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Sunday, May 15, 2022



Time Is A Broken Umbrella is running at the KZNSA Gallery until June 26, 2022.

This is an exhibition without a curator. Or, this is an exhibition with at least nine curators: Abri de Swardt, Adrian Fortuin, Hedwig Barry, Jarrett Erasmus, Khotso Motsoeneng, Matty Monethi, Nyakallo Maleke, Robyn Penn, Tzung-Hui Lauren Lee with writing by Chloë Reid

Facilitated by FORMS Gallery, Time is a Broken Umbrella is an experiment that sets out to see if it is possible to disperse and decentralise curatorial logic and to substitute the contained convolutions of a single brain for a thinking network, or a networked thinking.

The exhibition proposes a kind of score or playbook for an exercise: nine artists embarked on this project with the same brief, to curate themselves, collectively, into an exhibition. They were invited to listen to and look at each other’s practices, to mediate their own and each other’s work, and to anticipate each other’s final outputs with their own, all in the hope that what emerges in the final public display has some sort of legibility or significance, if not coherence.

The curators describe the event: “It’s a highly analogue, imperfect approximation of machine learning. We are together pretending to be a computer, making something in a circumscribed real world that will hopefully transcend us all. It’s role-play, it’s grass growing, wind blowing kind of stuff. It’s ephemeral like the spinning beach ball of death when your operating system is seven years out of date, and its material, like the hard drive that ultimately does crash.

“This exercise is about questioning what counts as an exhibition and who counts as a curator. Who mediates art and why and how, and what roles do institutions, artists and galleries have and contest in this economy?”

The participants are nine artists, two institutions, one writer, one gallerist, and a veiled, also dispersed tactical unit whose labour gives this entity the shape of an exhibition: installation technicians, printers, administrators, couriers, bookkeepers, receptionists, security guards and designers. There may be no curator, but there is a long curatorial process that crosses and is crossed by all of these participants at different points.

The outcome of this exercise is an exhibition of 20 artworks, many of which have never before been shown, others of which are selected from existing bodies of work. Artist and writer Chloë Reid was invited to respond to the exhibition's premise and process through a textual contribution, which will be published alongside the exhibition. Several themes and motifs emerge in the juxtapositions that these elements bring about: rhizomes, fluids, floating clouds, mind-maps, pendulums, veins in the body, musical scores, and more.

Time Is A Broken Umbrella runs until June 26, 2022.

The KZNSA Gallery is situated at 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood, in Durban. More information on 031 277 1705 or cell 082 220 0368 or visit