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Tag: Steven Cohen

Universal soldiers, Egyptian mummies

ANIMAL FARM. TWO words which conjure up a quirky engagement with political horror, as they refer to one of the more important tracts of contemporary literature. Peter Mammes, in his current exhibition, It’s Already Too Late Once the Soldiers Have Arrived, touches on the kind of wisdom and […]

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Fifteen fine reasons to visit Braamfontein

THERE’S A POTENT and muscular articulation of joy as you enter the gallery space for the Stevenson Gallery’s celebration of its 15th anniversary. It’s difficult to pinpoint why this happens because contemporary artwork is traditionally not happy but contemplative, not easy but sophisticated and often very self-focused. The […]

We, the fallen giants

SOMETIMES A WORK reaches your sensibilities in an ineffable way, giving voice to your most secret and unuttered notions of the rawness of loss, love and letting go. Sometimes that work can touch all those nerves and succeed in being so supremely beautiful and wistfully unhinged that you […]

Elu’s yizkor

THE CLEAVAGE BETWEEN art and sacred ritual is very ancient. And it’s not often that contemporary art reaches richly and bravely beyond the limitations of what our society thinks art is, or should be.  It’s, after all, dangerous and unmapped terrain. But Steven Cohen, who has never shied […]

Kaddish for Elu

SOMETIMES THE RAW howl of loss is the only thing possible. Sometimes it is more potent than any words which are in danger of teetering anywhere near the threat of idle platitude. Sometimes the raw gesture, the unthinkable act of personal anger and sadness in the wake of […]

My body, my heroism

THERE’S A DENSE stillness articulated in the tough and unselfconscious photographs of performer Oupa Sibeko in his solo exhibition iQhawe. But as you look, you realise there is considerably more to these heroic images, cast pristinely onto a white background, which situate the artist in traditional reeds or nakedly. […]

Weighing, wanting and kneading

A YOUNG SOUTH African man will reveal his soul at the National Gallery of Namibia, on August 5. He will be armed with a heavy industrial chain, a broken telephone, an old-fashioned scale, and woman’s stocking, amongst other things. He will also be armed with the fire of self-belief. […]

Broken Bird, Fly Free

A DANCER WHO was capable of provoking guttural fear in his audience and critics because of the unstinting quantity and quality of beauty, bravery and intensity he was able to give his performances, South African choreographer and performance artist Elu, passed away suddenly after a six-week illness, on July 17. […]