The Showroom

Practices of Affinity – an evening of shared readings and discussion on independent arts practices

Wednesday 31 May 7–9pm
Presented by Joining Room and Molemo Moiloa
Free, but booking required. Please email Molemo Moiloa to book a place: [email protected]


How do we, as practitioners working in and outside institutions, begin to think and speak an un-commodified language? How do we inhabit institutions as relational spaces and move towards practices of affinity?

There are potentials and limits to how artists form networks and work in and outside the market and within the constraints and criteria of funders and museums. What are the potentials for other kinds of interaction with the public or between practitioners that make space for intimacy against the exhaustion and over-saturation of biennales and group shows? And how does practice live within these parallel, durational and often incommensurable fields of value?

This event - organised by Molemo Moiloa and Joining Room - will begin with a series of readings by Moiloa, Bettina Malcomess of Joining Room and Lavendhri Arumugam followed by an open discussion over the sharing of food. Hosted as an informal forum to share suggestions for how practitioners and organisations can produce practices of affinity as opposed to spectacles of difference, the focus for the evening will be to ask how we can re-insert intimacy into the ways we stage practice.

Joining Room is a platform for the staging of interdisciplinary intimacies started by Bettina Malcomess. Joining Room has no physical space, but is an undefined and shape-shifting form that joins onto existing structures. Malcomess is based between Johannesburg and London.

Molemo Moiloa is Director of the Visual Arts Network of South Africa (VANSA), and one half of artists collaborative MADEYOULOOK. She has degrees in Fine Arts and Social Anthropology, writes sometimes, and is interested in popular social pedagogies and everyday socio-political imaginary.

Lavendhri Arumugam is an artist, writer and former director of the Ithuba Arts Gallery, Johannesburg. Arumugam co-founded the Ithuba Arts Fund in 2011 awarded to artists based in and around Johannesburg.

Image credit: Territories Map by VANSA and Nolan Oswald Dennis, 2016

Molemo Moiloa is a 2016-17 Clore Fellow on the Clore Fellowship programme and is in residence at The Showroom April - June 2017.