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HIGH VOLTAGE (article first published : 2008-05-12)

Bank Gallery is to present High Voltage, an exhibition by high-profile South African artist Stephen Hobbs, opening on May 15.

Originally conceived for the former high voltage transformer room of the Wits Substation in Johannesburg, Stephen Hobbs reconstitutes the work for Bank Gallery. This exhibition coincides with Hobbs’s solo exhibition D’Urban at the KZNSA Gallery which opens on May 13. Both projects in Durban address Hobbs’ broader concern with a dialogue between contemporary art practice and the urban conditions of South Africa’s major city centres.

Stephen Hobbs draws on urban vocabularies of images and signs to point to the city's transformative spatial qualities. His preoccupations with the visionary in architecture, the precariousness of construction, the city as contradiction, have been explored through video, photography, and installation to record and represent seemingly invisible data such as human interaction, meeting points and traces of flux in city spaces. He has exhibited extensively in South Africa, Europe and the USA.

Early on in his career, Stephen Hobbs recognised the need to produce and publish across the disciplines of artistic production, curatorial practice and cultural management. He graduated from Wits University with a BAFA(Hons) in 1994 and was the curator of the Market Theatre Galleries (Johannesburg) from 1994 to 2000.

In 2001, with Kathryn Smith and Marcus Neustetter he formed the artists collective The Trinity Session. Since 2001, this collective has directed the purpose-built Gallery Premises at the Johannesburg Civic Theatre; an artist-run space focusing on emerging artists production and development. Together with Marcus Neustetter, recent projects include digital discourse and design consultation for Africa Remix at the Johannesburg Art Gallery, Urbanet:Hillbrow/Dakar for the University of Johannesburg Gallery and The Colour Line exhibition at the Jack Shainman Gallery in New York.

May 15 also marks the launch of The Mint, Bank Gallery’s new commercial space. The Mint will house and sell a comprehensive selection of artworks from South African and international artists and will be located upstairs in the gallery.

Bank Gallery continues with its education programme with tours and workshops relating to Stephen Hobbs’s work and would like to tailor each session to suit the needs of visiting groups. Booking is therefore essential through Akona at the gallery on 031 312 6911 or email: info@bankgallery.co.za

The first step of the education programme will be a walkabout by the artist on May 17 at 10h00.

High Voltage runs until June 7 and Bank Gallery is situated at 217 Florida Road, Durban. Contact 31 312 6911 or visit www.bankgallery.co.za




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