Exhibition – Ijusi: Design based in African Experience
Michaelis Galleries presents ijusi – Design based in African Experience. Recognised as one of the official World Design Capital 2014 projects, theexhibition focuses on Durban-based designer and publisher Garth Walker’s ijusi magazine. ijusi (isiZulu for juice) is an experimental, non-commercial design magazine first published by Walker in 1995.
Following South Africa’s first democratic elections, ijusi encourages and promotes a visual design language rooted in South African experience.Drawing from all 29 issues of ijusi, from 1995 – 2014, the exhibition focuses on the question which ijusi has posed from the beginning: “What makes me African, and what does that ‘look’ like?”
Based on an “Afrocentric Design Adventure”, Walker released the first issue of ijusi from his studio. Thought at the time to be the one and only issue, Ijusi #1 was designed solely by Walker, with all text written by Siobhan Gunning. With the success of ijusi’s first two issues, Walker then invited both South African and International designers, writers, and artists to contribute. Over the following years, subsequent themed issues have made invaluable contributions to the ongoing discourse surrounding representation and identity in South Africa, specifically within the contexts of Graphic Design, Illustration, Typography, Writing, and Photography. From its onset, ijusi has effectively showcased a burgeoning South African visual culture, which has come to be recognised for its quality and diversity.
Despite (or maybe because of) the low print run, ijusi has developed cult status and a worldwide following. Due to ijusi’s strictly non-commercial nature, Walker launched a portfolio of prints with Rooke Gallery to ensure ijusi’s potential, inviting a selection of South Africa’s leading artists and photographers, world-renowned graphic designers as well as local unknown designers to submit. These three portfolios and the work selected from each ijusi issue, for ijusi – Design based in African Experience, purposefully blur the supposed distinctions between Fine Art and Design.
With the 20th anniversary of democracy in South Africa in mind, the ijusi magazines can be seen as a historic series of documents, testaments to a developing country dealing with various socio-economic stratifications and political dimensions. With an often-satirical approach, ijusi offers a platform for discovery, highlighting the wealth of talent, rich traditions and strong sense of heritage in South Africa.
The exhibition is curated by Professor Stephen Inggs, Garth Walker and Josephine Higgins.
Contributors Include: Roger Ballen, Jonathan Barnbrook, Lauren Beukes, Willem Boshoff, Katherine Bull, Brandt & Conrad Botes, Jean Brundrit, David Goldblatt, Pieter Hugo, Stephen Inggs, Mark & Anton Kannemeyer, William Kentridge, Michael MacGarry, Sne Mtetwa, Stefan Sagmeister, Mikhael Subotzky, Guy Tillim, Sean O’Toole, Brode Vosloo and Garth Walker, amongst many others.
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Friday 11:00 – 16:00, Saturday 10:00 – 13:00, or by Appointment.
Opening: 26 June 2014 at 18:00
Exhibition Dates: 27 June – 23 July 2014
Walkabout: 27 June 2014 at 13:00 with Garth Walker
For further information or images, please contact Josephine Higgins on 021 480 7170 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The exhibition is made possible through a grant in aid from the Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA) to Michaelis Galleries.