1. LATITUDES ART FAIR
New “fringe” fairs have sprung up to ensure the continuity of diversity and interest during the broader Art Week Joburg programme. Latitudes is being held at Nelson Mandela Square, just a stone’s throw from Art Joburg.
Latitudes was founded by an all-women team with the aim of bringing together galleries, independent platforms, studios, and artists from all around Africa. Executive director Lucy MacGarry says, “The fair has been developed in close conversation with several African galleries, and sets out to nurture exchange between artists, galleries, collectors, curators, and researchers throughout Africa and the diasporas. We aim to expand and strengthen audiences for contemporary art, as well as create a richer global understanding of African cultural production.”
In addition to over 20 exhibitors, the programme also includes a number of special sections. “Essay” is geared towards rarely-seen work by artists beginning their careers and overlooked masters. “Spotlight” is a curated selection of artists from Africa and the diaspora whose work is unknown or underrepresented outside of their own regional contexts, and “Independent”, presented by the South African Mint, is a curated exhibition of early career artists with no gallery representation. There will also be a solo exhibition by the winner of Emerging Painting Invitational Prize, which recognises emerging painters living and working on the continent.
An alternative art fair model is being launched by Underline Projects on the same weekend as Art Joburg at the Museum of African Design in Maboneng. This fair is geared less to serve existing galleries as the more traditional fairs do, and more to open up participation to curators and artists without the formal backing of galleries or other art institutions.
Accepted applicants are given free exhibition space and assistance with all the things galleries usually do, like installation, logistics, sales, and after-sales service. The idea is to provide mentorship, networking opportunities, and exposure to artists and curators who don’t yet have access through the established art economy — which hasn’t really been growing at a rate that accommodates a burgeoning new generation of curators and artists.
• From the September edition of Wanted 2019.