johannesburg

Eric Gottesman, The Last Days of Baalu Girma, 2013, ink-jet print from Polaroid negative, 42 × 52". From “Africans in America.”

“Africans in America”

Goodman Gallery/Johannesburg Art Gallery

Eric Gottesman, The Last Days of Baalu Girma, 2013, ink-jet print from Polaroid negative, 42 × 52". From “Africans in America.”

South African artists, dealers, and scholars often mourn the demise of the Johannesburg Biennale, a short-lived experiment in post-apartheid city branding and global outreach that ran for just two editions, in 1995 and 1997, invoking its legacy in interviews, essays, and tribute exhibitions. In 2010, the Goodman Gallery launched In Context, an occasional series of citywide exhibitions and events that aimed to address the void left by the defunct biennial—it is less a successor than an ambitious stopgap until something new emerges. To cocurate the second edition with her, Goodman Gallery director Liza Essers invited Hank Willis Thomas, who in the first edition had exhibited A Place to Call Home (Africa-America), 2009, an aluminum map depicting the two continental bodies in lonely cohabitation, hung next to El Anatsui’s bottle-top drapery Ink Spill, 2009. Thomas’s piece, which

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