In May 2023, the SALOON Johannesburg was founded out of the urge for more sisterhood in the arts and a communal network that supports, listens, and generates. The first meeting was held at Coalition over pizza and wine with Nisha Merit, Dinkia Govender (board member until October 2023), Moipone Tlale, Barbara Rousseaux, Mvelo Midoli Mahlangu, Melissa Dusart, and Tzung-Hui Lauren Lee. Our engagements look at the local art scene and we want to establish mechanisms of how to engage with the greater arts economy on a social, cultural, and economic level. We are looking at interdisciplinary practices from visual arts, writing, education, and performative arts.
You can get in touch with the SALOON in Johannesburg via email@example.com
Nisha Merit (she/her) is an independent curator, writer, and producer between Johannesburg and Berlin. She co-curated the group exhibition Soil Conversations (Galerie im Koernerpark, Berlin, 2023, and at JAG, Johannesburg from August 2023). Merit published texts in the magazine SWAG and in the 2023 book 'Lost Libraries, Burnt Archives'. Her collaborative work as a curator is based on Care as Practice and offers an extension to the institutional system, defined in para- an entity that is neither against the institution nor fully defined by it. Applying this methodology Merit works transdisciplinary with practitioners, spaces, and practices. Care and Process Practices is a method of attentiveness and deep care for the subject matter and its products. Being an active part of a process and exchange between people and objects. It also describes the openness to engage and nurture topics and experiences even or especially if they are not known to oneself. The acknowledgment of the multitude of realities that exist in the diversity of lives. The openness to learning new or different ways of working, thinking, and articulating projects and subject matters, creates interstitial spaces for knowledges and processes to be articulated and shared.
Moipone Tlale (she/her) is a versatile brand architect who thrives in the ever-evolving digital and experiential landscape of the 21st century. With a strong dedication to fostering creativity and community, she has made noteworthy contributions as a director of a creative cultural agency, a foundation, and an art gallery. Having previously held the position of Head of Properties and Experiences at Bubblegum Club, she also served as a director of Bubblegum Gallery, where they played a pivotal role in shaping the gallery's vision and overall direction. This experience provided her with a profound understanding of the art world and the intricate systems and infrastructure necessary to support the creative community effectively. Motivated by a commitment to empowering emerging talent, she actively participated in establishing residency programs designed specifically for young artists. Moipone’s passion for building systems and infrastructure extends beyond the art world, as they are deeply interested in leveraging these skills to develop platforms and initiatives that benefit the broader creative community.