Tag Archive for: On the cusp

The inaugural Stellenbosch Triennale 2020 takes place 11 February – 30 April in various locations across Stellenbosch. The event brings together the finest contemporary art from Africa for the world. See the programme below for more on the Stellenbosch Triennale 2020, and click here to download the programme and map for this unique event.

 Curators’ Exhibition

The Woodmill Lifestyle Centre, Vredenburg Road, Devon Valley

Curators Khanyisile Mbongwa and Bernard Akoi-Jackson

Situated at a major entrance to the town of Stellenbosch this anchor exhibition is curated by the Stellenbosch Triennale curators who have selected 20 artists from various countries on the African continent. The artists interpret the 2020 theme Tomorrow there will be more of us through multi-disciplinary art installations, both indoors and outdoors.

Opening hours: Tues – Fri 10:00 – 18:00 | Sat 10:00 – 16:00 | Sun 10:00 – 14:00 | Mon Closed

 On the Cusp

Libertas Parva (Little Libertas), 25-33 Dorp Street, Stellenbosch

Curators Khanyisile Mbongwa and Bernard Akoi-Jackson

An exhibition of artworks by 10 young African artists, On the Cusp is about revealing and unravelling the creative talents of tomorrow. Focused on graduating visual art students and young art practitioners who have pushed their creative boundaries and sit on the cusp of beauty and magic through their aesthetic, conceptual, critical, material choice, form or installation methods.

Made possible by

Opening hours: Tues – Fri 10:00 – 18:00 | Sat 10:00 – 16:00 | Sun 10:00 – 14:00 | Mon Closed

 From the Vault

Stellenbosch University Museum, 52 Ryneveld Street, Stellenbosch

Curators Mike Tigere Mavura and Khanyisile Mbongwe | Curatorial assistant Gcotyewa Mashiqa

From the Vault exhumes archives and engages with buried museum collections as a critical resource to contextualise and map contemporary society and culture. The exhibition represents a critical engagement with time by browsing through historical acquisitions, examining their significance as fragments of the past and showing how museum vaults can be a compass for the future. This inaugural exhibition examines the university art collections from Stellenbosch University and the University of Fort Hare.

Made possible by  

Opening hours: Mon – Fri 09:00 – 16:30 | Sat 09:00 – 12:30 | Sun Closed

 Die Braak Pavilion

Die Braak, Stellenbosch Central

Curator Pieter Mathews

The inaugural pavilion is a fusion between the disciplines of public art, sculpture and architecture. By providing only the armature as defined structure the pavilion encourages the community to participate in its filling in, so it will “grow” throughout the Triennale. Waste materials such as discarded fishing nets, ropes, plastic bags and nylon packaging will be woven and knotted as infill material, communicating the value of waste and the future of a waste economy. An afterlife for the pavilion is envisaged: as a playground for a crèche or a shading device for local crafters. Conversations around everyday materials and their afterlives is integral to the message the pavilion portrays.

Concepts of Freedom

Curator Silas Miami

A group video art installation is on exhibition upstairs at 118 Dorp Street throughout the Triennale, with the film festival taking place from 18 March through to 21 March 2020 in Kayamandi, Jamestown and Pniel.

1.  Concepts of Freedom Group Video Installation

118 Dorp Street 

Opening hours:

Tuesday – Friday 10h00 – 18h00
Saturday – 10h00 – 16h00
Sunday – 10h00 – 14h00
Mondays closed

2.  Concepts of Freedom Meditation

The film screenings will be held in Kayamandi, Jamestown and Pniel from 18 – 21 March 2020.

Go to www.stellenboschtriennale.com for programme details.

 African Ad: Analog + Digital – Music Programme

Various locations throughout Stellenbosch

Curator Khanyisile Mbongwa

Through African AD we explore African sounds and dancing as a constant connection and conversation with the cosmos. African AD thus explores the congregation of sounds and vibrations that permeate Africa by inviting artists, musicians, DJ’s to search the archives and put into composition their encounters and experiences via this platform.

 Creative Dialogues Talks Programme

The Woodmill Lifestyle Centre, Vredenburg Road, Devon Valley

Curators Mike Tigere Mavura and Silas Miami 

The Talks Programme engages the diversity of South Africa, the continent and global art sector through short, powerful panel discussions, talk about and seminars. By extending the conversation with professionals in other fields, the Talks Programme brings together interesting and exciting insight into the topics underlined by the Triennale.

13 February 2020 – Imagination as Revolutionary Practice: Institutions

  • Session 1: Imagination as Revolutionary Practice in relation to Institutions
    • When:  13:00-14:20, Thursday 13 February 2020
    • Panellists: Tandazani Dhlakama in conversation with Ibrahim Mahama and Selom Koffi Kudjie
  • Session 2: Institutions as Sites of Experiments, Emancipatory Practices and Futuring
    • When: 14:30-15:30, Thursday 13 February 2020
    • Panellists: Ukhona Mlandu, & Nisha Von Carnap, ASAFO collective, moderated by Saziso Phiri

14 February 2020 – Imagination as Revolutionary Practice: Concepts of Freedom

  • Session 1: Imagination as Revolutionary Practice: Gestures, Intimacy & Spirituality
    • When: 13:00-14:30, Friday 14 February 2020
    • Panellists: Sethembile Msezane, Tracey Thompson, Victor Ekhmanahor and Vicky Lekone (Moderator)
  • Session 2: Concepts of Freedom
    • When: 14:30-15:30, Friday 14 February 2020
    • Panellists: Sunny Dolat, Rehema Chachage and Silas Miami (Moderator)

15 February 2020 – Imagination as Revolutionary Practice: Archives and Futuring in collaboration with Africa Open Institute

  • Session 1: Sounding and Reading Freedom
    • When: 13:00-13:20, Saturday 15 February 2020
    • Robert Machiri, Tinashe Mushakavanhu and Lizabé Lambrechts
  • Session 2: PUNGWE / Reading Zimbabwe Performance
    • When: 14:30-16:00, Saturday 15 February 2020
    • Reading Zimbabwe Performance

 The Imaginarium

Curators Andi Norton Asisipho Msitho

The Imaginarium is a supplementary, online, open-source (free) discovery and learning resource centre for all ages. The portal has been designed to stimulate imagination and support 21st-century learning skills. Using the Triennale as context and reference, the 8Cs of learning – Curiosity, Creativity, Criticism, Communication, Collaboration, Compassion, Composure, Citizenship – will be stimulated and explored. For online reference, school tours and workshops go to www.stellenboschtriennale.com.

Made possible by

The Imaginarium can be accessed through the Triennale website at www.stellenboschtriennale.com.


116 Dorp Street, Voorgelegen, Stellenbosch +27 81 456 9737 | info@stellenboschtriennale.com

The Stellenbosch Triennale, happening in venues across the historic town from 11 February to 30 April 2020, draws in the continent’s important curators to present programmes interlocking with and at many levels of artistic achievement.

On The Cusp is not just an exhibition of a new generation of Contemporary African artists, but presents the work of a number of exciting new talents within the larger Stellenbosch Triennale. Conceptually, On The Cusp references the idea of the accumulated potential that an individual or generation possesses at a crucial interval of time – just before the onset of something great.

The exhibition is one of the Triennale’s identifying exhibitions – a core part of the programme, initiated by Chief Curator Khanyisile Mbongwa.

Triennale exhibition programme

Speaking about the place of On the Cusp in the broader Triennale exhibition programme says, “The cornerstone curatorial programs that construct the Triennale are The Curator’s exhibition Tomorrow There will Be More of Us, which we can view as a extension of the present. Then there is an exploration of the archive in From the Vault, which can be seen as a extension of the past. And finally, we have On The Cusp, which is an extension of the future. These three exhibitions mark Stellenbosch Triennale’s identity — thus engaging with our ethos of intersectional time: past, present, future.”


On the Cusp curator Bernard Akoi-JacksonCurated by contemporary Ghanaian curator, artist and writer Bernard Akoi-Jackson, On The Cusp takes into account future possibilities by engaging with new artists set to innovate in the Africa scene to come, as well as on the world stage. The exhibition follows the ethos of the Triennale as it ventures beyond the confines of the traditional, exposing fresh practices — aesthetic, conceptual, critical or material.

Akoi-Jackson has upon the advice of a network of colleague practitioners across the continent, selected ten African artists/collectives across a spectrum of techniques, methods and mediums and a host of genres:

Aaron Samuel Mulenga (Zambia), Agnes Waruguru (Kenya), Asafo Black Artist Collective (Ghana), Canon Rumanzi (Uganda), Indira Mateta (Angola), Lazaro Samuel (Tanzania), Malebona Maphutse (South Africa), Nelly Guambe (Mozambique), Simnikiwe Buhlungu (South Africa), Valerie Fab-Uche (Nigeria).

New African artists

In terms of the mix of artists and mediums he has curated, Akoi-Jackson says, “For On The Cusp, it has been important to borrow from the ethics of blaxTARLINES KUMASI[i] and take cognizance of realities in economics and politics; the human society in general and how these then work in ways that have impact beyond the human experience. The exhibition adopts a strategy of deliberately mixing up stuff, being indifferent to any particular medium, material or genre as representative of the highest form of art practice. All media are considered as equally important, so long as the artists are respectful of them and dedicated to pursuing their choices.”

Bernard Akoi-Jackson is a Ghanaian artist who lives and works from Tema/Accra/Kumasi. His multi-disciplinary, audience implicating installations and performative “pseudo-rituals”, have featured in exhibitions across the world. He has curated exhibitions with blaxTARLINES KUMASI, KNUST, most prominent being Cornfields in Accra, (2016) and Orderly Disorderly, (2017). Akoi-Jackson holds a PhD in Painting and Sculpture from the College of Art and Built Environment, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi where he lectures with particular interest in disruption and the revolutionary potential in contemporary art practice.  He curated the inaugural exhibition: Galle Winston Kofi Dawson: In Pursuit of something“.

As a notable artist who engages with performance, installation, writing and a host of other activities his creative propositions may be considered as ephemeral, makeshift memorials and performative rituals of the mundane.

In addition to curating On The Cusp, Akoi-Jackson is also co-curating the main curators’ exhibition.

The works

About the content of the On The Cusp exhibition, Akoi-Jackson says, “Contemporary artists are, as a matter of fact, dealing with myriads of issues. Generally the old issues African artists have dealt with would not all of a sudden, not go away; but young artists don’t necessarily feel that it is urgent to hang on to some of the old issues. Perhaps the best way to say it is that they are aware of their time, they are clothed with the hindsight of the histories that have existed up till now and they are looking at the old issues through new lenses, and these could literally be VR oculi, AR simulations or and existence somewhere in a virtual domain. They are moving with time, but also moving in and beyond time.”

“These young artists, and emerging voices, are very much into the Instagram culture, very much into the larger social media culture – but at the same time they may have to deal with old and protracted issues. So we approach those with a new urge. Old issues are not going away but the young people shouldn’t be burdened with them. They have their own burdens, their own agency. They are bearing contemporary burdens. And we experience this in On The Cusp.

“That is, also, why we cut across media. And that is why we have seen the inclusion of traditional artists practices as well as artists collectives. More and more collectives are becoming visible even though most of the art world is moving to the notion of the individual artist again. Some of the young artists however, deem it necessary to work in a collective in order to survive in the art world. In so doing, they do not entirely relinquish their own practices, they rather enhance them.

“As far as critical issues go, there are as many issues as the practices that are shown. But issues range far from identity, to how to be a global citizen, how to be a body that may not be embodied in a conservative sense, how to be a body that is not bent or challenged by say, gender.”

On The Cusp is made possible by Distell and will take place at one of Distell’s historical properties, Libertas Parva (Little Libertas), 25-33 Dorp Street in Stellenbosch. A panel will select the best exhibition, and the winning artist will embark on an artist residency towards a solo exhibition at an established gallery.

The Stellenbosch Triennale takes place from 11 February to 30 April 2020.

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