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Minnette Vári


Selected Biography


Solo Exhibitions

Group Exhibition

Other Information


Essays & Reviews

Projects & Presentations

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Born in Pretoria, 1968.

Obtained Masters degree in Fine Arts from the University of Pretoria, 1997.

Lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa.


Solo exhibitions


Songs of Excavation. Goodman Gallery Johannesburg, South Africa.


Revenant. Goodman Gallery Cape, South Africa.


Parallax. Goodman Gallery Johannesburg, South Africa.


Time and Tide: An anthology in video. Goodman Gallery Cape, South Africa.


Minnette Vári. Goodman Gallery Cape, South Africa.


Minnette Vári. Goodman Gallery Johannesburg, South Africa.

Vigil. Elga Wimmer Gallery, New York. (In collaboration with Serge Ziegler Galerie)


Chimera (black edition). Exhibition and Workshop Residency. Victoria H. Myhren Gallery, University of Denver, Colorado.


Featured Festival Artist, Kleinkaroo National Arts Festival, Oudtshoorn, South Africa.

Aurora Australis. Galerie Renee Ziegler, Zürich, Switzerland.


Minnette Vári. Kunstmuseum Luzern | Art Museum Lucerne. Curated by Susanne Neubauer. Lucerne, Switzerland. (Monograph catalogue)


Media Work. AlienOracle. Curated by John Peffer. Jannotta Gallery, Smith College, Massachusetts. (Catalogue)

Minnette Vári. Corkin-Shopland Gallery, Toronto, Canada.


Minnette Vári. Serge Ziegler Galerie, Zürich.


Minnette Vári. Serge Ziegler Galerie, Zürich.

Minnette Vári. Camouflage Art.Culture.Politics. Brussels.

Aurora Australis. Standard Bank Gallery (downstairs), Johannesburg.


Beyond the Pale. Invited and supported by the French Institute of South Africa. Galerie d'Alliance Française, Johannesburg.


Minnette Vári. Centurion Art Gallery, Centurion, South Africa.


Painting and Language. FIG Gallery, Johannesburg.

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 Selected group exhibitions



États Limites. Le Centquartre, Paris.


Afropolis. City. Media. Art. Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum, Cologne; Iwalewa-Haus, Bayreuth, Germany. (Catalogue)

Open End: An Exhibition of Paintings. Goodman Gallery Cape.

VAF1. Contemporary African Video Art. Organised through AGENCY: Art, Life, Society. Yorkshire, UK. (Catalogue)


Sphčres 2009. Le Moulin/Galleria Continua, Boissy-le-Châtel, France.
With Air de Paris (Paris), Galleria Continua (San Gimignano / Beijing / Le Moulin), Goodman Gallery (Johannesburg / Cape Town), Galerie Krinzinger (Vienne), - Kamel Mennour (Paris), Almine Rech Gallery (Bruxelles / Paris), Esther Schipper (Berlin).

10th Havana Biennale of Havana, Cuba. (Catalogue)

Périfériks. Curated by Kader Attia. Exhibition as part of the Eternal Tour festival, Centre d'Art Neuchâtel (CAN), Switzerland.

5th VentoSul Biennial, Curitiba, Brazil. (Catalogue)

Dystopia. Unisa Art Gallery; Museum Africa, Johannesburg; Galerij Jan Colle, Ghent, Belgium.


Turn and Widen. 5th Seoul International Media Art Biennale. South Korea. (Catalogue)


African Pavillion. 52nd Venice Biennale. Venice, Italy. (Catalogue)

Voci dalla luna: a Homage to Federico Fellini. Curated by Andrea Bruciati. Galleria Comunale d'Arte Contemporanea, Monfalcone, Italy.

Afterlife. The Michael Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town. (Catalogue)

Diva Streets Nyc. Digital and Video Art Fair, New York City. Presented for Diva Streets by Serge Ziegler Galerie, Zürich, Switzerland. (Catalogue)

Luanda Triennial.  Luanda, Angola.


SD Observatorio. IVAM, Valencia, Spain (Catalogue)

Fairytale. TICA (Tirana Institute of Contemporary Art), Albania (Catalogue)


International Biennale of Contemporary Art 2005. National Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic (Catalogue)

Digital Discourse. St. James Centre for Creativity, Valetta, Malta (Catalogue)


La Allegría de Mis Sueńos. First Seville International Biennial of Contemporary Art. Curated by Harald Szeemann. Seville, Spain (Catalogue)

Personal Affects: Power and Poetics in Contemporary South African Art. Curated by David Brodie, Laurie Ann Farrell, Churchill Madikida, Tracy Murinik, Sophie Perryer and Liese van der Watt The Museum for African Art and the Cathedral Church of St John the Divine, New York, NY, USA (Catalogue)

New Identities: Contemporary South African Art. Museum Bochum, Germany. Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria, South Africa (Catalogue)

Dimension Folly: Subjectivity, Passion and Excess in Everyday Life. Galleria Civica di Arte Contemporanea, Trento, Italy. (Catalogue)


Banquet. Curated by Iván de la Nuez, Luis Rico, Peter Weibel and Karin Ohlenschläger. Virreina Palace, Barcelona, Spain; Zentrum für Kunst und Medien (ZKM), Karlsruhe, Germany; Conde Duque Cultural Centre in Madrid, Spain. (Catalogue)

Transferts. Curated by Toma Muteba Luntumbue for Africalia. Palais des Beaux-arts, Brussels (Catalogue)

Global Priority. Curated by Susan Jahoda and Grady Gerbracht. Herter Art Gallery, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA. (Catalogue)


STYX. Directed by Ralph Kotschka, Europäishe Kunstakademie, Trier, Germany. (Catalogue)

Videoformes. Curated by Gabriel Soucheyre; South African programme compiled by Clive van den Berg. Clermont-Ferrand, France. (Catalogue)

Muster Frau. Curated by Dr. Peter Joch. Kunsthalle Darmstadt, Germany. (Catalogue)

Contributions from the Venice Biennial. Charlottenborg Udstillingsbygning, Copenhagen. (Catalogue)

Slow Motion. Curated by Alexandra Kolossa. Ludwig Forum, Aachen. (CD-ROM Catalogue)

In Progress. Curated by Harald Szeemann for the 55th International Film Festival, Locarno, Switzerland (Catalogue)

Survivre ŕ l’Apartheid. De Drum Magazine ŕ aujourd’ui. Curated by Caroline Bourgeois. Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris. (Catalogue)

Aubes, ręveries au bord de Victor Hugo. Curated by Harald Szeemann. Maison de Victor Hugo, Paris. (Catalogue)


Short Stories. Curated by Roberto Pinto. La Fabbrica del Vapore, Milan. (Catalogue)

Dislocation. Image & Identity. South Africa. Curated by Daniela Tilkin. Circulo de Bellas Artes, Madrid. Sala Rekalde, Bilbao, March 2002. Centro Cultural de Maia, O'Porto, May 2002. (Catalogue)

Plateau of Humankind. 49th Venice Biennale. Arsenale and Italian Pavilion. Curated by Harald Szeemann. Venice. (Catalogue)

Casino 2001. First Quadriennial of Contemporary Art. Curated by Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn. S.M.A.K., Ghent. (Catalogue)

World Wide Video Festival 2001. Directed by Tom van Vliet. Arti & Amiticiae, Amsterdam; Michaelis Galleries, University of Cape Town, February 2002. (Catalogue)


Memórias Intimas Marcas. Curated by Fernando Alvim. Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen (MUHKA). (Catalogue)

Johannesburg. Curated by Clive Kellner as part of "Atmosfere Metropolitane", co-ordinated by Roberto Pinto. Openspace, Milan, Italy, July 2000. (Catalogue)


Dialog 1: Vice Verses. With Susanne Jirkuff, Ella Raidel and Tracey Rose. Curated by Clive Kellner. O.K. Centre of Contemporary Art, Linz, Austria. (Catalogue)

Channel. Curated by Robert Weinek and Gregg Smith. Association of Visual Arts, Cape Town.

South Meets West. Curated by Bernhard Fibicher, Yacouba Konaté and Yvonne Vera. National Museum. Accra, Ghana, November 1999. Kunsthalle Bern, April 2000. (Catalogue)


Democracy's Images: Photography And Visual Art After Apartheid. Curated by Rory Bester, Katarina Pierre and Jan-Erik Lundström. Bildmuseet, Umeĺ, Sweden. (Catalogue)


Photosynthesis: Contemporary South African Photography. Curated by Kathleen Grundling. Standard Bank National Arts Festival, Grahamstown; Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg; The South African National Gallery, Cape Town. (Catalogue)

Transversions. Curated by Yu Yeon Kim as part of Trade Routes: History and Geography, the 1997 Johannesburg Biennale. Museum Africa, Newtown, Johannesburg. (Catalogue)


Colours: Kunst aus Sudafrika. Curated by Sabine Vogel and Alphons Hug. The House of World Cultures, Berlin. (Catalogue)

Hitch-Hiker. Curated by Clive Kellner. The Generator Art Space, Africus Institute of Contemporary Art, Newtown, Johannesburg.


Uncommon Thread. Five artists from South Africa, Britain and Zimbabwe. Fringe exhibition at Africus Biennial, The Civic Gallery, Johannesburg.

The Laager. Fringe exhibition at Africus Biennial, Newtown Cultural Precinct, Johannesburg.

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Other information

Minnette Vári has been awarded a fellowship at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Umbria, Italy, in 2009, and a residency at the kunst:raum Sylt Quelle foundation in Germany for 2010.


She has lectured extensively and given workshops at various institutions, including the University of Johannesburg (UJ); University of South Africa (UNISA); University of Cape Town (UCT); Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Providence; Smith College, Massachusetts; University of Massachusetts, Amherst and the Denver University, Colorado, USA.


Public collections include the Johannesburg Art Gallery, MUHKA (Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Antwerp); The Museum of Art, Luzern; Johannesburg Art Gallery; Sindika Dokolo Collection of Contemporary African Art, Luanda, Angola; The South African National Gallery (Cape Town); Standard Bank South Africa; UNISA (University of South Africa) and Zürich Versicherung, Switzerland.


Vári’s work has included installation, performance, sculpture, photography and digital video, and has been thematically linked to exhibitions and conferences exploring themes of identity, transition, politics, mythology, media, trauma and history. She lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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Selected bibliography: Books

Update coming soon!


Art Cities of the Future: 21st Century Avant-Gardes. Phaidon, London.


South African Art Now. Sue Williamson. Harper-Collins, New York.


The Art of Truth-Telling about Authoritarian Rule. Ksenija Bilbija, Jo Ellen Fair, Cynthia E. Milton and Leigh A. Payne (Ed.) The University of Wisconsin Press, Wisconsin USA.


Minnette Vári. Monographic Catalogue. Susanne Neubauer (Ed.) Lucerne Museum of Art, Switzerland. Texts by Kendell Geers, John M. Peffer, Harald Szeemann, Liese van der Watt.

10 Years 100 Artists: Art in a Democratic South Africa. Perrier, Sophie (Ed.) Bell-Roberts Publishing in association with Struik Publishers, Cape Town, South Africa.

A Decade of Democracy: South African Art 1994-2004. Bedford, Emma (Ed.) Iziko Museums of Cape Town and Double Storey (Juta), Cape Town.


Black Art: A Cultural History. Richard J. Powell. Thames&Hudson, London.


El Arte Que Viene / The Art to Come. Paco Barragán. Subastas, Madrid.


GREY AREAS: Representation, Identity and Politics in Contemporary South African Art. Brenda Atkinson and Candice Breitz (Ed.), Chalkham Hill Press, Johannesburg.


Gendered Visions: The Art of Contemporary Africana Women Artists. Salah M. Hassan (Ed.), Africa World Press, Trenton, New York.


Art in South Africa: The Future Present. Sue Williamson and Ashraf Jamal, David Philip Publishers, Cape Town.


Gif 1. Book of original prints. The Artists' Press and FIG Gallery, Johannesburg.

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Selected bibliography: Essays & Reviews

Update coming soon!


Corrigall, Mary.: "Minnette Vári: Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, 1 March 2007". Art|SouthAfrica Website. Review originally published in Art South Africa V5.4.


Peffer, John M.: “Strange Utopia: John Peffer in conversation with Minnette Vári”, Feature Article in Art SouthAfrica, Volume 2, Issue 2, Summer 2003, pp.24–30.


Dawes, N.: “Selected works from the World Wide Video festival at Michaelis galleries”, Reviews, Artthrob, March.

Van Bosch, C.: "Vári pak mitiese monsters", Die Burger, Cape Town, February 26; Die Beeld, Gauteng, March 1.

Edmunds, P.: “New media showcase”, Friday, The Mail & Guardian, March 1 to 7.

von Burg, Dominique: ‘Minnette Vári’, Kunst-Bulletin No. 7/8, July/August.

Hug, C.: “Minnette Vári, Serge Ziegler Galerie, Zürich”, Reviews, p.105, Tema Celeste No.93, September/October 2002.


Stein, L.: Art Chicago seeks the cutting-edge, Chicago Tribune, May 11.

Omlin, S.: "Blick aus der Ferne", Neue Zurcher Zeitung, Feb. 27.

Polzer, B. : "Mediale Zerrbilder", Kunst, Annabelle, 3/01, Feb. 2.

Mack, G.: "Geschichte verschlingen", Kulturtipps, Cash, No. 8, Feb. 23.

Kraft, M.: "Körpergeschichte", Kunst, züritipp, No. 8/2001, Feb. 23.

Sutton, P.: "49th Venice Biennale: Minnette Vari", Visual Arts/Features, The Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Gateway to Arts and Culture, November.

Atkinson, B.: "Minnette Vári at the Standard Bank Gallery", Artthrob, Nov. 7.

Smith, K.: ‘Art pick of the week’, Friday, The Mail & Guardian, November 23 – 29.


Kerkham, R.: "A deadly explosive on her tongue", Third Text, Spring 2001.


Fröhling, G.: "City artist on the cutting edge", Tonight; Pretoria News, Apr. 20.

Delapse, Johannesburg: "VexQuest" in Insert. Interactive CD Rom Magazine. Winter.

Atkinson, B.: "Flash Art", Elle (SA), Aug. 2000.


Williamson, S.: "Artbio", Artthrob, Issue no. 7,

Lefebvre, E.: "Reality is always re-written", Newtown Zebra, no 11, Sept. - Dec.

Van Rensburg, W.: "Vári konfronteer jou met jou vrese", Beeld, Nov. 17.

Atkinson, B.: "Morphing Minnette", Electronic Mail & Guardian, Nov. 24.


Friedman, H.: "Zone of metaphors", The Mail & Guardian, April 11.

Van der Spuy, B.: "Pta-kaalfoto 'verslapping van sensuur'", Beeld, June 23.

Vári, M.: "Hearing the artist's message", Artspeak, Tonight; Pretoria News, July 1.

Geers, K.: "Planet Art", Elle (SA), October.

Van Niekerk, L.: " 'Muti-parfuum' ruk masker af ", Beeld, Oct. 8.

Berry, O.: "Message in a bottle", Tonight; Pretoria News, Dec. 5.


Friedman, H.: "Trapped in the hall of mirrors", The Mail & Guardian, April 12.

Friedman, H.: "Scratching beneath the surface", The Mail & Guardian, April 19.

Geers, K.: "The real dangers of fashion in art", Tonight; The Star, April 25.

Burger, L.: "Duistere waarhede wat die sinne uitdaag", Beeld, April 30.

Vári, M.: "(De)facing the surface", Gallery Page,


Berry, O.: "Baring all for art", Tonight; Pretoria News, September 22.

Cultural reporter: "Vanguardismo de Sudáfrica visita el Museo de Arte Contemporáneo", Cultura; La Epoca, Santiago, Chile, November 2.

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Projects and Presentations

Update coming soon!


Co-curator, along with Marlene Dumas, Kendell Geers, Bernie Searle, Sue Williamson, of “.ZA: Giovane arte dal Sudafrica” (.Za: Young Art from South Africa). Co-ordinated by Lorenzo Fusi. Palazzo delle Papesse, Siena, Italy. (Catalogue)


Frequent guest lecturer to undergraduate fine art students at the University of South Africa and the Pretoria Technicon.

Guest speaker at seminar held at the University of South Africa on the occasion of an exhibition on Art and Technology.

Author of a study guide for the University of South Africa on Art and Technology.


Guest lecturer to undergraduate fine art students at the University of South Africa.

March: Historical Identities / Identical Histories: A deadly explosive on my tongue. Lecture as part of a seminar programme at the University of South Africa.

November: Guest speaker for Gendered Dimensions of Authoritarian Legacies; workshop held by the Global Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA.


Appointed guest lecturer to undergraduate fine art students at the University of South Africa.

April: Panelist on round-table discussion at the Historical Museum of Bern, on the occasion of the opening of the exhibition South Meets West.

July: Guest Curator for an exhibition at the Johannesburg Civic Gallery. Entitled Magic Moments, it featured work by Daniel Buetti (Switzerland/France), Mo Diener (Switzerland), Noritoshi Hirakawa (Japan), Tracey Rose (South Africa), Jan van der Merwe (South Africa), Kathryn Smith (South Africa) and Yvonne Vera (Zimbabwe).


February. Public presentation and conference participation at the Association of Visual Arts, Cape Town.

September: Public presentation of work and walkabout at FNB Vita Art Prize exhibition, Sandton Civic Gallery, Johannesburg.

September: On(e)Line; virtual presentations and live webcasts from four continents. Video Conference. GATE Foundation, Amsterdam. http//


October: Presentation on recent video work to the public at the Alliance Française, Johannesburg.


Numerous walkabout talks and short lectures to the public, coinciding with solo and group exhibitions.


March - July: Guest lecturer to undergraduate students at the University of Pretoria. 

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