April 17, 2024

Future art, imaginative curations and magical creations

3 min read

Beyond being the continent’s biggest and best showcase of contemporary art from Africa and the world, this year the Investec Cape Town Art Fair (ICTAF) – which runs from 16 to 18 February 2024 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre – offers visitors an especially rich array of special features, magical creations, imaginative curations and delightful additions for everyone.

The theme for the curated sections of the 2024 edition of the fair is Unbound, aiming to break free from constrictive narratives and focus on emerging, diverse ‘unbound’ voices as a catalyst for the creation of new possibilities. More than ever, the ICTAF will celebrate the city of Cape Town, Unbound, offering visitors a programme packed with opportunities to explore the artistic life of the Mother City and experience its cultural institutions, meet the artists and interact with the creative community, gaining unprecedented insight into the South African and international art world. The world of colour, crafty cohesion and curiosities is sure to entice ‘unbound’ inquisitive minds of all ages.

Fabulous first-time features will join the lineup of favourite talks, walkabouts, parties, tours and opportunities to explore the Mother City’s art ecosystem, including the Yawa Off White Capsule and Lukhanyo Mdingi collab (the first of its kind at the fair), the brand-new focus on ceramics, and GENERATIONS, a debut section featuring cross-generational dialogues between artists. For the first time, selected five emerging artists who have been through the City of Cape Town’s Emerging Artists Programme will be represented by a dedicated booth by curator Igsaan Martin. Additionally, Bo Kaap is set to bind the city with an activation that speaks to the theme of Unbound.

It’s an imaginative material world

Visitors to the ICTAF can expect to see how the meaningful, unconventional and original ways in which artists from Africa and the diaspora harness the expressive power of materials in contemporary art practice that’s nothing short of breathtaking. The goal: opening avenues of expression that can be difficult to categorise.

Fabric and textiles, as in the work of Zanoxolo Sylvester Mqeku and Sizwe Sama Sibisi, have become an important and widespread medium, as have various craft-based techniques such as Pierre Fouché’s lacework, and in others, wire sculpture and Zenaéca Singh, who works with molasses, sugar paste, panes of crystallised sugar and resin.

The use of found and discarded materials is multifaceted. Nicholas Hlobo and Tesprit’s use of sculpted rubber is just one particularly powerful example. Chris Soal’s use of mundane objects such as toothpicks and bottle caps has the most unexpected results, and Usha Seejarim’s reinterpretations of ordinary and domestic objects such as safety pins, wooden pegs, irons and brooms are among the better known artists using assemblage as a way of incorporating found objects into artworks. Laetitia Ky’s use of hair, for example, has become the basis of a unique methodology.

A visual playground for young and inspired minds awaits.

There will be 115 exhibitors represented by 24 countries both on the African continent as well as internationally, with exhibiting artists made up of 50 different nationalities from across the globe, showcasing artworks in over 30 art forms.

Tickets can be purchased here.

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