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Thanks for Nothing

This week Known Gallery presents Thanks for Nothing, an exhibition featuring new works by American artists Judith Supine and Alia Shawkat, and curated by Naheed Simjee.

One of my favourite contemporary US artists, Supine’s cigarette box works are reminiscent of the Surrealist movement’s “exquisite corpse” – and like the name elicit imagery like death, BDSM and other fetishisms.

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Notes on Net Prophet

Making business sense of the internet”, Net Prophet 2013 left conference goers in Cape Town this week with some stellar advice on how to do just that and more.

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Seven ordinary things that can lead to one extraordinary result

Triggerfish Animation Studions CEO Stuart Forrest shares seven business tips they taught you in kindergarten.

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Spicy Villa Guesthouse: Cape Town’s secret getaway

For a relaxing getaway, a business trip or a dirty weekend away in Cape Town, Spicy Villa Guest House comes highly recommended. Think chic Afro/Mediterranean-inspired décor, a crystal clear pool set among palms, cycads and leafy trees, pristine over-sized bathrooms, and comfortably luxurious bedrooms and open-plan living space.

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One of the outcomes of South Africa hosting that global sports tournament that shall not be named is the sudden surge in international stars popping up all over SA – all, no doubt, with their eyes on their share of the money-pie. From the UK’s Fatboy Slim claiming to be the official DJ of the WC to the Columbian Shakira heading the official anthem, pillage is indeed in the air. One aspect that I’m more than happy to waive, however, was the recent Masters of Rock tour. When else, in this country, would you be able to see, live, in the flesh, some of the original pioneers of heavy metal and rock music as we know it today?

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It’s hard not to love the perks of the job, and last Tuesday night’s dinner and jazz extravaganza at Asoka was no exception. one small seed was invited to come along to the suave nightlife hotspot nestled in upper Kloof Street, the capital of Cape Town cool, to try the food and watch the band. So, having only popped into Asoka once before for a pre-drinks G&T or two, I went along—admittedly expecting far less of a place whose renown comes from its chic clientele and extensive cocktail menu rather than its food or live music.

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I recently interviewed Ron English for the latest issue of one small seed, on his ‘Art of Popaganda’ that attacks monopolisers of public space (corporates, government) who use deception to sell. Sometimes we call it propaganda. Sometimes we call it advertising. Call it what you will. Ron English draws attention to this blatant, shameless manipulation that perpetuates modern society in his artform called ‘subvertisements’.

In these, Ron takes existing ads, brands, even political campaigns, and creates spoofs out of them. MacDonalds is predictably one of the principal targets of his attack, along with Camel, US government, religion and war. With the former two he picks on the health factor, focussing specifically on the way in which they’re aimed at young people, usually children.

Some examples of these can be seen below:

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Thursday evening saw the opening of Volume III at Whatiftheworld in Woodstock, presenting the new body of work by Avant Car Guard. The Avant Car Guard collective are three Joburg creatives - Zander Blom, Jan-Henri Booyens and Michael MacGarry - all established artists in their own right, who work as a single entity to produce artworks that satirise the local contemporary art world and the South African political milieu in a way that is wry, dry, and goddamn funny.

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For those of you that haven’t been down to Whatiftheworld gallery lately, do yourselves a favour and fit a trip into your agenda sometime in the next two weeks. Last week Wednesday I went exhibition-opening hopping, and what started off rather horribly (taking a detour through Woodstock up the dodgiest alleyway we could find, to witness a pigeon being steamrolled by the truck tyre of the usual toothless bergie who seemed to get much satisfaction from making a white girl scream (sorry, I’m not from cape town - is it not very pc to refer to the locals as bergies? I haven’t worked it out yet) while five metres away a baby bergie played with the remains of another dead fowl… Just great to see how the other half live…) and continued less than well (sorry to the guys at Bell-Roberts, their current exhibition is a little more than disappointing), but, happily, ended on a super duper note as we arrived at whatiftheworld to find the best painting exhibition I’ve seen in a long time - so good in fact that I didn’t even care that the wine had run out.

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Saying that the Sexpo had something for everyone would be a lie. Arriving on Saturday 9 Feb two hours after the show’s third day open at Durban’s ICC and just in time for the Oral Sex Workshop, there were already streams of people hurriedly exiting the building. Clearly those curious enough to come for a peek, but not comfortable enough to spend the day browsing amongst phallic objects in all shapes, colours, and sizes, or amidst semi-naked members of the country’s clearly thriving sex industry, and risk bumping into their bosses or neighbours or kinky grandparents.

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