19 Keyes Avenue
1st Floor The Trumpet building
Monday – Friday
09:00 – 17:00
10:00 – 15:00 Visit Website
SMAC Gallery is a leading South African contemporary art gallery representing established and emerging artists from South Africa, Africa, and further afield. The gallery first opened in Stellenbosch in 2007 and launched a second space in Cape Town in 2011. SMAC opened its third space in Johannesburg, in 2016.
The gallery manages a dynamic programme of exhibitions and curatorial projects that focus on contemporary artistic discourses, while facilitating collaborative projects with local and international institutions and artists. In addition, SMAC maintains a significant publishing initiative that has produced twenty-five titles to date. The gallery also regularly presents large-scale historical exhibitions and projects that offer a critical re-evaluation of South African art history within a global dialogue.
SMAC participates in international art fairs, including: The Armory Show, ARTISSIMA, Art Brussels and others.
SMAC Gallery is proud to present set user, a solo exhibition of new paintings by Asha Zero.
Known for deconstructing traditional notions of identity and representation, dominated today by contemporary media, branding, marketing, and advertising, Asha Zero’s characteristically hyper-realistic paintings speak into the various traditions and languages within the history of Modernism and Postmodernism alike.
The title of this, Zero’s third solo exhibition with SMAC gallery, implies a concern with reality and appearance in terms of a personal identity in an online world; set user is a term associated with gaming avatars. Since user identity can readily be changed, it denotes the ability to interact with reality as one identity amongst many, hence the requirement to set the user for the activity to commence. Zero compels himself as well as the viewer to question ‘who’ is looking. In an age of identity prescribed by user interfaces, where multiple login identities can exist for a single person, Asha Zero is a name, a tag, a user identity, born in the pre-digital age when the streets were considered the first truly egalitarian space to create an identity that could compete with a media-saturated world.
set user presents a series of representations of magazine or digital image sources; torn, collaged, and contextualised in a contemporary bricolage. Using silkscreens, Zero represents the tattered wallpaper of an undisclosed interior. In thicker swirls of paint, he plasters other areas in a complex riddle of repair or neglect. Zero’s game of reality and appearance forces the viewer to reconsider the material reality of his paintings. What at first appears to be a collage of actual magazine, wallpaper, and plaster elements turns out to be an exquisite rendering of those materials in acrylic paint.
Read more from the official exhibition text by Natasha Norman on SMAC Gallery's website:
Simmonds St & Frederick St
Cnr Bertha and Stiemens streets
155 Jan Smuts Avenue
Cnr Melle and De Korte Streets
142 Jan Smuts Avenue
163 Jan Smuts Avenue
Corner of Bertha & Jorissen Streets
138 Jan Smuts Avenue