August 2015

Johannesburg 89plus Workshop


Meet the fifteen creators who presented their work at the 89plus Workshop at Keleketla! Library in Johannesburg.

89plus Johannesburg workshop, Keleketla Library, Johannesburg., 2015-08-04, From the collection of: 89plus


Neo Mahlasela
Megan Mace
Wang' Thola Collective
Nonkululeko Sharon Mthunzi
Skye Quadling & Karin Tan
Mbali Khoza
Lindokuhle Sobekwa
Thando Sangqu
Mitchell Gilbert Messina
Nyakallo Maleke
Andile Brian Pewa
Mika Conradie
Sibahle ‘Steve’ Nkumbi
Lebogang Mashifane
Mbali Dhlamini

‘Hlasko’, Neo Mahlasela, From the collection of: 89plus
Neo Mahlasela
(b. Soweto, South Africa, 1993) Neo created ‘Hlasko‘, his pseudonym for his electronic music, during his last year of high school. The work he has created is a layered audible feast, skilfully using electronic production to develop an eerie and haunting musical practice.

“The EP [Kaang] was basically an exploration of Sotho poetry and music. I am Sotho, and am from Lesotho. We were drawing a lot of comparisons from Lesotho and Reunion—Lesotho being an island surrounded by land, and Reunion Island, an island surrounded by water—and a lot of the mystical aspects and cultural practices like 'servis kabaré' which is quite similar to the sangoma practices that we have here.”

Neo Mahlasela aka Hlasko, composer and sound artist

‘I went to art school...’, Megan Mace, From the collection of: 89plus
Megan Mace
(b. Johannesburg, South Africa, 1991) Megan's practice explores performance art within art institutions and its order. Her works are subtle and interactive; exploring the function and role of the public and audience in scenarios that she creates through her practice.
Did you know that if you drink 100ml of beer at an art event of some sort, you are most likely to consume a part of 58 calories*?, Megan Mace, From the collection of: 89plus
Wine served at exhibtion openings at galleries located in Johannesburg, Megan Mace, 2013, From the collection of: 89plus

“My interest is in exhibitions in museums and the cultures surrounding that, i.e. the practices of opening events, receptions. ”

Megan Mace, visual artist

Members of Wang'Thola collective, Wang' Thola Collective, 2014-06, From the collection of: 89plus
Wang' Thola Collective
Wang' Thola is an artist-run initiative comprised of nine artists from various cultures and backgrounds. The weekly group discussions they hold relate to generating and curating the history of the present.
16 June 20.., Youth Day Celebration, Wang' Thola Collective, From the collection of: 89plus
Where's home? (installation view), Wang' Thola Collective, From the collection of: 89plus

“What we [Wang’ Thola] are about, is basically instigating conversation and documenting that conversation as a history of the present.”

Wang’ Thola Collective, artist-run initiative

JacobJones featured at Rise Up and Walk International Youth Arts Festival, Nonkululeko Sharon Mthunzi aka ‘Sicka Star-ban Jones’, 2015-08, From the collection of: 89plus
Nonkululeko Sharon Mthunzi aka 'Sicka Star-ban Jones'
(b. Boksburg, South Africa, 1994) Nonkululeko Mthunzi aka ‘Sicka Star-ban Jones’ is an LGBTI activist, artist and musician. She is also a hip hop events organiser and writes articles about her journey and personal life through ‘Inkanyiso', an online platform for positive LGBTI storytelling initiated by visual activist Zanele Muholi. Through the use of different artistic platforms, Mthunzi’s collective works delves into the concept of sexuality, gender and her personal journey.
Portrait of Nonkululeko Sharon Mthunzi aka 'Sicka Star-ban Jones', 2015, From the collection of: 89plus

“The next time someone google’s the word lesbian, they will find ‘Sicka’, or Sharon there and not the hate crimes, so the positive side of the LGBTI.”

Nonkululeko Sharon Mthunzi aka 'Sicka Star-ban Jones', musician, sangoma, LGBTI activist

‘I Was Abducted’, Skye Quadling, Karin Tan, 2014, From the collection of: 89plus
Skye Quadling & Karin Tan
(b. Johannesburg, South Africa, 1992) Quadling and Tan’s practice relies on narrative, often science-fiction inspired, process-based projects. Their works have taken form as catalogues, detailing the extensive unfolding of one idea manifesting into many different, connecting works.
‘Substation’, installation detail: Emergency Exit., Skye Quadling, Karin Tan, 2014-06, From the collection of: 89plus
Installation view of artwork by Mbali Khoza, Mbali Khoza, From the collection of: 89plus
Mbali Khoza
(b. Johannesburg, South Africa, 1989) Mbali Khoza uses solo and collaborative works to investigate the use of authorship in language and literature, and the voice of the author. Her work is minimal with volatile content, and challenges the power the English language holds against indigenous languages in southern Africa.
‘Chapter 1: A Carnival’, duration 7 min 34 sec. (still image), Mbali Khoza, 2012, Original Source: Out of Thin Air, Stevenson Gallery
‘What difference does it make who is speaking?’, a performance for the 2014 Grahamstown National Arts Festival, Mbali Khoza, 2014, Original Source: Ruth Simbao

“I was really interested in this idea of translating a language. I met a man who spoke a language that was never written, only spoken. I used phonetics from Zulu (I speak Zulu) to try and create this language.”

Mbali Khoza, visual and performance artist

Jerry standing at a local taxi stand, Katlehong, Lindokuhle Sobekwa, 2014, From the collection of: 89plus
Lindokuhle Sobekwa
(b. Katlehong, Johannesburg, South Africa, 1995) As a documentary photographer, Lindokuhle Sobekwa’s work focuses mainly on socially engaged projects—the issues affecting township communities. Intimately capturing poverty and addiction, Sobekwa has developed a practice revealing the effect of destitution in communities.
An injection of Nyaope being prepared in Mabhuti's shack, Thokoza, Lindokuhle Sobekwa, 2014, From the collection of: 89plus

“I did this project to raise awareness and educate people about the dangers of [the South African street drug] ‘nyaope’, what it can do to a person, how it destroys lives, destroys families and the life of [the] user…so I was also focusing on the things that nyaope guys were destroying; things that they were taking, or stealing.”

Lindokuhle Sobekwa, visual artist

Mabhuti at home, Thokoza, Lindokuhle Sobekwa, 2014, From the collection of: 89plus
‘Misunderstood? (Skhothane)’, Sindiso Nyoni, 2014, From the collection of: 89plus
Thando Sangqu
Sangqu is an African Literature Major at Wits University. He is keenly interested in the notion of ‘present future’, particularly for post-apartheid era, post-rainbow-nation  young South Africans. He writes about and experiments in storytelling of  ‘the personal’ when disconnected from the lens of social media.

African Youth Collective

‘Thought We Had Something Going’, An anthology of South African writing, Thando Sangqu, 2015, From the collection of: 89plus

“Being a kid of privilege, you’re given so much in terms of money, so much more access and yet you are given so little … what’s my position? What do I have to say about the world?”

Thando Sangqu, writer

‘Long Shot’, 2015, From the collection of: 89plus
Mitchell Gilbert Messina
(b. Nababeep, South Africa, 1991) Mitchell’s art involves installation and performance, creating spaces and objects involving humour and absurdism to create engaging and critical works.
‘Easy Ideas to Use in a Fix’ ¼, Mitchell Gilbert Messina, 2014, From the collection of: 89plus

“Most of my body of works relies on coming up with ideas for works rather than actually making works.”

Mitchell Gilbert Messina, visual artist

‘A lot, evidently’, Mitchell Gilbert Messina, 2013, From the collection of: 89plus
(Dis) Connected, Substation, Nyakallo Maleke, 2014, From the collection of: 89plus
Nyakallo Maleke
(b. Randfontein, South Africa, 1993) Nyakallo’s practice involves an observational and intuitive process to explore social, political and personal narratives of the everyday. She is a multidisciplinary artist who works with installation, video, printmaking and sound. Viewing the installation and de-installation as performative qualities to each individual work, her works are critical and quirky responses to current social issues in South Africa.
Untitled, Freedom College, Nyakallo Maleke, 2014, From the collection of: 89plus

“I am interested in everyday issues.”

Nyakallo Maleke, visual artist

Untitled, Andile Brian Pewa, From the collection of: 89plus
Andile Brian Pewa
(b. Ballitoville, South Africa, 1990) Andile Brian Phewa documents his community and environs of Durban, Kwa Zulu Natal. His images intimately capture the lives of his subjects, and his complicity as an image-maker to build trust with his participants. At times shot in low light, the images evidence the general electricity shortages commonly known as load shedding—a reality of life in contemporary South Africa.
Untitled, Andile Brian Pewa, From the collection of: 89plus

"I am trying to show different living spaces by taking portraits of family members and neighbours.”

Andile Brian Pewa, visual artist

Notes from The Good Death/A Museum is Built in the Throat: Towards a Relational Institution, CCA Ujazdowski Castle, Mika Conradie, 2016, From the collection of: 89plus
Mika Conradie
(b. Johannesburg, South Africa, 1989) Mika Conradie is a researcher and curator preoccupied with plant-thinking, rhythmanalysis, decolonial spatial practice and collective social infrastructures in Johannesburg.
Free Writing Draft: Diagramming and Space-Making, Mika Conradie, 2015, From the collection of: 89plus

“For a very long time my recent applications have been with space, and how space is produced and unfolded by relations that individuals, and collectives have with structures and space.”

Mika Conradie, researcher and curator

Portrait of Sibahle ‘Siba’ Nkumbi, 2015, From the collection of: 89plus
Sibahle ‘Siba’ Nkumbi
(b. Cradock, Lingelihle, South Africa, 1989) Sibahle Nkumbi studied filmmaking at Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking, Cape Town. She is a filmmaker, writer and a vernacular poet. Nkumbi has worked closely with LGBTI visual activist Zanele Muholi, as a contributing voice and writer for online platform Inkanyiso.
Untitled, Lebogang Mashifane, From the collection of: 89plus
Lebogang Mashifane
(b. Springs, South Africa, 1989) As a videographer, Lebogang has predominantly been documenting art events in Cape Town and Gauteng since 2013. She exposes and celebrates the myriad of talented artists around her, and curates artists as collaborators between the two provinces. She is also a writer and spoken word poet and performance artist. She is a regular contributor for the LGBTI online platform, Inkanyiso.
"Q: Why 6 is afraid of 7? A: 7 ate 9." Poem by Lebogang Mashifane, Lebogang Mashifane, Hans Ulrich Obrist, 2015-08-03, From the collection of: 89plus

Why 6 is Afraid of 7?, a short poem and Lebogang Mashifane's contribution to the Protest against the Disappearance of Handwriting project by Hans Ulrich Obrist on Instagram.

‘A part of me I’, Mbali Dhlamini, 2015, From the collection of: 89plus
Mbali Dhlamini
(b. Soweto, South Africa, 1990) Mbali is a multidisciplinary artist and coordinator. She performs visual, tactile and discursive investigations into current indigenous cultural practices. With a view towards decolonized practices in contemporary culture, her work is in constant conversation with her past and present visual landscapes.
Bomma V, ‘Izambatho’ Series, Mbali Dhlamini, 2015, Original Source: Design Indaba

“In my work, I look at the inherent power of the church.“

—Mbali Dhlamini, visual artist

St Jewel Apostolic Church, ‘Umbala/Mmala’ Series, Mbali Dlamini, 2015, Original Source: artist's website
89plus Johannesburg workshop, Keleketla Library, Johannesburg., 2015-08-04, From the collection of: 89plus
Keleketla! Media Library
The interdisciplinary, independent library and media arts project hosted the 89plus Johannesburg workshop held in August 2015. 
89plus, Another Africa
Credits: Story

The 89plus Johannesburg workshop was initiated by 89plus co-curators Simon Castets and Hans Ulrich Obrist, in collaboration with publishing platform Another Africa, and its founder, Missla Libsekal. They were joined by 89plus art residency participant and South African emerging artist, Bogosi Sekhukhuni.

More info:

This project was made possible with the support of Google Cultural Institute.

With thanks to the following individuals and institutions for their support:

Joost Bosland, Liza Esser, STEVENSON Gallery, Goodman Gallery, Rangoato Hlasane, Keleketla! Library, Malose Malahlela, Kabelo Malatsie, Molemo Moiloa, VANSA, Zanele Muholi, Gabi Ngcobo, Mikhael Subotzky and more.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.