South African chosen to curate German art event

A South African fine arts lecturer, Gabi Ngcobo, has been selected to curate the 10th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art in Germany. It takes place during that country’s summer in 2018. Ngcobo has worked extensively locally and internationally.

South African fine arts lecturer Gabi Ngcobo has been selected to curate the Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, taking place in Germany in 2018. (Image: Biennale Foundation)
South African fine arts lecturer Gabi Ngcobo has been selected to curate the Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, taking place in Germany in 2018. (Image: Biennale Foundation)

Brand South Africa reporter

A South African fine arts lecturer has been chosen to curate the 10th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, taking place in Germany in 2018.

Gabi Ngcobo had been involved in collaborative artistic, curatorial and educational projects in South Africa and globally since the early 2000s, said the Biennale Foundation.

The University of the Witwatersrand lecturer is also the founding member of two collaborative platforms in Johannesburg: Nothing Gets Organised (NGO) and the Centre for Historical Reenactments (CHR).

“NGO focuses on processes of self-organisation that take place outside predetermined structures, definitions, contexts or forms,” said the foundation. “The CHR responded to the demands of the moment through an exploration of how historical legacies impact on and resonate within contemporary art.”

She recently co-curated the 32nd Bienal de São Paulo in Brazil and has worked with leading art institutions such as the Weltkulturen Museum in Frankfurt, the Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town, Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno in Spain and the New Museum in New York. Some of her writings have also been published in various catalogues, books and journals.

Ngcobo has been involved in the Biennale previously. In 2008, during the fifth Biennale, she took part in the second edition of the Young Curators Workshop Eyes Wide Open. In 2014, she returned to the eighth event, during which the CHR presented a project, Digging Our Own Graves 101.

The Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art

The Biennale is funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation.

“With the selection of Gabi Ngcobo,” said the foundation, “the Berlin Biennale continues its mission of serving as an experimental platform for exploring and expanding the format of the exhibition and a curatorial agenda as well as for examining current global discourses and developments in relation to Berlin as a local point of reference.”

Previous curators included:

  • 1st Berlin Biennale (1998): Klaus Biesenbach with Nancy Spector and Hans Ulrich Obrist
  • 2nd Berlin Biennale (2001): Saskia Bos
  • 3rd Berlin Biennale (2004): Ute Meta Bauer
  • 4th Berlin Biennale (2006): Maurizio Cattelan, Massimiliano Gioni and Ali Subotnick
  • 5th Berlin Biennale (2008): Adam Szymczyk and Elena Filipovic
  • 6th Berlin Biennale (2010): Kathrin Rhomberg
  • 7th Berlin Biennale (2012): Artur Zmijewski with associate curators Voina and Joanna Warsza
  • 8th Berlin Biennale (2014): Juan A Gaitán
  • 9th Berlin Biennale (2016): DIS (Lauren Boyle, Solomon Chase, Marco Roso, David Toro)

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