Sean O’Toole
              In 2019, two years after completing her MFA at the Glasgow School of Art and shortly after returning to her native Johannesburg, artist and curator Chloë Reid initiated gallery, gallery as a platform to encourage collaboration among arts practitioners. To date Reid has produced six exhibitions in cooperation with a host of artists and under-the-radar curators, all of them held under the auspices of “the gallery,” an exhibition space carved out of an annex of printmaker Fiona Pole and framer Didier Presse’s working studio and frame shop, The Atelier. Reid’s exhibition initiative, which foregrounds exchange and embodiment, fills an important gap in South Africa’s structurally imbalanced art system. Project spaces—and for that matter experiments by freelance curators—are few and far between in South Africa, more so in the period since the emergence of the art-fair model in 2008. In the absence of viable non-commercial formats like a biennale, art fairs have come to define the agenda. The opening of Reid’s debut exhibition “Rocks” in 2019, for example, coincided with the launch of two new fairs in Johannesburg. The coronavirus pandemic has temporarily changed the rules, allowing Reid’s plucky co-operative model of low-key, physical exhibition-making to flourish. “Holdfast” reprises Reid’s collaborations with Zimbabwean …

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