14th March 2024

S04 E03: ‘The Curator’ with Sven Christian & Jana Terblanche

Art conversations in South Africa

This episode invites Sven Christian and Jana Terblanche, both accomplished curators and creatives in their own right, to share their reflections on the evolving and individual nature of curatorial work. Sven offers insights around the relationship between artist, curator and the dynamics within institutions. While Jana discusses how to facilitate that both the gallery and artist’s overall goals align.  Further in the discussion, there are discussions about curators, their perceived power and historical context in our local history. Our hosts asks about what it takes to curate group or solo exhibitions and Jana touches on her journey around curating an exhibition abroad in Los Angeles and exposing contemporary African art to a broader audience.

Biographies

Sven Christian is a writer, editor, and curator. In early 2022, he was appointed curator of NIROX Sculpture Park and the Villa-Legodi Centre for Sculpture. Recent exhibitions include Layers: Rock Art Across Space and Time (2022–3); Bruce Murray Arnott: Into the Megatext (2023); Sea: A Boiling Vessel (2023); Walter Oltmann: In Time (2023); A Quiet Focus (2022–3); and Noria Mabasa: Shaping Dreams (2022). He completed an MA in Contemporary Curatorial Practices at the University of the Witwatersrand (2020), and holds a Bachelor of Fine Art from Rhodes University (2011). Sven is also the editor of FORM Journal, published by the Villa-Legodi Centre for Sculpture, Ashraf Jamal’s Strange Cargo: Essays on Art (2022), co-editor of Bruce Murray Arnott: Into the Megatext (2023); Coral Bijoux’s Dreams as R-evolution (2020); and William Kentridge’s Why Should I Hesitate: Putting Drawings to Work (2019). Between 2017 and 2018 Sven was an Assistant Curator at Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA). His writing has been published by Routledge, OnCurating, The Garage Journal, Ellipses: Journal of Creative Research, and The Thinker, amongst others. 

Jana Terblanche is an art curator and director based in South Africa. 

She serves as a Director at Southern Guild Gallery in Cape Town. Terblanche was previously Head Curator at SMITH Gallery (Cape Town), Associate Curator at the African Artists’ Foundation (Lagos) and worked extensively as an independent curator. In these roles, she oversaw an extensive art programme on the African continent and abroad. Over her career she has curated presentations at FNB Art Joburg, Investec Cape Town Art Fair, 1-54 London and Art Rotterdam. She has curated a multitude of solo and group exhibitions including ‘Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt’ for the Open City programme alongside curator Anelisa Mangcu.

Terblanche manages Southern Guild’s relationships between artists, collectors, art fairs and institutional collections. Her curatorial practice addresses decolonial theory, intersectional feminism and poetics through artmaking. 

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art from the University of Cape Town.

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