As our report from the frontline of South Africa’s “city of style” documented back in April, Johannesburg is a thriving city with a fervent art scene – Cape Town’s hip younger sibling, edgy, vibrant and unafraid of innovation. The latest in a line of exhibitions at Paris’ La Maison Rouge that showcase art from cities lesser known to the French public, My Joburg focusses on young artists yet to establish themselves firmly on the international stage. With a population of more than six million, Johannesburg may not be small, but its transition from the darkness of apartheid has not been as swift as the South African capital’s.
Regardless, Joburg is a resonant city on the up – desolation is quickly being usurped by design, art and fashion, and the contemporary offerings of more than 40 artists on show here are testament to its ongoing revival. Jodi Bieber (no relation) presents evocative documentary photography that invokes the city’s spirited character, Mary Sibande demonstrates the changes in fortune of South Africa’s young black women, whilst Jane Alexander raises the country’s constant concern of security. Representing three generations of Johannesburg’s art scene, My Joburg – running through 22 September – is a pivotal illustration of one of the world’s most determined cities.