#BerkeleyBespokeLovesArt – Travelling to Investec Cape Town Art Fair 2019

Jake Michael Singer

Berkeley Bespoke loves Art way too much and we had the pleasure to be invited to visit Investec Cape Town Art Fair – the largest event of its kind in Africa. With almost 100 galleries and over 15,000 visitors, it offers a platform for collectors, galleries, curators, artists, and art journalists from around the globe to create connections at the forefront of contemporary art. With an intimate experience of one of the World’s most unique art capitals, Investec Cape Town Art Fair has proven to be the place where the fast-growing African art market and the international art World meet.

Being the largest art fair on the African continent and showing cutting edge contemporary art,  the Fair provides a platform for galleries, collectors, curators and artists from around the globe to engage in cultural and economic exchange. The allure of Investec Cape Town Art Fair is its content and its placement on the African continent, with the advent of its 8th edition, the market has proven that art fairs are a sustainable economic model for trade in contemporary art.

Lia Rumma Galleria, Marina Abramovic, Golden Mask

One of the most striking highlights was a selection of Jake Michael Singer’s photography and sculptural works, which draws together narratives around collective identity, myth and science fiction. Singer’s photographs comprise sets constructed of found material and plastics on rooftops around the Johannesburg CBD and installations in the studio. Working with dancers, Singer creates absurd disorientating scenes that evoke tensions between the natural and synthetic; the chaotic and the ordered; performed and the photographed. Here, Singer creates illusions around the body in space, through the intermixing of physical and digital space.

Singer’s three-dimensional works also play with these themes. “There is humming in the air” is created using a technique that draws on traditional thatching and emergent behaviour. Emergent behaviour is a system that does not depend on its individual parts but on their relationship to one another. This phenomenon exists in the way birds flock, to the way the internet is organised, to artificial neural networks in computer science and robotics. Singer uses this principle in the organisation of thousands of steel pieces, typically used for security fencing, to create a symbol of transcendence.

Pedro Pires

The 2019 incarnation of the ongoing SOLO section of Investec Cape Town Art Fair explored the effects of the digital World on our lived realities. As its name suggests, the extensive exhibition that included solo presentations and artworks that reflected a new and traditional skill set that held a deep conversation with one another.

By progressing to new traditions it is hoped that emerging practitioners and collectors will begin to think more analytically about how the digital World impacts art. Digital practices may be a powerful force in our everyday lives, yet in our context, there has not been enough opportunity in the visual arts allowing practitioners from different strata to exhibit alongside one another.

Guns & Rain  Letso Leipego.  The Shepherd

We have seen an incredibly eclectic mix of exceptional talents whom, besides being young and audacious, also explored a new aesthetic of commodity and the personal in a Globalised World.

We have been truly fascinated by artists: Kyu Sang Lee (South Korea) of Eclectica Contemporary in Cape Town, South Africa; Ibrahim Mahama (Ghana) of APalazzo Gallery in Brescia, Italy; Sitaara Stodel (South Africa) of Smith Studio in Cape Town, South Africa; Tabita Rezaire (French Guyana/Denmark) of Goodman Gallery in Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa; Jake Singer (South Africa) of Matter Gallery in Toronto, Canada.

Montoro12 Larissa Sansour, In the Future

South Africa’s ebullient gallery circuit was fully represented at Investec Cape Town Art Fair, and a journey down the art fair isles gave us a full picture of contemporary South African Art. The galleries of the continent integrated into the mainstream of South African consciousness, and the abundance of galleries from African centres attested to the desire for dialogue and stimulus on the African art scene.

Highlighting, the best African galleries represented at Investec Cape Town Art Fair: Afriart Gallery of Kampala, Nairobi’s Circle Art Gallery, Espaco Luanda Arte, First Floor Gallery of Harare, Louis Simone Guirandou Gallery of Abidjan, Omenka Gallery of Lagos and This is not a White Cube also from Luanda. Thank you to the organisers for this magnificent experience!

Magnin A

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