Your Search Has Moved to Barbados

Your Search Has Moved to Barbados

YOUR SEARCH HAS MOVED TO BARBADOS Your Search Has Moved to Barbados is a project-in-progress that I began to develop while in residence at the project space gallery, gallery in Johannesburg. Intended to be part exhibition, part practice-based research, curators Sara-Aimee Verity and Chloë Reid invited ten artists to consider relationships between reading, correspondence, memory, invention and plurality. The results developed in the space over two months and grew into the group exhibition …she finds not her sum but her differences. My new work is a postscript to my recent publication Everyone is Present. I recycled material from my outtake bin that still feels alive and needs another form than book to do its work. It became the paper edit of a short film. READ MORE One of the most powerful stories of my childhood was that my grandmother’s prescience saved the family from certain death, when she compelled them—particularly my grandfather who was deeply reluctant—to leave Poland on the exact day in September 1939 that they did. One day later, the borders were closed, and they would not have been able to get out. She forced him by sending the children ahead with her brother and sister-in-law, in a car towards the Romanian border, and then telling him that if he ever wanted to see them again he had no choice but to follow. Another powerful story, this one always told to me by my grandmother herself—and usually when she was at her dressing table applying her make up, inserting her earrings, adjusting her hairstyle and appraising her look—was: “I was never very beautiful, but I was always veerry...
Everyone is Present

Everyone is Present

EVERYONE IS PRESENT Essays on Photography, Memory and Family This book project has grown out of more than twenty-five years of a multi-media, visual arts practice about photography. My aim was to try a different medium as an approach to certain preoccupations that have been with me for as long as I can remember. The ‘book object’ felt like the right form. Fourthwall Books’ press release reads as follows: “In this book, Kurgan begins with a family snapshot made by her Polish grandfather in 1939 on the eve of the war. Presenting this evocative image as a repository of multiple histories—public, private, domestic, familial and generational—she sets off on a series of meditations on photography that give us startling insights into how photographs work: what they conceal, how they mislead, what provocations they contain.” READ MORE “Each essay takes up the thread of the story of her family’s epic journey across Europe as they flee—country by country—Nazi occupation, until they reach Cape Town, South Africa. But Kurgan takes detours, circles back, diverts attention elsewhere, enriching and also disrupting the narrative with digressions on the way Google has changed our relationship to photography, on her grandfather’s eloquent daily journals, on the shipboard flirtations of her fascinating grandmother, on vanity, on self representation, on loss and return, home and exile. Kurgan’s richly satisfying essays are part memoir, part travelogue, part analysis and they demonstrate her sophisticated understanding of a medium that has long engaged her as an artist.” Kurgan has achieved something rare in this book: a truly dynamic fusion of text and image. She brings a deep knowledge of craft...
Hotel Yeoville – Special Edition Portfiolio

Hotel Yeoville – Special Edition Portfiolio

This portfolio edition of the book Hotel Yeoville was produced in association with Fourthwall Books, Johannesburg. It contains a signed edition of the book and four limited edition prints. The portfolios are numbered from I/X to X/X. Each print is separately editioned from 1/10 to 10/10 and is signed and numbered  on the front. The prints have been digitally printed with pigment inks onto 290 gm archival Hahnemühle Bamboo paper.  Oliver Barstow assisted with the portfolio preparation and design. Image reproduction and printing was by Amichai Tahor of Lightfarm, and the Solander box was made by Heléne van Aswegen. Publication Date: Johannesburg 2013. Order here _DSF6977_1 _DSF6976_1 _DSF6975_1 _DSF6974_1 _DSF6973_1 _DSF6972_1 COVER_Thumnail_1 _DSF6978_1...
Still, Life

Still, Life

Still, Life My practise is characterised by a productive negotiation between being a studio artist making fixed objects in a discreet private space, and a public realm artist, collaborator in a shifting field in social space.  It’s often tricky making the crossing, and this group of drawings began very far away from where they have ended. Underpinning much of my full body of work is a preoccupation with family photographs, particularly the way in which these photographs mediate our experience of ourselves in the world. I am interested in the complex negotiation that takes place in the making of a photographic image, and the mutual need of both photographer and subject for affirmation and recognition. Every project, whether public or ‘private’, attempts to get under the opaque, two-dimensional surface of the photograph.   Read More For the last ten years, every time I start making a new gallery exhibition, I haul out a small, precious portfolio of about thirty black and white photographs, produced by a studio photographer named Menashe Golashevsky. He came out to South Africa from Lithuania in 1928 on the same ship as my grandfather, and worked out of a shop front in Salt River, Cape Town. He documented the middle class Jewish community as they made families, weddings and barmitzvahs, but he also documented the working class community who lived and worked in Salt River. The images are very poignant, and bursting with layer upon layer of personal, cultural and public history that draw me in.  l placed them in a grid on my table and set out upon a series of new drawings  but...
Park Pictures

Park Pictures

Park Pictures AbdouMaliq Simone, an urban geographer, researches survival strategies and the ways in which livelihoods are produced in contemporary African cities such as Johannesburg, which are unable to provide their residents with adequate shelter, employment or legality. He writes: “It is important that we take seriously what is accomplished, even in the most deprived neighborhoods or cities, by those who spend their entire working lives in one place – the tea seller, the newspaper vendor … especially in the poorest neighborhoods, cities or families, being stationary is an intense position – waiting for things to come to you, finding ways of exerting control over a specific place, exacting income from that control.” Read more The project Park Pictures responds to the context of Joubert Park, a rare green and open space in the dense ‘Afropolitan’ inner city of Johannesburg. The work is about photography, migration and the reconfiguration of an enormous African city whose development was frozen in time. Joubert Park is surrounded by what was once a thriving retail and business center for the city’s white middle class, abandoned in the early nineteen-eighties for the suburbs, with their decentralized malls and business parks. In today’s inner city, African immigrants, refugees, poor and working-class South Africans now occupy derelict apartments and office buildings once designed for other uses. Their occupation is contested. Living quarters are typically dense and conditions fraught, with sometimes as many as ten people living in a room designed for two. Everyday life is fractious, and street space is accordingly intense, chaotic and sometimes perilous. The park, in this context, offers breathing space, and a...