Kinetics of Art and History

Image credit: Ernest Cole
Image credit: Ernest Cole

Opening the BMW Young Collectors Co. programme to the public, BMW Art Generation brings celebrated, established, and young artists, curators, and academics, from across the world together in conversation with collectors to imagine, celebrate and protect the future of contemporary African art.

Hosted at William Kentridge’s Centre for the Less Good Idea, the eventwill give the public access to open studios, performance art, live music and a boutique lifestyle market with stalls dedicated to demonstrating the very best in design and food and wine experiences. 

Looking to bring leading artists from Africa and the diaspora to explore contemporary African art within the realm of black intellectual tradition, the weekend presents multiple opportunities to create a thought experiment that inserts an African narrative where art meets history and place. Foregrounding an ethos that fosters innovation, community and an Africa that will continue to set standards for the global contemporary art ecosystem, the event prioritises access through the transference of knowledge, from one generation to another, in open forums. 

Home to many artists’ studios, including William Kentridge, Mikhael Subotzky and Mary Sibande, the event also looks to re-establish the Maboneng district as a flagship for culture. “Johannesburg is home to FNB Art Joburg, the longest running contemporary art fair on the African continent. Feeding off the city’s grit, desperation, tenacity and irreverent energy, artists, curators, and cultural policy makers living in or visiting Johannesburg understand its position and growing potential to be the continent’s cultural capital,” says Mandla Sibeko, Managing Director of FNB Art Joburg. “Hosted in central Johannesburg, where culture thrives and informs community’s daily lives, BMW Art Generation also seeks to reignite engagement and investment dedicated to stimulating and sustaining the city as a natural incubator for contemporary art.”

The event will welcome the likes of Swiss curator and director at the Serpentine Galleries, Hans Ulrich Obrist; Dutch architect, Rem Koolhaas; BMW Group’s Global Head of Cultural Engagement, Dr Thomas Girst; Princeton-based Nigerian artist and historian, Chika Okeke-Agulu; and William Kentridge American collector and radiologist, Dr Joy Simmons. A pilgrimage for some and a homecoming for others, the event is an opportunity for long overdue connections. 

“FNB Art Joburg’s mandate is to sustainably support and grow the contemporary African art offering that is shown on African soil. As the continent’s leading fair, we are thrilled to continue seeing this through while actively fulfilling our quest for economic stimulation, inclusivity, and better access for all, with 16+ days of culture through Open City,” concludes Sibeko.

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