You & I

In Cape Town, where abandoned buildings-turned-art galleries have become the new kale juice, what sets the A4 Arts Foundation apart? ‘We see this place as a lab,’ explains Foundation director Josh Ginsburg from their newly opened space, a – you guessed it – restored warehouse in the city’s downtown area. ‘We’re experimenting with ways of producing and sharing knowledge – so expect some play.’

This is the culmination of a six-year collaboration between Josh and South African-born arts patron and recently elected president of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation Board of Trustees, Wendy Fisher. ‘Wendy and I began working together with a view to build better support structures for artists and explore ways in which the public could engage with these artists,’ says Josh. In short, a gallery for the artists as much as it is for the people, a place that could be accessible, engaging and transforming in the broader sense of the ‘local arts-ecology’.

The A4 Arts Foundation in Cape Town

Yoko Ono’s Mend Piece

To this end, the building is occupied over three levels: a ground-floor library, the main exhibition space on the first floor (both floors are free and open to the public), and finally the third-floor work spaces that are used by the artists.

Curated by Ziphozenkosi Dayile and Kemang Wa Lehulere, the Foundation’s inaugural exhibition, titled ‘You & I’, features works by a wide range of artists including Zanele Muholi and Yoko Ono. It’s a self-reflective move on the part of the Foundation – Josh describes it as an exhibition that ‘explores the conditions and dynamics of collectivity’ – but also brilliantly achieves their goal to question, engage and connect. 

For more information on the exhibition and A4 Arts Foundation visit a4arts.org.

The library

Haroon Gunn-Salie and James Matthews’ ‘Amongst Men’

Featured image Robert Hodgins’ Untitled Photography Karl Rogers and Kyle Morland