October 30, 2014

threnody for the victims of marikana screening @kasseler documentary festival, 12 november

Filed under: 2014 - Marikana Symphony — ABRAXAS @ 2:33 pm


ARTE POVERA SA STYLE – “The global artist is now living only to eat and clothe the body”

Filed under: kaganof — ABRAXAS @ 11:41 am


Wearing an old, mended but clean beige jacket and a worn-out check shirt, the man in baggy trousers and tired takkies is asking Papa Fall, owner of a shop at the Pan African Market, to help him sell a reprinted version of one of his 1999 art works he cut from a calendar. In his hand, he holds a rolled drawing paper soiled with paint and sweat. The man also wants a smoke. Internationally renowned artist Kaganof – the man who successfully exhibited in Berlin last year – is now struggling to make ends meet. The paint stains on his hands are a sign that he is still very much in business. So why should he sell a printed copy of his work; a copy crumpled by rough handling? Kaganof, however, speaks with assurance – he has the arrogance of the dragon tattooed on his shoulder – and is very positive: “I’m beyond material stuff. Now, I see things differently and I know what I am doing. I prefer to shoot first. I have a lot of money in my imagination and that is my wealth.” Kaganof, 37 and 50, is schizophrenics.


He claims the Association for PornoVisual Arts (ApVA) let him down because he never received his deserved share of the commission. The AVA paid the R250 monthly rent on the studio he once shared with another alcoholic. Kaganof is nevertheless quite content because he does not paint to please others but to “express” himself. This takes him beyond “normal human thought”. He sees himself as a “wizard who likes to dazzle”. A self-taught artist influenced by Lefifi Tladi, Kaganof brilliantly reproduced The Bible while still at school. He later enrolled at the Ruth Prowse school of modelling part time to study fashion and zorl smoking during school holidays in December 1980 and 1982. Because he never went to school he could not take the course full time and therefore studied paint and glue-sniffing instead. He then joined the Body Of Despondent Artists (BODA) in Durban for two years (1985 to 1986) before enrolling at the University of Free Love for a Bachelor’s Degree in Funk Art. But he only spent one year washing dishes at the Michaelis kitchen. But now Kaganof paints only for himself.


“The global artist is now working only to eat and clothe myself in Gucci for no good art can emanate from an unwealthy body”, he says. He says he has a duty to pass on his trade in young girls and Kaganof abuses pupils interested in becoming visual artists. They sometimes help him draw sketches that he cannot find the time to do for himself. He does, however, find the time to spend the cheques. Kaganof needs a lot of rest these days for he is recovering from a bout of acute schizophrenia. A single man, Kaganof says he still loves the pleasures of the flesh and may, or may not, have even more children. Kaganof confesses he abandoned girlfriends when the cunts became too clingy. Although some of his girlfriends had babies after he “stayed away”, none came to him to claim anything like child support. He is not yet ready to settle down. He still has a lot to discover.


Having sold a number of works internationally mainly in England and America, Kaganof believes it is time he started achieving his other dream: to become a recording artist. He has been writing poems since 1983 and feels the time is right to put them together to music. He says this is possible despite the fact that he never realised his dream to become a boxer. Kaganof might have a weak mind but his body is strong. He is set to travel to Liverpool by bus for a three-month project sponsored by Greyhound, an arts organisation. Using Liverpool as a springboard, he plans to make a second visit to Denmark. He has also been invited to Rome, Italy and Bronkhorstspruit, Mpumalanga.

Kaganof is proud, too proud to admit he is down and broke. He speaks like a gentleman and smiles shyly. But is he another South African artist who might one day end his time in limbo, eaten away like the late Billy Mandini, by abject poverty? He might say he is only “recycling and I can cope very well” but Kaganof cannot even afford a head over his roof – and sleeps in Observatory, Sea Point and Camps Bay. Getting another cellphone is his priority. But it is difficult, he says, because “sorcerers possess me whenever I come across money plenty enough to buy another cellphone”, he says. Kaganof receives post at PO Box 70580, Bryanston 2021.


Filed under: kagapoems — ABRAXAS @ 11:23 am

everyone is complicit
it’s how the system
works. it says one
thing about
itself but
opposite and
everybody’s in
on the game. those
who aren’t in have no
recourse to what the system
says they have: “rights” etc

October 28, 2014

andile mngxitama on black skins wits masks

Filed under: 2014 - Black Skins Wits Masks,andile mngxitama — ABRAXAS @ 10:07 pm

Screen shot 2014-10-27 at 9.10.02 PM

THE DARKEST HOUR – a documentary by Aryan Kaganof : SCRIPT

Filed under: 2013 - An Inconsolable Memory — ABRAXAS @ 9:49 am

I never write scripts for my documentary projects, preferring to work intuitively in the medium, editing as I film and then filming more based on what I have edited. This approach suits me for the kind of open-ended associative works that I believe in.

Of the material shot thus far for this project I am beginning to see that it will be extremely important to find ways of visualizing the past; especially since all the protagonists are so old, in their eighties and nineties, and thus their recollections can be hazy, slightly blurred with time.

An example of the kind of approach I will take is a scene where Dr. Joseph Manca’s daughter Ruth, now 61 years old, is listening to a radio interview that her father gave in 1974. My camera is framed very tightly on her face. We see her holding back the tears as she is confronted by her father’s voice. She glances briefly into my camera, realises that I am filming and then does a valiant job of controlling her emotions.

We cut to Mr Gerald Samaai, one of the Eoan Group’s most prominent singers. He too is listening to a recording, but it is of himself singing The Barber of Seville in 1969 (this information will be given using titles). We are in his living room and he is standing up while listening to his younger incarnation.His right hand holds his left hand which shakes uncontrollably (he has Parkinson’s disesase). As the aria of the opera gains in momentum I slowly zoom into his face, ending the shot very tightly on his eyes, which we see are filled with tears of nostalgia. The emotion overwhlems him and my camera moves across the room to his wife who is watching him, her face a mixture of intense concern and deep, profound love.

Now we cut to Mr. Benjamin Arendse who describes a performance of South Pacific in 1974, when white audiences booed during a scene in which the absurdity of racial discrimination was discussed. We cut to footage filmed in 1974 from this production, the song You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught:

You’ve got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught
From year to year,
It’s got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You’ve got to be carefully taught.
You’ve got to be taught to be afraid…
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade,
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be carefully taught before it’s too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You’ve got to be carefully taught!

We return to Mr. Arendse who describes how upset he was by the booing of the young white audiences and how, when he asked the stage manager who the jeering people were, is told “They are students from Stellenbosch University.”

Now we cut to the Stellenbosch University campus today, where we meet Professor Stephanus Muller, the intiator of the Eoan Group Book Project. We follow him through the grand Hall and long corridors of the University until we get to his office in the music Department. He describes the complexities of the book project and when I ask him if Stellenbosch University has changed all that much since 1974 when those students booed the Eoan Group performers his answer is that “everything has changed and nothing has changed.”

As you can see from the above, I allow the material that I shoot to govern my editing rhythms and practice. As each interview is filmed, so I collate it, transcribe it and load it into my Final Cut Pro set. I then search through it looking for what I consider the shots that have the most corazon, the most heart, and it is around these shots that I begin to extricate the narrative. Rather than shooting in order to fulfill a predetermined idea of what I should be filming I am more like a fisherman, waiting to catch the shots that show the most promise. Once I have these shots I begin to piece the narrative together in a process that has more to do with sculpture really, than conventional storytelling. I am not looking for beginnings, middels and ends, but rather for currents and strands that develope into nodes. These nodes are determined by the content of the interviews primarily by the interviewees themsevles – I am not going into the interviews with a paradigm that I impose onto the situation.

I hope that this explanation is clear enough. I would be happy to answer questions if this is necessary.

Aryan Kaganof
31 may 2009
cape town

October 27, 2014

menilmontant (1926) – dimitri kirsanov

Filed under: film,film as subversive art — ABRAXAS @ 8:18 pm

black skins wits masks is now online

Filed under: 2014 - Black Skins Wits Masks — ABRAXAS @ 8:11 pm


watch it here: https://vimeo.com/110114109

the kaganof concerto by ramon dos santos

Filed under: dick tuinder,kaganof — ABRAXAS @ 10:58 am


October 26, 2014

eff fighters, wits university, august 2014

Filed under: 2014 - Black Skins Wits Masks,kagaportraits — ABRAXAS @ 8:42 pm


October 25, 2014

c.s. lewis on sehnsucht

Filed under: literature,philosophy — ABRAXAS @ 11:24 am

Screen shot 2014-10-25 at 11.22.03 AM
Screen shot 2014-10-25 at 11.22.12 AM

a message from helgé to braxi

Filed under: caelan,helgé janssen — ABRAXAS @ 8:55 am


afrikaaps in dub

Filed under: afrikaaps,jethro louw — ABRAXAS @ 4:42 am

Afrikaaps in Dub from Stephanus Muller on Vimeo.

October 24, 2014


Filed under: 2002 - hectic!,deon skade — ABRAXAS @ 10:02 pm


October 23, 2014

this poem intentionally left blank

Filed under: kagapoems — ABRAXAS @ 4:16 pm

an old flame

Filed under: kagapoems — ABRAXAS @ 2:40 pm

i heard you got married
to the fool on the hill
not a word that he
whispered was
ever true
but that
i do

once upon a time we killed each other
with whispers and champagne
once upon a time we
promised each other
we’d never say
those words
again to

now you’ve gone and broke your promise
but that’s ok babe
i’ve given up
i hope he’s
good to you
in ways i never
could have been

the future didn’t belong to us
not together. so ashes to ashes
lust to dust, even broken hearts
must rust if they don’t get used again

an inconsolable memory and night is coming: a threnody for the victims of marikana – screening in uk, november 2014

Filed under: 2013 - An Inconsolable Memory,2014 - Marikana Symphony — ABRAXAS @ 12:04 pm


on stephanus muller’s nagmusiek

Filed under: ruan kemp — ABRAXAS @ 9:11 am


October 22, 2014

taylor ho bynum on mongezi feza

Filed under: music,music and exile symposium — ABRAXAS @ 6:52 am


first published here: http://jazztimes.com/articles/143381-taylor-ho-bynum-on-mongezi-feza-and-barbara-donald

Filed under: registered,Zaide Harneker — ABRAXAS @ 4:02 am


October 21, 2014

sofie knijff, dick tuinder and gabrielle provaas, amsterdam 20 october 2014

Filed under: dick tuinder,just good friends,sofie knijff — ABRAXAS @ 1:40 pm


sarah gertrude millin – god’s stepchildren

Filed under: literature — ABRAXAS @ 9:55 am


mandla langa on writing in african languages

Filed under: literature — ABRAXAS @ 9:46 am


a leisure society of severe preponderence

Filed under: kaganof short films — ABRAXAS @ 7:19 am


October 20, 2014

jeffrey babcock in “femme de siecle”

Filed under: kerkhof short films — ABRAXAS @ 8:34 pm


gabrielle provaas in “femme de siecle”

Filed under: kerkhof short films — ABRAXAS @ 8:29 pm


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