119 Jan Smuts Avenue
Monday – Thursday
09:00 – 16:00 ( 9PM First Thursdays)
09:00 – 13:00 Visit Website
The Goethe-Institut is the Federal Republic of Germany’s cultural institute, active worldwide. The Goethe-Institut’s Gallery hosts contemporary art projects from all disciplines throughout the year.
The Reading Room is a place for contemplation, conversation, screenings, small-scale events, and reading.
In this room and the workshop adjacent to it, a group of artists will respond to another’s work over a period of 12 weeks.
The starting point for this engagement is the series of portrait paintings entitled Heroes (by Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi). The series is an ongoing inquiry into the subjective nature of the term ‘hero’: What is a hero? Do we need and therefore create our heroes? Who gets memorialised and who is forgotten?
Alphabet Zoo (artists Minenkulu Ngoyi and Isaac Zavale) will initiate a series of workshops in which artists respond to Nkosi’s portraits in various forms, creating new readings of the work. Participating artists include Andile Buka, Simnikiwe Buhlungu, Mooki Mooks, Kgomutso Neto Tleane, Jack Dyamonds, and the Danger Gevaar Ingozi collective.
Visitors to The Reading Room are invited to observe the development of the space over the project period. Visitors will also be invited to engage directly with the artists’ processes— including opportunities to participate in a programme of workshops and public events. The idea is that what is generated in the space will build on the narratives already present, and populate The Reading Room with a multiplicity of voices.
The public is invited to directly engage with The Reading Room during the following events:
26 May 2018 | 2-4pm | Reading Sessions:
Selected texts to be read and discussed at The Reading Room
01 + 02 June 2018 | 10-5pm | All Day Screenings
Screenings of documentary films to run over two days
07 June 2018 | Public Zine Workshop with Alphabet Zoo
If you are interested in participating in the workshop, please send and RSVP to Masechaba Moloi at Masechaba.Moloi@goethe.de, and she will supply you with further details to the workshop.
The Reading Room (Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi and Alphabet Zoo)
Open to the public from 5 April to 22 June
Goethe-Institut, 119 Jan Smuts Avenue, 2193 Parkwood
This project offers a sustained engagement with Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi’s body of work Heroes. Nkosi’s portraits are veiled – a function of technique, as well as her conception of what constitutes a “hero”. The faces shift between recognition and obscurity, and come to stand for a community.
Alphabet Zoo is Minenkulu Ngoyi and Isaac Zavale, both traditional print-making artists that formed a street-culture zine and work collaboratively. Together with Andile Buka, Simnikiwe Buhlungu, Mooki Mooks, Kgomutso Neto Tleane, Jack Diamond, and the collective Danger Gevaar Ingozi, they start to respond to Heroes, creating new work in conversation with Nkosi’s paintings.
The space itself grows and changes over time as work is added. It is imagined as a reading room and a place for conversation, screenings and small-scale events: a space always in motion. Participants and the public at large are asked to step inside, and think through the significance of the work, build on the narratives, consider the absences and the spaces between the portraits.
The Reading Room is open to the public from 5 April with a public event on 12 April. Further
events are to be announced on social media. From 22 June the reading room will continue
under a different guise, elaborating on the conversations of this first iteration.
70 Juta Street
155 Smit St & De Beer St
153 Smit Service Str, Braamfontein
70 Juta Street
Simmonds St & Frederick St
Cnr Melle and De Korte Streets
142 Jan Smuts Avenue
163 Jan Smuts Avenue
Corner of Bertha & Jorissen Streets