Brenton Maart

Brenton MaartBrenton Maart is an artist, writer and curator, and currently a PhD candidate at the University of Cape Town, conducted jointly through the Centre for Curating the Archive, Michaelis School of Fine Art, and the Archive and Public Culture Initiative. He holds an Advanced Diploma in Photography from the Market Photography Workshop, an M.A. in Fine Art from the University of the Witwatersrand and an M.Sc. in Biotechnology (cum laude) from Rhodes University. Previous positions include those as Director of the KZNSA Gallery, Exhibitions Curator at the Johannesburg Art Gallery, Exhibitions and Curatorial Consultant at Freedom Park, and Curator of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature Art Collection.

His earlier work has been shown in group exhibitions including Not Alone (Museum Africa, Johannesburg, 2009), Of Want and Desire (Joao Ferreira Gallery, Cape Town, 2006), A Decade of Democracy: Witnessing South Africa (Museum of the National Centre of Afro-American Artists, Boston, 2004; African American Museum, Dallas, 2005; Foster-Tanner Fine Arts Gallery, Tallahassee, Florida, 2005), and City & Country (Axis Gallery, New York, 2004). Solo exhibitions of his work include On the Risk of Others: The Photosyntax of Brenton Maart (LACE, Los Angeles, 2008), Crossword (Gallery Momo, Johannesburg, 2005), Annotated Index (The Factory, Johannesburg, 2005) and Temporary Architecture (PhotoZA, Johannesburg, 2003).

His current work focuses on architectural structures in apartheid South Africa’s homelands. Through contemporary photography and historical archive collation, the research examines two types of building. The first type is currently falling into ruin and, in an attempt at providing an alternative to the accepted definitions of “ruin” and “monument”, this part of the study aims to demonstrate that these ruins may be considered as monuments to apartheid. A second group of buildings is currently being used to house post-apartheid government bureaucracies. As such, these structures represent palimpsests of power in South Africa, demonstrating visible layers of apartheid, nationalism and tribalism.

Fellowship year: 
B. (Brenton) Maart
Former visiting fellow
Room number: 3A16