Le Grand Café, Contemporary Art Centre, Saint-Nazaire

LE GRAND CAFE, Centre d’Art Contemporain, Saint-Nazaire (F) (left) (c) David Goldblatt ‘The mine has closed, the waste remains: blue asbestos fibres on the Owendale Asbestos Mine tailings dump, near Posmasburg’. 26 October 2002, 2002 collection FNAC. (right)Thando MAMA, (un)hea(r)d, 2003, video projection    TROUBLE Jane ALEXANDER, William KENTRIDGE, Thando MAMA, Jo RACTLIFFE, Tracey ROSE DAVID GOLDBLATT (Galerie des Franciscains) Curator: Sophie Legrandjacques November 6th to december 31th, 2004 Opening date: Friday November 5th from 7 PM Hours: Daily (except Monday) 2PM to 7PM, Sunday 3PM to 6PM Le Grand Cafe Place des Quatre Z’Horloges, 44600 Saint-Nazaire – FRANCE T +33 (0)2 40 22 37 66 / F +33 (0)2 40 22 43 86 grand_cafe@mairie-saintnazaire.fr Celebrating the 10th anniversary of South Africa first democratic elections, Le Grand Cafe Centre for Contemporary Art presents two exhibitions revealing South African artists’ commitment to their country’s social and political past and present history. TROUBLE gathers artworks by Jane ALEXANDER, William KENTRIDGE, Thando MAMA, Jo RACTLIFFE, and Tracey ROSE, which explore “the unstable and fluid expanse that exists between an internalised, personal space and an exterior, outer reality during a time of intense social transformation. Inevitably, the specific historical conditions that continue to be played out in South Africa in its first few years as a newly democratic nation are embedded in their artwork, yet the issues resonate beyond its borders. Transformation is affecting many countries as they experience volatile social, cultural and economic changes due to political re-ordering and the seemingly all-encompassing effects of globalisation. In South Africa, the symptoms of transformation are compressed, intensified and acutely evident in day-to-day life.” (Emma Bedford, TREMOR, Contemporary South African Art, 2004). Memory, identity, desire, survival, guilt, reconciliation thus appear through the works this exhibition brings together, highlighting a recurring use of film and video as the unstable and fluid expanse itself. The still photography presented constitutes a tense point in this expanse, questioning the vision’s reality and the way that images are constructed. TROUBLE is shown in Le Grand Cafe in partnership with Iziko: South African National Gallery, Cape Town, Bruxelles Centre for Contemporary Art and Institut Francais d’Afrique du Sud. Le Grand Cafe presents at the Galerie des Franciscains the first significant monographic exhibition of David GOLDBLATT’s work in France. This exhibition gathers 58 photographs, some of which have never been seen in this country before, taken between 1952 and 2002. David Goldblatt takes pictures from “both sides”. First, Afrikaners, then the world of Black people, starting in the early 70′s. This artist seeks to depict living and working conditions of ordinary people, thus expressing an explicitly critical conscience that calls for reform. His photographic practise accounts for the on-going decay of urban landscapes and for the inescapable wave of change and modernisation processes, while reflecting on solidarity and on the spirit of unity which is being reached by communities in the worst times. His photographs recount fifty years of observing South African’s upheavals, from the rising apartheid regime (in 1948, when the National Party were elected) to the first post-apartheid decade. The exhibited works are part of the Fonds National d’Art Contemporain’s collection, presently on loan at the Musee des Beaux-Arts de Nantes, France.
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