SMAC - Lhola Amira_Narrative LAGOM-Breaking Bread with The Self-Righteous I_2017_Giclée Print on Hanhnemuhle Photo Rag Baryta Disec

Now in its sixth edition, Investec Cape Town Art Fair (ICTAF) continues to work alongside a growing number of local and international galleries who support the artistic practices of emerging and established artists from around the world, with the introduction of a new section, SOLO, to the fair. ICTAF2018 will run from 16-18 February 2018 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).

Nontobeko Ntombela has been appointed as the curator of the inaugural iteration of SOLO, working alongside Fair Curator Tumelo Mosaka and the ICTAF team. SOLO will focus on the production of women artists, offering different perspectives of the widespread socio-political issues faced by women in both public and private spheres, while also highlighting their contribution to the art world.

Artists that will be showcased in the section are Maïmouna Guerresi (Senegal/Italy) represented by Officine dell’Immagine (Milan, Italy), Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum (Botswana) represented by Tiwani Contemporary (London, United Kingdom), Stacey Gillian Abe (Uganda) represented by Afriart Gallery (Kampala, Uganda), Parul Thacker (India) represented by Amar Gallery (London, United Kingdom), Keyezua (Angola) represented by MOV’ART (Luanda, Angola), Lhola Amira (South Africa) represented by SMAC (Stellenbosch, Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa), Lucinda Mudge (South Africa) represented by Everard Read CIRCA Gallery (Cape Town, Johannesburg and Franschoek, South Africa; London United, Kingdom), Kimathi Mafafo (South Africa) represented by EBONY/CURATED (Cape Town, South Africa), Ingrid Bolton (South Africa) represented by Berman Contemporary (Johannesburg, South Africa) and Buhlebezwe Siwani (South Africa) represented by WHATIFTHEWORLD (Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa).

“I’m interested in the concept of what it means as a female artist to have this extended self through art,” says Ntombela. “The artists we are working with have explored this in many diverse ways.” The chosen pieces are all about “upsetting the norm and upsetting the image of women.”

Ntombela has played an active role in the art world for more than a decade. In light of the success of Investec Cape Town Art Fair and the recent opening of the Zeitz MOCAA she says she is excited about the contribution Cape Town is paying to the art world: “There are interesting connections happening. Cape Town as a city has shown incredible growth and has shown that it has its own muscle to participate in the art economy.”

Ntombela has produced numerous critically-engaged exhibitions and projects, including a collaboration with artist Reshma Chhiba, The Two Talking Yonis, a series of installations “exploring the notion of feminine energy and the creation of alternative identities for women within current patriarchal systems”. Also curated by Ntombela is Fragile Archive at the Johannesburg Art Gallery, which re-staged Gladys Mgudlandlu’s first commercial exhibition and navigated her archive, public acclaim, and positioning within South African art histories in order to examine the construction of artists’ biographies.

Ntombela has played an active role in the local art world for more than a decade, holding curatorial positions at Johannesburg Art Gallery, BAT Centre (Durban), and Durban University of Technology Art Gallery. She has also served on a number of boards and committees including the National Arts Council, Visual Arts Network of South Africa (VANSA), KwaZulu Natal Society of Art, African Art Centre, and the Human Rights Trust.

Within Africa, Ntombela has been a faculty member of Àsìkò for the past three years. Àsìkò is an international roaming project, modelled as a laboratory, residency and academy for curators and artists that takes place is different African cities; Lagos, Accra, Dakar, Addis Ababa, and Mozambique.

Internationally, she has participated in prominent curatorial projects including FRAC Des Pays De La Loire (France), the German South African Bilateral Curatorial Exchange, The New Kirkcudbright International Arts Festival (Scotland) and Break the Silence hosted by the University of Dundee (Scotland).

ICTAF runs from 16 to 18 February 2018. For more information, visit investeccapetownartfair.co.za.

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