re/connect/ing Exhibition at University of Johannesburg Art Gallery

Written by Rika Nortje, Acting Curator, University of Johannesburg Art Gallery (South Africa, ITP 2007)

Considering the long-standing partnership between the University of Johannesburg and the MTN SA Foundation, this year’s exhibition was curated in a unique way. Artworks from the UJ Art Collection were selected from the UJ Art Gallery, and the MTN team responded to UJ artworks, with a selection of works from the MTN Art Collection, while keeping the theme of connectivity.

In conceptualizing a theme for the exhibition, the curators created a conjectural dialogue with MTN’s current slogan, “What are we doing today?”.  In response, “we are connecting today”, would become the theme. The title re/connect/ing encapsulates this dialogue as it comments on the act of conscious and continuous connections between these partners.

The exhibition continues the conversation that becomes all inclusive, where emotion, intuition, taste, or artistic expertise become the connecting dots within the curatorial narrative of the exhibition. UJ and MTN staff members from various vocations and positions were asked to choose a work from the exhibition that resonated with them the most, which encouraged them to engage with the art in a more immersive way.

The chosen artworks become the embodiment of human connection through artistic mediums and includes a selection of sacred African artefacts, works from South African pioneers and that of more recently established artists. The exhibition highlights the various narratives that each of the works are respectively engaged with, while drawing into visually compelling imagery, and presenting a variety of dialogues in a multi-faceted space, connecting and re/connect/ing the viewer with these experiences.

re/connect/ing is currently on display at University of Johannesburg Art Gallery until the end of February, and can also be viewed virtually HERE.

View the exhibition catalogue to see all the artworks HERE.

Read the media release HERE.

Check out the educational supplement HERE.

Congratulations to Rika for all her hard work.