The Johannesburg Pavillion is a programme of contemporary African film and live performance to take place during the 56th Venice Biennale. It is curated in memory of the final Johannesburg Biennale directed in 1997 by Okwui Enwezor, the current and first African, Director of the 56th Venice Bienniale.
The project encapsulates the spirit of the expansive and mythical African city of Johannesburg, both in its provocative title as a non-official civic pavilion, and as a temporary intervention in the everyday urban fabric of the city of Venice.
The participating artists each have an affiliation with Johannesburg, a city built by relocated and dislocated immigrants since its founding in 1886.
Within the live performance programme, Farieda Nazier and Alberta Whittle challenge perceptions of idealised beauty shaped by norms of racial classification. Senzeni Marasela embodies the genealogical narratives of subjugated black women like Saartjie Baartman and her current performative muse, Theodora Hlongwane. Athi-Patra Ruga is (re)writing the future history of The White Woman of Azania while Bogosi Sekhukhuni meditates on the deferred rainbow dream of those born after 1989.
The film component, explores borders and their crossing. Dan Halter and Thenjiwe Nkosi together with Meza Weza and the Dulibadzimu Theatre Group unravel the river separating South Africa and Zimbabwe. Michael MacGarry investigates the banal poetics of instant, empty cities built by Chinese migrant workers in Luanda, Angola while Kudzanai Chiurai explores a utopian notion of statehood in his second home, South Africa.
5 May 2015
11pm | Athi-Patra Ruga performs “The Elder of Azania” at The Bauer Hotel Terrace (by invitation only)
6 May 2015
11am – 5pm | Alberta Whittle & Farieda Nazier at The About Artist Studio (Santa Croce 1165)
2:30pm – 4pm | A special screening of a Selection of Films, at The Bauer Hotel Screening Room (by invitation only)
7 May 2015
11am – 6pm | Nicolas Boone’s film, “Hilbrow” previews at Ca’Asi
11am – 5pm | Alberta Whittle & Farieda Nazier perform a Journey Of Aspiration at Photissima Art Festival
7pm | Bettina Malcomess performs as Anne Historical at The About Artist Studio (Santa Croce 1165)
8 May 2015
11am – 1pm | Senzeni Mthwakazi Marasela performs the character Theodora Hlungwane at Campo San Giacomo dall’Orio
11:30am and 8pm | Mandisa Poefficient Vundla performs a set of Spoken Worrd at The South African Pavilion and The About Artist Studio
7pm – 12am | Street Party at The About Artist Studio
9 May 2015
10am –5pm | Official Screening of the Film Programme at Fondazione Querini Stampalia
5:30pm – 8pm | Special Screening at Fondazione Querini Stampalia
10 May 2015
7pm – 8pm | Jemma Kahn & Roberto Pombo in “We Didn’t come to Hell for the Croissants. Seven Deadly New Stories for Consenting Adults” performed on stage in The About Artist Studio