciplinary project, The Pandemic, attracted international interest while the launch of the UJ Art Gallery’s online platform, Moving Cube, has scooped up the 2021 Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) Innovation Award. These are among several virtual projects and programmes the division has presented since 2020.

It has also been hard at working behind the scenes, gearing up for the release of the division’s art film, Skeletons, that was created and produced in-house with a stellar cast featuring Wayne van Rooyen, Carla Fonseca, Jacques Blignaut and Mpho Osei-Tutu under the direction of UJ Arts & Culture’s Resident Director, Jade Bowers.

The UJ Arts Academy drama students have taken on the daunting task of recording an isiZulu translation of R&J Unplugged, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, as a radio drama. Under the direction of Nompumelelo Mtshali and mentorship by Dr Jerry Mofokeng, the podcast series will be released in April this year and includes an English version of the drama and an educational segment targeted at secondary school learners.

UJ Arts & Culture will also release a selection of four podcast play readings of works that were developed through the UJ Playwriting Laboratory in 2020 and recorded in 2021. This programme will be presented for the third year running in 2022, affording emerging playwrights an opportunity to develop a new one-act play during an intensive writing period.

Covid-permitting, the division is set to present several UJ Choir performances and marking the global Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) on 30 April with a live concert at the UJ Arts Centre Theatre. The division has an ambitious theatre programme lined up for this year with Hlakanyana the musical, directed by Janice Honeyman and co-produced by Madevu Entertainment, scheduled for May. Jade Bowers’ Repertory Double-Bill Theatre Project, featuring a selection of plays from the 2020 UJ Playwriting Laboratory, and Macabre written by Pieter Jacobs and directed by Gopala Davies scheduled for October.

The UJ Art Gallery and Moving Cube programmes will see the division present both solo and group exhibitions. We have kicked off the year with Corne Venter’s Susurration :: Faint whispers, deep understanding, and up next is Leora Faber’s ghosted Matter, phantom hurt (and other chimera), followed by Privileges of Proximity: In conversation with the UJ Art Collection (Curated by newly appointed UJ Art Curator – Thabo Seshoka), a group exhibition Personal Structures (Curated by Gordon Froud and Annali Dempsey recently retired UJ Art Curator), Power, Poverty and Pretense (Curated by Thabo Seshoka); a Solo by the legendary Pat Mautloa and finally, UJ and MTN SA Foundation’s customary annual exhibition (with a twist!).

PROGRAMME DETAILS


{Playwriting}

UJ Arts & Culture presents

UJ PLAYWRITING LABORATORY

An online programme

January to November

For the third year in a row, UJ Arts & Culture will host twelve playwriting residencies targeted at aspirant and established playwrights who will be challenged to develop script for a 60-90 minute one-act play over a writing intensive period.


{Exhibition}

UJ Arts & Culture presents

SUSURRATION: FAINT WHISPERS, DEEP UNDERSTANDING

Moving Cube (movingcube.uj.ac.za)

24 January – 11 February

Venter’s current practice is aligned to the study of palimpsestic processes and engaging with memories of childhood trauma through dialogical self-theory. Naming the exhibition aporetic denotes the open-ended nature of self-dialogue and the inability to pin down the beginning and end of experience and inner dialogue. The exhibition will comprise of several sheer fabric works that are suspended from the ceiling and sculptural works placed on plinths and the floor as well as framed multi-media paintings, photographs and shadow boxes displayed on walls.


{Exhibition}

UJ Arts & Culture presents

GHOSTED MATTER, PHANTOM HURT (AND OTHER CHIMERA)

Moving Cube (movingcube.uj.ac.za)

23 February – 22 March

For the past three years, Johannesburg-based artist, Leora Farber has engaged with bioart an umbrella term for a range of art forms that engage critically with biomaterials and bioscientific practices – in innovative and exciting ways. ‘Bioartists’ mix artistic and scientific practices, often using live tissues, bacteria, living organisms and life processes as media. In the video works featured on the ghosted matter, phantom hurt (and other chimera) installation, Farber extends her use of biomaterials and micro-organisms as matter into the digital realm.


{Exhibition}

UJ Arts & Culture presents

PRIVILEGES OF PROXIMITY: IN CONVERSATION WITH THE UNIVERSITY’S ART COLLECTION

UJ Art Gallery (APK)

26 March – 15 April

University Collections are traditionally shaped by the notion of collecting in the present and preserving for the future. In most cases, art collections are often built around particular periods, sentiments and ideologies. The process of collecting and managing collections is subjective and customarily pivot around the ‘selection’, ‘omission’ or ‘underrepresentation’. This exhibition draws on the UJ Art Collection and seeks to consider and critically engage with the different approaches and ideologies that informed its establishment and further re-imagine, interrogate and ‘re-position’ the artists whose works form part of these collections in present day society.


{Exhibition}

UJ Arts & Culture and South African National Association for the Visual Arts present

R&J UNPLUGGED

UJ Arts & Culture Podcast Platform (arts.uj.ac.za)

May

This adaptation of Romeo and Juliet has been translated into isiZulu and has been recorded by UJ Arts Academy students as a radio drama in English and isiZulu packaged together with educational lessons targeted at secondary school learners.


{Theatre}

UJ Arts & Culture and Madevu Entertainment present

HLAKANYANA

UJ Arts Centre Theatre (APK)

25 May to 8 June

Hlakanyana, a retelling of the Zulu folktale, was commissioned by Arts & Culture in 2020. This authentic musical, directed by Janice Honeyman, will be produced as part of the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture’s award-winning interdisciplinary theatre programme.


{Choral}

UJ Arts & Culture and Missouri State University present

UJ CHOIR AND MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY (MSU) CHORALE IN CONCERT

Venue TBC

3 June

UJ Choir and MSU Chorale will be conducted by Dr Cameron LaBarr for a joint concert.


{Art Film}

UJ Arts & Culture presents

SKELETONS

Durban International Festival

23 to 30 July

Set in the heart of the Maluti mountains, Skeletons grapples with social and political issues. An experimental fantasy, the film brings matters of land and ownership into focus through the eyes of four multidimensional characters who each has a story to tell. In a space and time of absolute scarcity, Skeletons unpacks ideas around home, belonging identity and the vicious cycle of oppression. Written by Pieter Jacobs, Skeletons was produced in-house by UJ Arts & Culture with a stellar cast featuring Wayne van Rooyen, Carla Fonseca, Jacques Blignaut and Mpho Osei-Tutu under the direction of Jade Bowers.


{Drama}

UJ Arts & Culture presents

UJ PLAYWRITING LABORATORY PODCAST SERIES

UJ Arts & Culture Podcast Platform (arts.uj.ac.za)

1 to 31 August

Readings of a selected number of original South African plays that were developed through the UJ Playwriting Lab in 2020 will be released in podcast format during the month.


{Conference}

UJ Arts & Culture presents

FUTURES AND BEYOND: CREATIVITY AND 4IR

UJ Arts Centre Theatre (APK) and Zoom

30 and 31 August

The Futures and Beyond: Creativity and 4IR Conference aims to serve as an impetus for an Africa-centric discourse and knowledge development at the intersection of Creativity and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). The specificities of industrialization on the African continent require unique approaches that respond to the context and needs of African societies. These approaches will define the future for the cultural and creative sectors while at the same time re-imagining a new future for Africa where humanity and technology meet.


{Exhibition}

UJ Arts & Culture presents

A SOLO EXHIBITION BY PAT MAUTLOA

UJ Art Gallery and Moving Cube (movingcube.uj.ac.za)

06 August – 30 September

Walkabouts: 31 August & 14 September


{Theatre}

UJ Arts & Culture presents

PAPER PLAY REPERTORY DOUBLE-BILL

Vrystaat Festival

Dates TBC

Two plays developed through the UJ Playwriting Lab in 2022 have been selected for production as an experimental double-bill set to premiere at the National Arts Festival in Makhanda under the direction of award-winning Jade Bowers from UJ Arts & Culture.


{Exhibition}

UJ Arts & Culture presents

POWER, POVERTY AND PRETENCE

UJ Art Gallery and Moving Cube (movingcube.uj.ac.za)

08 October - 11 November

Walkabouts: TBC

It was Pythagoras (570 BC – 490 BC), who once postulated the significance of numbers in everything around us. The number 3, was considered to be the perfect number, symbolising harmony, wisdom and understanding (Welsh National Opera, 2019). However, as society has advanced, the number 3 has come to be associated with omens and bad luck. In South Africa, the country continues to be accompanied by the 3 P’s (Power, Poverty and Pretence) on its journey to recovery. Through a series of collaborations this exhibition will engage with Power, Poverty and Pretence in South Africa, seeking to amplify the voices and agency of those who are presently positioned on the margins.


{Choral}

UJ Arts & Culture, in partnership with University of Pretoria and North West University, presents

CHOIR KALEIDOSCOPE 2022

UJ Auditorium (APK)

Date TBC

A mini choir festival with three university choirs, to be hosted by UJ on a Sunday afternoon.


{Theatre}

UJ Arts & Culture presents

MACABRE

Free State Arts Festival

3 to 9 October

Macabre is an immersive live and virtual theatre experience. With its finger on the South African pulse, it breaks down the notions of senescence and tackles ageism and racism in democratic South Africa. Written by Pieter Jacobs and directed by Gopala Davies, this site-specific psychological suspense play invites small audiences for an exclusive intimate experience while virtual audiences will enjoy access to unique streams of content broadcast live during the performances. The journey starts when Maude’s past and Abel’s future dramatically collide. At heart, Macabre is a story of guilt, loss and remorse.


{Festival}

UJ Arts & Culture presents

UJ ARTS ACADEMY SHOWCASE

Arts Centre Theatre (APK), Bunting Theatre & Online

Dates TBC

Dance, drama and poetry students showcases their talents in a week-long festival of performance.


{Choral}

UJ Arts & Culture presents

UJ CHOIR CELEBRATION CONCERT 2022

Venue TBC

Date TBC

A celebratory evening where UJ Choir showcases a selection of the best songs of their 2022 repertoire.


{Exhibition}

UJ Arts & Culture and MTN SA Foundation present

MTN | UJ ANNUAL EXHIBITION

UJ Art Gallery (APK) & Moving Cube (movingcube.uj.ac.za)

TBC

Details to be released soon!


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About UJ Arts & Culture

UJ Arts & Culture, a division of the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture (FADA), produces and presents world-class student and professional arts programmes aligned to the UJ vision of an international university of choice, anchored in Africa, dynamically shaping the future. A robust range of arts platforms are offered on all four UJ campuses for students, staff, alumni and the general public to experience and engage with emerging and established Pan-African and international artists drawn from the full spectrum of the arts.

In addition to UJ Arts & Culture, FADA (www.uj.ac.za/fada) offers programmes in eight creative disciplines, in Art, Design and Architecture, as well as playing home to the NRF (National Research Foundation) SARChI Chair in South African Art & Visual Culture, and the Visual Identities in Art & Design Research Centre. The faculty has a strong focus on sustainability and relevance, and engages actively with the dynamism, creativity and diversity of Johannesburg in imagining new approaches to art and design education.