About Kulcha Afrika

St John’s College, in association with Rand Merchant Bank, is proud to bring you Kulcha Afrika: BUNKA KULCHA, a celebration of our rich South African art heritage.

Kulcha Afrika is an annual celebration of the wonderfully diverse arts scene in South Africa.  Our inaugural festival will run from the 3rd to the 4th of August 2019, with a visual arts exhibition, BUNKA KULCHA. The intention is to add more art and culture disciplines each year. The event will have a focus on showcasing up and coming artists and educating our community on the important role arts plays in society. St John’s College has a proud history of achievement within the arts.  We can count some of South Africa’s most well-known artists among our Old Johannians, including Andrew Davies, Spoek Muthambo, Kuthlwano Masote, AKA, Giggs Kgole, Chris Soal, Gideon Emery, Alexander Holt and James Henry.

With special thanks to Tiso Blackstar, our media partners, and Spier Wines who will be supplying a variety of their iconic wines to visitors.

VENUE

At the Rene England Auditorium at St John’s College. St David Rd, Houghton Estate, Johannesburg. Click here for a map of the school.

TICKETS

General Access Exhibition Tickets on Saturday and Sunday will be R120. Tickets for the panel discussions, art tours and Edoardo Villa tours are in additional R100.  Click here to book your tickets.

About BUNKA KULCHA

The exhibition, entitled BUNKA KULCHA, is inspired by its venue at St John’s College – the bunker-like Renee England Auditorium. A large vault-like multi-purpose room, the auditorium is a fitting location for exhibitions, lectures, interviews, and performances.

As a ‘reinforced underground shelter’, ‘a large container for storing fuel’, a bunker has the added value of defining a culture hidden, secretive, oppositional, obscure, and resourceful.

The word ‘bunker’, therefore, signals an ethos of resistance to dogma, a position and value particularly important in a world grown divisive, intolerant, and absolutist, in which artistic expression has become more didactic and prescriptive.

Against the fixations upon race-caste-gender – the very real but also toxic staple in local and global cultural debate – BUNKA KULCHA asks us to be more circumspect and open-minded.

Artists’ works are presented individually, rather than as representative of a received or consensual idea. This means that we have very different iterations in one space: Collage, sculpture, charcoal drawing, painting, videography, photography and performance.

EDOARDO VILLA TOURS

St John’s College is home to a collection of iconic Eduardo Villa Sculptures. St John’s Old Boys Clayton Seager, Rally Schachat and Kyle Schachat have generously facilitated this long-term loan of Edoardo Villa sculptures to St John’s College.  Edoardo Villa was one of South Africa’s pre-eminent sculptors. His creativity has been characterised by a disciplined work ethic encapsulated in his phrase, ‘to work is to live’. Born in Italy in 1915, Villa was South African by circumstance. Conscripted to the army when the Second World War began, he was sent to South Africa as a prisoner of war. He chose to remain in Johannesburg after his release in 1947, where he spent the rest of his life working to fulfil his focused artistic vision, until he passed away in May 2011. As part of the exhibition, we will be borrowing additional pieces of his work from the University of Pretoria’s Edoardo Villa Museum to showcase the progressive career of this important South African sculptor. The exhibition of his work will include talks by Gerard De Kamper, curator of the UP Art & Ceramic Collection as well as tours of the sculptures across the St John’s College Campus.

The exhibition, performances, interviews, lectures, will run for three days over the 3rd, 4th and 5th of August, culminating in a cocktail party and talk by acclaimed author and academic, Ashraf Jamal.