ARA Podcast - Transversing the Rural - a conversation with Dr Same Mdluli

In this dialogue I speak to Dr Same Mdluli, who was the recipient of a 2020 ARA grant for her book project: Transversing the Rural: Revisiting the works of South African artist Johannes Mashego Segogela.

Dr Mdluli is the Manager and Chief Curator of the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg and an Associate Researcher in the Wits School of Arts. She is an artist, art historian and writer, and holds a PhD in History of Art, and an MA in Arts and Cultural Management, both from Wits University, and a B-Tech degree in Fine Arts (cum laude) from the University of Johannesburg. She has worked as an administrator at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg and other art projects, and has also participated in a number of international residencies including at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles and the INHA in Paris.
Her research interests are in contemporary African art, black expressive modes and aesthetics as well as the conversations between jazz and visual art. Dr Mdluli also serves as an advisory council member for the South African Arts Council.

When Dr Mdluli was appointed to manage the Standard Bank Gallery in 2018, the Bank’s Head of Brand, Sponsorships and Events announced that “Dr Mdluli brings a visionary energy to the role.” She went on to say that “We are convinced that Dr Mdluli will help us take the gallery to a new level of leadership as a stakeholder institution of the art industry in the country and beyond. Her leadership as a respected creative and academic, along with her easy accessibility will surely help to open the doors to more people to fall in love and support art in our country.”

All those qualities were very much in evidence during our conversation which ranged from her work as curator, in particular her first major exhibition for the gallery - "A Black Aesthetic" of 2019 - to her engagement with the rural-urban divide in South African art, to her analysis of the obstacles to real transformation in the South African art industry.
14 Nov 2020 English Explicit South Africa Arts · Education

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