The UJ Art Gallery presents ‘TRANS’ at the UJ Art Gallery from 15 August to 19 September, exploring what it means to transcend, transpose and transform.
Transcend | Transpose | Transform
The UJ Art Gallery presents a selection of artworks that invites audiences in Johannesburg to question their boundaries and embrace the possibility of existing in different ways. Curated by Brazilian curator, Daniella Géo, ‘TRANS’ is a visionary collection of work by top artists from 11 countries whose works explore transit and movement, with the aim to transcend, transpose, transgress and transform. ‘TRANS’ opens at the UJ Art Gallery on 15 August to 19 September 2018.
Paying tribute to the power of institutions as trans-cultural and trans-continental advocates for advancement, ‘TRANS’ celebrates the transient artistic community of Johannesburg’s renowned Bag Factory and the exhibition’s host, the University of Johannesburg. Launching in Women’s Month, the exhibition further represents a commitment by the UJ Art Gallery to embody and embrace diversity, as exhibited in the works of ‘TRANS’. Initiated by Usha Seejarim and Diana Hyslop – both of whom have worked with The Bag Factory for many years – in collaboration with curators Daniella Géo and Annali Dempsey; ‘TRANS’ is also an affirmation of the role of women in generating and sustaining cultural ecosystems.
In its 27-year lifespan, The Bag Factory has consistently shown itself to be far more than just a shared studio space. A place synonymous with inclusion and diversity – qualities that offer an insight into the collaborative nature of ‘TRANS’ as a site for change and conversation – Daniella Géo’s curation of ‘TRANS’ is an artistic acknowledgment of this heritage of The Bag Factory; a love letter to this artistic family that subtly reveals the transience of this global community.
Géo explains: “This combination of five letters, t-r-a-n-s, is in itself imbued of motion – a motion towards diversity. Once having been solely a prefix, ‘trans’ has become a word in its own right. While it is an adjective pertaining to chemistry’s jargon, trans is most commonly associated to its gender-related meaning. Either way, even if the word conjugates the notion of inter-related opposites (sides or sexes), it embodies complexity rather than contradiction. In its many forms, the concept of trans implies and encourages dialogue, and an openness for interchange, interactions and intersections. Art is a liberated realm in which we can exercise non-conformism and explore our perceptions of the use of the word trans, and we invite Joburg to reflect on their own transverse experiences and join us in considering the multiple facets of ‘TRANS’ in this new multi-media exhibition.”
Curator of the UJ Art Gallery, Annali Dempsey: “The UJ Art Gallery exists to celebrate the imagination and excellence of an intersection of artistic visionaries. Our passion for and connection with international creative communities offers audiences and artists alike the opportunity to gather, share and exchange within a gallery space that welcomes all. This exhibition has allowed us to present art from across the globe in an exhibition that highlights both The Bag Factory and UJ Art Gallery as platforms for the development and showcasing of artistic work, but equally, as significant physical and ideological spaces for artists and intellectuals to cross paths.”
‘TRANS’ exhibition features screenings, artworks, interactive installations and performances by 19 artists including: Mehraneh Atashi (Iran); Marie Ange Bordas (Brazil); Joël Mpah Dooh (Cameroon); Vibha Galhotra (India); Taiye Idahor (Nigeria); Diana Hyslop (SA); David Koloane (SA); Ives Maes (Belgium); Mário Macilau (Mozambique); Blessing Ngobeni (SA); Kagiso Pat Mautloa (SA); Sam Nhlengethwa (SA); Celina Portella (Brazil); Usha Seejarim (SA); Lady Skollie (SA); Véronique Tadjo (France/Ivory Coast); Myer Taub (SA); Pat Ward Williams (USA); and Alberta Whittle (Barbados).