Rian Malan opens Priest Espressobar’s November exhibition

Priest Espressobar’s November installation showed Marc Pradervand’s exhibition “Bright New Morning” as part of First Thursdays. South African journalist and author Rian Malan welcomed guests by introducing Pradervand and his work as everyone was served freshly made Bloody Mary cocktails.


The exhibition was curated by Priest gallery manager Wayne Matthews and includes fifteen pieces of artwork. Pradervand’s work looks at the current politicial milleu in South Africa and aims to challenge and confront our complacency towards them. The artist considers himself a recluse, after leaving the big city of Cape Town for Riebeeck East with his a wife a few years ago.

We had a quick catch up with Marc before the opening night:

Please can you explain the title of your exhibition ‘Bright New Morning’?

Bright New Morning is the title of a great Nick Cave song. I have also been told those were some of the words spoken by Stalin to the people before sending them off to Siberia!

Why, of all the quaint towns around South Africa, did you chose to  settle in Riebeeck East?

Riebeeck East was a very easy choice to make. Cheap property connected by dusty gravel roads that lead to nowhere in particular. Hot as hell in summer and freezing cold in winter, with no rain all year round. Perfect…what’s not to like?


img_6423What is your opinion of the State Capture Report and how, if at all, will it affect how people see your work this evening?

Nobody falls on their swords anymore. Seems like the only way to get things done is to push the sword in and keep pushing until it goes right through and pops out the other side. I was hoping the sword would have done its work before the night was over! However, it looks like there’s still quite a bit of pushing to be done!

Someone who complimented your work called South Africa society “mollycoddled”. Given recent protests, marches and civil unrest, do you see South Africans as mollycoddled?

One side of the river you have bricks flying, shacks burning, shit flowing uphill, screaming debates etc etc. On the other bank the burning question is whether or not Mavis remembered to feed the koi fish before taking Snoopy to have his teeth cleaned at Pets Paradise Grooming Parlour. Are South Africans mollycoddled? Well it seems like you are either on this side or that side of the river, and nobody is really floating around in the river itself.

Do you think your work is more important now than it ever has been?

Is art ever that important ! “Light entertainment that keeps one occupied for a few seconds, maybe a minute or two at best.” For me art is a nice way of passing the time. If it can make one laugh a little, then I suppose it could be considered to be of some importance.



Who do you think should be president of South Africa?

Well all I can say is thank God we don’t have to choose between Trump or Clinton. It doesn’t really matter who our next president is, we will still have a much better boss than the US of A!

When last did you go to an excellent exhibition and can you tell us about it?

Many years ago SA Sports Illustrated did an interview with the rugby star Rob Louw. They asked him what was the greatest sporting highlight of his life. He replied that getting a stand up tube on a 10 foot wave at Supertubes, Jeffery’s Bay was by far his greatest sporting achievement. For me the last great “exhibition” I saw was a few months ago when I watched Kelly Slater score a perfect 10 point ride during the Samsung World Surf League Championships at Supertubes, Jeffery’s Bay. It basically made any other “exhibition” I’ve seen in the last 5 years pale into insignificance!

Pradervand’s work is currently for sale at Priest Espressobar and the catalogue is available online.

Please contact Wayne Matthews or Cal Kingwill or phone 021 201 4777.