Frieze Films commercials director Malo 8 has founded an arts residency in Diepkloof, Soweto. “I wanted to create a place where there was no pressure to create for an art show,” says Malo. “A place where artists could just make the art that they want to for that moment, with no theme pushed on them.”
Malo provides accommodation, as well as materials for the month-long residencies. “Luckily I had a space in Soweto that was free,” he says. “Soweto needs to be known not just for ‘76 and politics but for its art heritage.”
In its first year, Malo’s residency hosted award-winning Mozambican artist Vasco Manhica and controversial South African artist Ayanda Mabulu, whose works include Umshini Wam (Weapon of Mass Destruction) and Ngcono ihlwempu kunesibhanxo setsiyebi (Better poor than a rich puppet).
Last year Malo also helped fund a group show by The Artist Proof Studio,curated by Prophet. In 2013, Malo plans to host 15 artists at the residency. He also gave a small grant to Thabiso Sekgala to print his first photographic book. Thabiso is represented by The Goodman Gallery and received an honourable mention from The Ernest Cole Award in 2011.
“South Africa needs to foreground arts more than we are doing,” says Malo. “Art needs to live beyond the gallery space, beyond being for consumption; it needs to become just a thing we do as society.”
About Malo 8
Malo 8 is a commercials director with Frieze Films, whose recent clients include MTN, DSTV and Unilever. His alter-ego, Dumisani Phakati, is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and former Standard Bank Young Artist of The Year.
For more information, visit www.friezefilms.com