GARAGE: a visual taxonomy of johannesburg

19 Oct 2017 – 21 Oct 2017

Cost of entry


Art Hub Gallery

England, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • 188, 199, 177, 53
  • New Cross (London Overground), Deptford Bridge (DLR)
  • Deptford, Greenwich

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GARAGE: a visual taxonomy of johannesburg is the first solo exhibition by British-South African artist George Chapman (b. 1988). The exhibition will showcase new paintings and works in progress, part of a larger body of work about Johannesburg, South Africa.


Chapman’s paintings re-imagine South Africa's economic capital through the detritus of postcards, street plans, decommissioned reports and personal memories. Using literature as a departure point, the paintings refer to works such as Mark Gevisser’s urban memoir on sexual identity (Lost and Found in Johannesburg) and Bettina Malcolmess and Dorothee Kreutzfeldt’s interpretation of Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project (Not No Place: Johannesburg. Fragments of Spaces and Times).

GARAGE borrows its title from a discussion about the informal use of space in Kinshasa, the capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo:

“What one needs… to operate a garage is not a building named ‘garage’ but rather the idea of a garage. The only material element needed to turn an open space into a garage is a used automobile tyre on which the owner has written the word quado (supposedly the name of a well-known Belgian garage owner in the colonial period).”

- Filip De Boeck and Marie-Françoise Plissart, Kinshasa and Its (Im)material Infrastructure

A garage operates as conduit between an ad hoc and formal establishment. It is an informal parking space, a place to store clutter and a home for unwanted items. A garage is also a space of transition: to disassemble, repair, and renew items that have lost their worth. But there can be many representations of a space without the space itself. Chapman's paintings stand as a part for the whole: the ongoing project to document the transitional, ephemeral nature of Joahnnesburg.

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Exhibiting artists

George Chapman


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