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Want to know more about the contemporary art world? This podcast is one to listen to

Unframed is all about engaging conversations within the South African contemporary art industry

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By Alyxandra Carolus | January 31, 2024 | Art

South Africa is home to a plethora of incredible artists, galleries and curators who form part of our contemporary art landscape. If you’ve been keen to hear more insights about the industry and who shapes it, then Unframed is the show you need to be listening to. Founded by Anthea Pokroy in 2018, the show returns for it’s fourth season and is joined by a brand new co-host.

What inspired the start of Unframed and how has it evolved since its inception?

I have been actively involved in the art industry since 2010. It was then that I started Assemblage, a non-profit organisation to support emerging artists in making a career in the arts. Also, around that time, I started my career as a photographer and began working with South Africa’s most esteemed galleries, artist, museums, auction houses documenting artwork, exhibitions and artist portraits. Through this work I gained access to an incredible network of arts professionals. A combination of my connections, my endless curiosity, and a desire to make the inner workings of the often times elitist art world more accessible, the podcast was born in 2018.

The contemporary art world always seems to be shifting, have you seen a keen focus on African art and artists recently?

Yes, certainly. The global art scene has experienced a notable shift towards embracing the richness of African art and artists. Institutions like the Tate Modern in London and MoMA in New York have curated exhibitions featuring diverse voices from the continent.

Examples of acclaimed African artists who are making waves internationally include El Anatsui from Ghana, renowned for transforming discarded materials into monumental sculptures, and William Kentridge from South Africa, whose powerful animated films, drawings and theatre productions engage with complex historical narratives.

These artists, along with others, contribute to a broader recognition of the importance of diverse perspectives in the art world, breaking away from traditional Western-centric narratives and fostering a global appreciation for African contemporary art.

Who have been some of the standout guests to you over the last few seasons?

Over the years, the podcast has featured a diverse range of artists, academics, writers and arts practitioners, including; Ayanda Mabulu, Banele Khoza, Mandla Sibeko, Neil Dundas, Lucy MacGarry, and Mary Corrigall, amongst others. We have recorded, not only primary interviews, but also other talks in collaboration with prestigious institutions such as Wits Art Museum, Investec Cape Town Art Fair, FNB Art Joburg and The Centre for the Less Good Idea.

What is on the horizon for the upcoming season and where can people find the podcast?

We have quite a few new approaches coming up in Season 4, the production of which has been made possible by generous funding from the National Arts Council. Firstly, we are so excited to welcome a new co-host, Nkgopoleng Moloi. She is an esteemed arts writer based in Cape Town, and has recently been appointed the editor of art publication ArtThrob. Unlike previous seasons where I would interview and profile people and publish live talks, this season has a been curated around a theme - the Arts Ecosystem. We are honoured to host prestigious authorities in each field and are looking forward to sharing their expertise with our listeners.

If you’d like to check out Unframed and listen to conversations about the art landscape, find them on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.