Join us for this panel discussion and public conversation, presented by the Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG) and the Visual Identities in Art and Design Research Centre (VIAD) as the 3rd of a series of JAG Consultations (click here for more information).
Over the past 5 years, South Africa has seen the opening of a number of private art institutions, alongside older public museums which are often affected by decreased spending and increasingly vulnerable infrastructure. Although these new spaces can increase public viewership, there are some important things to consider for the overall future art landscape.
Panelists include: Michelle Constant, Pulane Kingston, Kutlwano Mokgojwa, Makgati Molebatsi and Thabo Seshoka. To be moderated by Percy Mabandu
- Saturday 22 June 2019
- 13:00 – 15:00
- JAG Courtyard
- RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW MUSEUMS, NEW HORIZONS?
British artist Damien Hirst once said, "Buy art, build a museum, put your name on it…That’s as close as you can get to immortality”. In his book Art & Aspirations: The Randlords of South Africa and Their Collections, Michael Stevenson outlines how many of South Africa’s public collections including the JAG and the Michaelis Collection started out as private initiatives that were aimed at cementing the legacies of their progenitors.
As part of a global trend which sees private collectors amassing large and often significant art collections, one also sees the rise of new private art institutions alongside older public museums which are often effected by decreased spending and increasingly vulnerable infrastructures. Over the past five years, South Africa has seen the opening of two new private art institutions (the Norval Foundation and Zeitz MOCAA, both in Cape Town). The privately-funded Javett-UP Art Centre at the University of Pretoria is set to open later in 2019.
Although these new spaces can increase public viewership, there are some important things to consider for the overall future art landscape.
Some salient concerns include:
- What is the viability and long-term impact of these new spaces, and the future of the public museums which exist alongside them?
- What impact are these institutions having on local publicly-owned and funded institutions?
- What are some of the ways in which positive and mutually-beneficial relationships can be structured between private and public institutions? And what are the implications for the wider eco-system of South African visual arts?
- What could/should be the State’s role (national, provincial and local) with respect to these museums? An example worth citing in this regard is the substantial support given to Zeitz MOCAA by the V&A Waterfront Company, which is an entity of the Western Cape Provincial Government. Another example is the Javett-UP Art Centre, which is in partnership with the publicly-funded University of Pretoria.
- What are possible models for future museum sustainability in South Africa (whether public or private) with respect to collection management, audience development, financial stability and operational competency?