Exhibition The Reading Room
(Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi & Alphabet Zoo)

Reading Room Mbulu, James Marshall © Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi

Thu, 05.04.2018 -
Tue, 31.07.2018

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The Reading Room is a place for contemplation, conversation, screenings, small-scale events, and reading.

In this room and the workshop adjacent to it, a group of artists will respond to another’s work over a period of 12 weeks. 

The starting point for this engagement is the series of portrait paintings entitled Heroes (by Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi). The series is an ongoing inquiry into the subjective nature of the term ‘hero’: What is a hero? Do we need and therefore create our heroes? Who gets memorialised and who is forgotten?

Alphabet Zoo (artists Minenkulu Ngoyi and Isaac Zavale) will initiate a series of workshops in which artists respond to Nkosi’s portraits in various forms, creating new readings of the work. Participating artists include Andile Buka, Simnikiwe Buhlungu, Mooki Mooks, Kgomutso Neto Tleane, Jack Dyamonds, and the Danger Gevaar Ingozi collective.

Visitors to The Reading Room are invited to observe the development of the space over the project period. Visitors will also be invited to engage directly with the artists’ processes— including opportunities to participate in a programme of workshops and public events. The idea is that what is generated in the space will build on the narratives already present, and populate The Reading Room with a multiplicity of voices. 

The public is invited to directly engage with The Reading Room during the following events:
26 May 2018 | 2-4pm | Reading Sessions:
Selected texts to be read and discussed at The Reading Room
01 + 02 June 2018 | Screenings of documentary films

A Litany For Survival: the Life and Work of Audre Lorde
1995 (NR) 60 min.
Director: Ada Gay Griffin, Michelle Parkerson
Featuring: Audre Lorde

Synopsis: An epic portrait of the eloquent, award-winning Black, lesbian, poet, mother, teacher and activist, Audre Lorde, whose writings -- spanning five decades -- articulated some of the most important social and political visions of the century. From Lorde's childhood roots in NYC's Harlem to her battle with breast cancer, this moving film explores a life and a body of work that embodied the connections between the Civil Rights movement, the Women's movement, and the struggle for lesbian and gay rights. At the heart of this documentary is Lorde's own challenge to "envision what has not been and work with every fiber of who we are to make the reality and pursuit of that vision irresistible."

Screening Times
Saturday 2 June 12:00 & 18:00

Sobukwe – A Great Soul
2011/2013, 102 min.
Director: Mickey Madoda Dube
Sobukwe: A Great Soul celebrates the life of Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe, restoring him to his rightful place as a leading figure in South African history. Despite his pivotal role in the struggle for liberation (and as the founder of the Pan Africanist Congress), there isn’t a single piece of archive of the man who was once one of the most watched, recorded, and popular political prisoners in the world. Mickey Madoda Dube’s film seeks to fill that gap, standing as a monument to a great man, a global visionary, teacher, political leader, philosopher, and humanist who was well ahead of his time, declaring his commitment to a “non-racial” society in a racist world by asserting that “there is only one race, the human race.”

Screening Times
Friday 1 June 18:00
Saturday 2 June 14:00

08 June 2018 | Public Zine Workshop with Alphabet Zoo (free)
As part of the scheduled events, the Goethe-Institut and Alphabet Zoo is hosting a free public workshop on 8 June for those interested in the work. This is an invitation to engage in the larger questions of the exhibitions and to produce own zines in the process. The workshop will include a brief introductory discussion on the “Heroes” series as a whole. Throughout the making process, participants are encouraged to explore various possible responses to the body of work exhibited, as well as considering the already existing work produced during the first two workshops by invited artists.
If you are interested in participating in the workshop, please send and RSVP to Masechaba Moloi at Masechaba.Moloi@goethe.de, and she will supply you with further details to the workshop. Admission is free.

28 July 2018 | Public Zine Workshop with Alphabet Zoo (ticketed)
Admission is R100 at the door. We have a limited amount of bursaries available for those who can’t afford the admission. Please contact Masechaba Moloi at Masechaba.Moloi@goethe.de, and she will supply you with further details to the workshop.

2 August 2018 | The Reading Room Continues
Opening at 6.30pm
The Reading Room Continues reflects on the processes that developed in the space over time. The gallery also highlights both new and re-worked material from the workshops, such as Andile Buka’s photographic portraits (2017) and a new series of prints by Danger Gevaar Ingozi and Alphabet Zoo. It will additionally host a seven-week Writer’s Studio to support the development of new and existing literary projects.