Wits Activate/Captivate art exhibition

Activate/Captivate is like nothing you’ve ever seen before – The latest exhibition at the Wits Arts Museum uses the technology, digital art, music and social media to bring an exciting collection to the public.

See how the unique WAM university collection of African art has inspired creativity, learning and innovation. It has seen students from various departments, academics, and artists figure out innovative and creative ways of “activating” the works in the WAM collection.

This exhibition reveals the success of collections-based learning in universities and the unique opportunities provided through implementing such projects using the WAM collection.

Take for example Dumile Feni’s 157-metre long scroll, “You wouldn’t know God if he spat in your eye”. This incredible artwork is displayed using an interactive digital installation, created by lecturer and interactive artist Tegan Bristow in collaboration with photographer Mark Lewis. The interactive installation will allow visitors to experience this work in a new and exciting way. The display is accompanied by a musical score written especially for Activate/Captivate by Wits Music Department post-graduate student Yonela Mnana. Mnana, who is blind, is currently working toward his Masters in Music and teaches music on a part-time basis. Wits Digital Arts students have found ways to make the masks in the WAM collection come to life; using interactive digital installations.

Similarly, Wits School of Arts printmaking students have created prints inspired by the work of Bongi Dhlomo, William Kentridge and Robert Hodgins. Visitors to the exhibition will also have the exciting opportunity to observe the creative process in action as contemporary artist Nolan Oswald Dennis will create a ‘live’ mural inspired by the museum’s archive, during the run of the exhibition.

Activate/Captivate also explores how, over the years, the artworks in WAM’s collection have inspired the art-making of many contemporary South African artists, such as Walter Oltmann, Deborah Bell, and Yael Feldman.

Collaborative work with the Wits Music School, Wits Digital Art Department, Wits Fine Art Department, the University of Johannesburg Graphic Design Department and South African artists all form part of this rich and exciting exhibition. The exhibition is accompanied by a peer reviewed catalogue.

The exhbition runs until 6 February 2015.

Wits Art Museum is situated on the corner of Bertha (ext of Jan Smuts ave.) and Jorissen streets, Braamfontein, Johannesburg. Special parking is available for the opening only. Entrance left off Jorissen Street. Just after Station Street intersection (directly after the bus stop on the left).The exhibition ends on 6 February 2016.

Wits Art Museum is open Wednesdays to Sundays: 10h00 – 16h00.

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