OPENLab 2016: The Art of Being Social

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I have been selected for OPENLab 2016!

The Art of Being Social: Fourteen of South Africa Top New Experimental Artist head to Bloemfontein

Fourteen of South Africa’s most promising emerging and mid-career artists will take part in OPENLab 2016, a national laboratory for creative practitioners interested in making art in the public realm. OPENLab: The Art of Being Social, is an open and intensive artist residency platform aimed at generating new strategies and ideas in site specific, experimental and interdisciplinary practice. The Lab will be led by national and international facilitators including Paul Gazzola (Australia), Ella Ziegler (Germany), Abrie Fourie (Germany/South Africa), Khanyisile Mbongwa (South Africa) and Lesiba Mabitsela (South Africa).

“OPENLab is a fantastic opportunity to meet and network with other artists. I look forward to sharing ideas, developing my career and challenging myself.” said Johandi du Plessis, one of the artist participating in the Lab.

OPENLab 2016 will take place over ten days from 14 July – 24 July 2016 at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein alongside Vrystaat Arts Festival. It will also involve a weeklong studio held at Map (Modern Art Projects South Africa) in Richmond, Northern Cape.

Paul Gazzola lead facilitator says “OPENLab is a place for free experimentation and open dialogue. It is a nurturing, supportive and responsive space for artists and facilitators to share, exchange and challenge each other. In the lab we will explore spaces for performance and installation; interdisciplinary collaboration; concept development; audience interactivity and intercultural dialogue. OPENLab is an investment in future thinking, creative networks and professional development.”

OPENLab is a national opportunity for participating artists to explore new approaches to site based practices working across different communities, disciplines and geographical contexts. The emphasis is on participation, critical thinking, discussion and the creation of new ideas.

OPENLab has been developed by Australian creative practitioners Paul Gazzola and Carli Leimbach as part of the Programme for Innovation in Artform Development (PIAD). PIAD is an initiative by the Vrystaat Arts Festival and the University of the Free State (UFS). OPENLab 2016 is generously funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and supported by Map (Modern art projects South Africa), Open Space Contemporary Arts and Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen.

Artists participating in OPENLab 16 are: Johandi du Plessis (Bloemfontein), Karin Tan and Skye Qualding (Johannesburg-based collective), Scott Eric Williams (Cape Town), Kai Lossgott (Johannesburg), Kivithra Naicker (Durban), Wezile Mgibe (Port Elizabeth), Janet Botes (Cape Town), Victoria Wigzell (Johannesburg), Kathleen Sawyer (Cape Town), Lehlohonolo Dube (Springs), Nomusa Mtshali (Cape Town), Yazeed Kamaldien (Cape Town), Sikelela Damane (Johannesburg)

Read more about each artist on