A Joint project initiated by the Embassy of Spain in South Africa
between South African and Spanish artists  2008 – 2010

Contemporary artistic practice is shaped by a host of socio-economic and political variables that are always contextually specific. This simple fact accounts for a plurality of ‘voices’ that clamor for our attention – in individual artworks as well as in the practices that generally define the field of contemporary art in global society today.

The artist is no longer an ‘outsider’, but rather, someone who operates from within our communities, social structures and even the systems of thought that shape our immediate surroundings, our society and the global world. Conversely, the viewer and the community is complicit in the production and meaning of art. In this way contemporary artistic practice is marked by the ebb and flow of ideas, concepts and forms that connects all of us. To be sure, contemporary artists may still challenge existing social values but no longer do so from a purely oppositional point of view. The artwork may be viewed as being a ‘bridge’ – an intimate meeting point between the artist and the viewer from whence new routes, ideas and dreams may be discovered and plotted together. One of the main challenges facing both contemporary artists and viewers is to seize this opportunity, finding unexpected possibilities together, where from afar none may be apparent.

Johan Thom & Nilo Casares, Feb 2008


Curators Nilo Casares (Spain), Johan Thom (South Africa) and Bronwyn Lace (South Africa) have envisioned the project as a series of semi-formal exchanges between six selected South African and Spanish artists and their different contexts. Taking the interests and working processes of each artist into account, the artists have been grouped into three pairs (one South African and one Spaniard in each) that will work together for the duration of the project. However, the project as a whole is also envisioned as a workshop/ laboratory space – a place for free experimentation & open dialogue – making for a dynamic exchange between all the participants Thus, as opposed to a ‘residency’ a series of short but intensive encounters (approx 10 days) between the artists, different communities and geographical contexts in both South Africa and Spain, are planned. 

The first encounter will take place in South Africa in 2008, to be followed by similar events in Spain in 2009 and finally a traveling group exhibition in 2010 (South Africa  & Spain). 



Marta Fernández Calvo

Óscar Mora

Juan Linares & Erika Arzt

Dorothy Kreutzfeldt 

James Webb 

Churchill Madikida

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