Last night I went to check out three exhibition openings in Woodstock at some of my favourite bars: Stevenson, Blank & SMAC. I don’t know if it was something in the air or my usual lack of discernment but I loved absolutely all of them, starting with Nandipha Mntambo’s Metamorphoses at the Stevenson bar. It was AWESOME. Really, do yourself a favour and check out her sculptures. As I always say, I’m no art writer, so please follow this here link to peep her artist statement for a bit of background.

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Across the road at Blank bar we had Jan-Henri Booyens’s exhibition, WHITEOUT. Once again, my complete educated review is that it was AWESOME. Sadly, when you pop in this weekend you won’t get to see the performance bit, where Jan-Henri played a typa guitar that fucked with the lights and did some interesting shit to his amazing paintings. It is great to see that this bar has added live music to their programme. Looking forward to many amazing nights there.

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Then there was the SMAC bar, impressive little bar this, they had bar snacks and everything, so classy. They showed Benin-based photog Leonce Raphael Agbodjélou’s  Egungun Masquarades. After viewing, researching and engaging with the work I am happy to review that it was indeed AWESOME.

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Lastly, also at the classy SMAC bar, was Ed Young’s Agnus Dei, a video work, where a young girl reads an art theory text, with great difficulty, making us aware of how torturous it all is. But wait, there’s more, a twist: said young lady is daughter of the owner of the bar down the road, Blank, where we saw Jan-Henri’s work. We have now reached PEAK AWESOMENESS.


Text and images by Malibongwe Tyilo


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