The inaugural edition of the Stellenbosch Triennale, brainchild of the Stellenbosch Outdoor Sculpture Trust, will take place from 11 February to 30 April 2020. The international showcase aims to place creativity in critical dialogue with society.
The theme Tomorrow There Will Be More of Us, articulated by Chief Curator and Artistic Director Khanyisile Mbongwa, runs as a thread throughout the seven multidisciplinary platforms. All will provide meeting points for engagement with the divided past, the collective present and imagined futures.
The main exhibition conceived by Mbongwa, with co-curators Bernard Akoi-Jackson and Nontobeko Ntombela will feature 20 artists, from a range of African countries. According to Chief Curator Mbongwa, “African creatives confront us with what is possible for a renewal to happen utilising art as a lens, a course correction, a stimulus around curiosity and imagination. Through the Triennale, we bring work from the continent to the southernmost tip as an intersection of time – where the past, present and future are in dialogue.”
Artists participating inthe main show Tomorrow There will be More of Us are: Bronwyn Katz (South Africa), Donna Kukama (South Africa), Euridice Kala aka Zaituna Kala (Mozambique), Hellen Nabukenya (Uganda), Ibrahim Mahama (Ghana), Igshaan Adams (South Africa), Kaloki Nyamai (Kenya), Kelvin Haizel (Ghana), Kivu Ruhorahoza (Rwanda), Mongezi Ncaphayi (South Africa), Nástio Mosquito (Angola), Patrick Bongoy (DR Congo), Reshma Chhiba (South Africa), Ronald Muchatuta (Zimbabwe), Sethembile Msezane (South Africa), Stacey Gillian Abe (Uganda), Tracey Naa Koshie Thompson (Ghana), Victor Ehikhamenor (Nigeria), Wura-Natasha Ogunji (Nigeria), and Zyma Amien (South Africa).
Located inside The Woodmill and on the surrounding precinct, the main exhibition will provide a gateway where visitors will be introduced to the Triennale’s other exhibitions and programmes. These include:
On the Cusp a critical engagement by graduating visual art students and emerging visual artists from across the continent with the concept of being at an apex before the onset of something. Ten emerging artists will be invited to participate from countries across Africa.
From the Vault an exhibition that exhumes archives and engages with buried museum collections as a critical resource in contextualising and mapping contemporary society and culture.
The Pavilion a temporary structure designed by award-winning architect Pieter Mathews and situated on the centrally located Die Braak. It will provide a platform for education, talks, information gathering and dialogue.
Concepts of Freedom Film Festival curated by Kenyan filmmaker Silas Miami will take place in a variety of outdoors and indoors venues. It will include screening and workshops for aspiring filmmakers.
Performative Art Practices Festival curated by South African curator and choreographer Jay Pather and Bernard Akoi-Jackson will open a dialogue with the history and architecture of Stellenbosch.
The Imaginarium will provide a unique learning opportunity for learners of all ages. It will include an online discovery/learning resource centre, accessed through the Triennale website.
Stellenbosch Triennale aims to make Stellenbosch the primary destination of multi-disciplinary art in Africa, in 2020, by capturing the creative impetus that is reverberating across the continent.
According to the Triennale’s Trustee Dr Mike Mavura, “The Triennale turns Stellenbosch into a curated public laboratory for creative expressions and engagements in response to society’s questions now, then and there; what kind of people do we want to be? What relations to nature do we cherish? What knowledge, and what technologies do we deem appropriate? What aesthetic values do we hold?”