Finalist Announcement –  MTN New Contemporaries Award 2012

  • Posted: Nov 7, 2012

The finalists of the MTN New Contemporaries Award 2012 were announced today, 07 November 2012. The Award is a biennial competition managed by the MTN SA Foundation designed to identify and promote young artists who have not yet received critical acclaim, but who are positioned to be the next leaders in the contemporary art sector.

Identifying these emerging participants for the competition was in itself something of a quest. As one of the Award’s mandates is to reflect on the traits and trends in the current art scene, the project starts with the nomination of a young curator who is a specialist in contemporary South African art. The exhibition will be curated by lecturer and art historian, Portia Malatjie.

‘Collectively, the curatorship, artworks and adjudication of these role-players has given depth to the MTN New Contemporaries Award programme. Each competition has drawn on the legacy of the ones that went before and this year we anticipate no less’says Robert Madzonga, Chief Corporate Services Officer MTN SA.

This year the MTN New Contemporaries Award finalists comprise four collaborations instead of the accustomed four individual artists. ‘More and more artists are finding new artistic expressions, and one such expression is that of working collaboratively. This mode of working needs to be highlighted by platforms that aim to indicate the current state of art affairs,’ says Malatjie about the selection of the collaborations.

The finalists will mount an exhibition of their work in the Iziko B-Block at the Castle of Good Hope, which is operated by Iziko Museums of South Africa. The area referred to as B-Block is maze-like, intricate and winding with surprising staircases, linking the three floors in different combinations. These spaces, redolent with the history of colonialism, are among the oldest remaining parts of the Castle, and are soon to be transformed with contemporary art works including video projections, installations, photographs, sculpture and performance art, exploring history and contemporary meanings.

The group of artists has been working in collaborative units under the leadership of guest curator, Portia Malatjie. ‘The collaborations for this year’s award concentrate mainly on the idea of relational art, extending the idea that artists do not operate in a vacuum. What relational, collective or collaborative art also fosters is the idea of interdisciplinarity. By fusing dance with performance and fine arts, the artists blur the lines between all these different genres or disciplines,’ Malatjie concludes.


A media preview and walkabout with the curator, Portia Malatjie, will be hosted at the Castle of Good Hope, 12 December 2012. Media enquiries can be directed to Melody Kleinsmith at or Zenzele Bam at

The winner will be judged by a panel of experts and appointed at a gala event on 12 December 2012. The exhibition will be open to the public from 13 December 2013 until 25 January 2013.

The finalists of the MTN New Contemporaries Award 2012 are:

Collaboration 1: MADEYOULOOK

MADEYOULOOK is a Johannesburg-based collective formed by Nare Mokgotho (b. 1986) and Molemo Moiloa (b. 1988). They initiated the Sermon on the Train (2009) series of public lectures on metro trains to Soweto, and established Gazart (2010), a DIY exhibition iteration which was first held at Roka Gallery, Johannesburg. Their project, Extra Extra (2010), saw them disseminate works of young black artists among black working class (non art) audiences through posters given to commuters, passers-by and traders around the Noord Taxi Rank/Johannesburg Art Gallery area. MADEYOULOOK’s artworks are, as the name suggests, tongue-in-cheek interventions that encourage a re-observation of, and de-familiarisation with, the ordinary. In reworking and interrupting daily urban routine, viewers and/or participants are ‘made to re-look’ and question societal relations.

Collaboration 2:Unathi Sigenu and Khanyisile Mbongwa

Cape Town-based artists Unathi Sigenu (b.1977) and Khanyisile Mbongwa (b. 1984) have collaborated on a number of projects. Although they work independently too, they are members of Gugulective, a visual arts collective co-founded by Sigenu and Kemang wa Lehulere, who was to win the MTN New Contemporaries Award in 2010. Gugulective has exhibited in group shows such as Dada South (2009) and1910 to 2010: From Pierneef to Gugulective (2010), both at the South African National Gallery. Mbongwa’s solo exhibition, Ndizakuyivula Ibhayibile (2010) was held at the Blank Projects, Cape Town, while Sigenu is currently participating in an on-going residency with ScU2, France.

Collaboration 3:Vaughn Sadie, Brian Mtembu and Humphrey Maleka

Vaughn Sadie(b. 1978), Humphrey Maleka (b. 1981) and Brian Mtembu (b. 1987) are participants in an ongoing interdisciplinary collaboration with Sello Pesa, director of Ntsoana Contemporary Dance Theatre. The three art practitioners – Sadie is a visual artist, while Maleka and Mtembu are dancers/choreographers – often work independently from the collaboration. Sadie’s first solo exhibition, situation (sic)(2009), was held at the Bank Gallery in Durban and at the AVA, Cape Town (2010). Maleka has performed in all of Ntsoana’s projects, including at the FNB Dance Umbrella, the Arts Alive Festival, Jomba! Contemporary Dance Experience, the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown and The HIV/Aids ‘When Life Happens’ Festival. Mtembu choreographed the solo Dithokgako, which was performed on the Solo Works Programme in Sebokeng and as part of the In House Project (2010) and Emerging Modernities (2011). The visual arts/performance art/dance collaboration has performed with Pesa in Tshwene ga ipone Makopo (2011) and Inhabitants (2011), among other shows.

Collaboration 4:Mocke J Van Veuren and Farieda Nazier

Mocke J van Veuren(b. 1976) and Farieda Nazier (b. 1980) are Johannesburg-based collaborative artists, both with a background in art education. They lecture at the University of Johannesburg, J van Veuren in multimedia and filmmaking, and Nazier in Jewellery Design and Manufacture. J van Veuren produces experimental films in various media, and has worked in theatrical performance. His most notable exhibitions are the Minutes Project (2004), a collaborative piece with Theresa Collins and Uncles and Angels with Nelisiwe Xaba, held at the GoetheonMain (2011) and Goodman Gallery project space (2012). Nazier has co-curated and participated in a number of art and design exhibitions, most notably jewellery design. J van Veuren’s and Nazier’s most recent collaborative exhibition is After Math at the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg (2012).




ABOUT Iziko Museums OF South Africa

Iziko Museums of South Africa (Iziko) operates 11 national museums, the Planetarium, the Social History Centre and 3 collection specific libraries in Cape Town.  The museums that make up Iziko have their own history and character, presenting extensive art, social and natural history collections which reflect our diverse African heritage.  Iziko is a public entity and non-profit organisation which brings together these museums under a single governance and leadership structure. 

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Unathi Sigenu

Khanyisile Mbongwa

Brian Mtembu

Humphrey Maleka

Vaughn Sadie

Farieda Nazier

Mocke Janse Van Vuuren

Mokgotho & Molemo Moiloa




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