art, design, Events

Inside Cape Town Art Week 2018


It's an infectious and inspiring time of year for creatives, artists, design lovers and curators, as people flock to Cape Town to revel in the city's annual celebration of art and design. While Design Indaba draws creatives and intellects from far and wide with its conference and festival, the Investec Cape Town Art Fair (ICTAF) rallies up more than 80 exhibiting galleries, talks, screenings and more to ensure it's the curatorial highlight of the year.

This year marks the sixth edition of the ICTAF, which will take place from 16 to 18 February 2018 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), and promises to be the largest incarnation of the event to date. It's a showcase of diversity, with works that represent the forefront of contemporary art that will bring from Africa to the world, and the world to the Mother City. And, with colourful, vibrant Cape Town as its host, you can expect a wealth of visual and intellectual stimulation.

With more offerings this year than ever before, be sure to tick off our eight festival musts.

1. Talks 

One of the highlights of the ICTAF, the Talks Programme is a series of panel discussions by leading experts on a range of topics spanning the collection, curation and production of art. This event is open to all festival goers.

2. Tomorrows/Today

Tomorrows/Today gathers new provocative voices reflecting on our contemporary realities, and is a wonderful way to witness the emerging talent from Africa and its diaspora. At this year's show, the Tomorrows/Today Prize is supported by ICTAF’s cultural partner Fondazione Fiera Milano. The winner will be selected from the 10 solo presentations, curated by festival curator Tumelo Mosaka.

3. After Hours Hub + Screenings

This year, the ICTAF has extended its reach with the After Hours Hub centred around the Silo District. The programme includes a screening of video art taking place in three shipping containers, which promises to be an essential showcase of how vital this medium is. Entitled Harboured, the screening is curated by photographer, filmmaker and curator Brent Meistre of Analogue Eye, a non-profit project dedicated to screening video art by emerging and established artists in public spaces.

'Harboured' at After Hours Hub

4. Unframed

Unframed, the ICTAF's new site-specific special project, features sculptor Lungiswa Gqunta, conceptual artist Turiya Magadlela and visual artist Sethembile Msezane, all of whom have been commissioned to present installations about the daily lives of women today, using the object as a tool of disruption. Curator Tumelo Mosaka says, 'We have invited four artists whose works speak in dialogue to materiality, not only in art production but in the everyday lives of contemporary women. On multiple levels, we are allowing visitors to experience installation outside the gallery booth context.'

Turiya Magadlela 'Liberal Wozo hlala kwam Ngihlale kwakho 2'; 2017 Nylon and cotton pantyhose thread and sealant on canvas 120x120cm

5. Drinks + Bites

Already the gastronomic capital of South Africa, Cape Town is offering visitors to the fair a red-carpet experience. A VIP Lounge with furniture supplied by OnSite Gallery is a new, expanded addition to the ICTAF for buyers and exhibitors, while the After Hours Bar at the Gin Bar at 64 Wale Street offers a quiet reprieve in the evenings. Excitingly, support from leading worldwide suppliers means that world-class bartenders will be on hand and top Champagnes will be available.

6. Book Signings + Artist's Talks

Highly anticipated master photographer Roger Ballen will be in the Clarke's Bookshop stand, signing copies of his monumental, recently published career retrospective Ballenesque as well as copies of earlier monographs. Ballenesque (Thames & Hudson, 2017; R1 263) presents a chronological journey through Ballen’s entire oeuvre, including both iconic images and previously unpublished photographs.

7. Performances

An exciting programme of performances by some of the fair's exhibiting artists is set to take place in the Talks Auditorium. Anticipated pieces include 'Kalá - Kalá 001' by Januario Jano (courtesy of This Is Not A White Cube art gallery), and work by Thania Petersen (courtesy of Everard Read/CIRCA art gallery).

8. Investment Opportunity

Creating an economic platform for contemporary art, works at the fair are for sale, with experienced and knowledgeable gallerists and curators on hand to advise on the art market. Browse the collection of works at the ICTAF on Etsy.