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Thursday, November 8, 2012


The four finalists of the MTN New Contemporaries Award 2012 were announced yesterday (November 7). This year the finalists comprise four collaborations instead of the accustomed four individual artists.

Among them is Collaboration 3 featuring the work of Vaughn Sadie, Brian Mtembu and Humphrey Maleka Vaughn Sadie (b. 1978), Humphrey Maleka (b. 1981) and Brian Mtembu (b. 1987). They are are participants in an ongoing interdisciplinary collaboration with Sello Pesa, director of Ntsoana Contemporary Dance Theatre.

The three art practitioners – Sadie is a visual artist, while Maleka and Mtembu are dancers/choreographers – often work independently from the collaboration. Sadie’s first solo exhibition, situation (sic) (2009), was held at the Bank Gallery in Durban and at the AVA, Cape Town (2010). Maleka has performed in all of Ntsoana’s projects, including at the FNB Dance Umbrella, the Arts Alive Festival, Jomba! Contemporary Dance Experience, the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown and The HIV/Aids When Life Happens Festival. Mtembu choreographed the solo Dithokgako, which was performed on the Solo Works Programme in Sebokeng and as part of the In House Project (2010) and Emerging Modernities (2011). The visual arts/performance art/dance collaboration has performed with Pesa in Tshwene ga ipone Makopo (2011) and Inhabitants (2011), among other shows.

The Award is a biennial competition managed by the MTN SA Foundation designed to identify and promote young artists who have not yet received critical acclaim, but who are positioned to be the next leaders in the contemporary art sector.

Identifying these emerging participants for the competition was in itself something of a quest. As one of the Award’s mandates is to reflect on the traits and trends in the current art scene, the project starts with the nomination of a young curator who is a specialist in contemporary South African art. The exhibition will be curated by lecturer and art historian, Portia Malatjie.

The finalists will mount an exhibition of their work in the Iziko B-Block at the Castle of Good Hope, which is operated by Iziko Museums of South Africa. The area referred to as B-Block is maze-like, intricate and winding with surprising staircases, linking the three floors in different combinations. These spaces, redolent with the history of colonialism, are among the oldest remaining parts of the Castle, and are soon to be transformed with contemporary art works including video projections, installations, photographs, sculpture and performance art, exploring history and contemporary meanings.

The winner will be judged by a panel of experts and appointed at a gala event on December 12, 2012 after which the exhibition will be open to the public until January 25, 2013. More information at