South Africa, a contemporary scene

Fondation Louis Vuitton
April 26 - September 4, 2017
Assistant curator

With : Jane Alexander, Jody Brand, Kudzanai Chiurai, David Goldblatt, Nicholas Hlobo, William Kentridge, David Koloane, Moshekwa Langa, Lawrence Lemaoana, Zanele Muholi, Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi, Athi-Patra Ruga, Bogosi Sekhukhuni, Buhlebezwe Siwani, Kemang Wa Lehulere, Sue Williamson.

The collective exhibition Being There is devoted to South Africa, one of the most dynamic scenes on the African continent. Its potency, first revealed to the world in the 1990s, is especially due to the emergence of a new ecosystem, constituted in part by very involved and committed institutions, galleries and universities.
The exhibition focuses on a specific time and space – the present day – as established through multiple themes and well-rooted historical continuity. Several generations of artists are brought together here, with shared and reflected objectives.

Some works are by the scene’s earliest artists, today recognised figures on the international artistic stage, as well as a generation born in the 1970s. Other works, by artists born in the 1980s, are symptomatic of new issues and realities, more than twenty years after the end of apartheid.
This selection is founded on the position of the artists as proactive co-creators of the economic and social fabric in which they live, aware and confident of their ability to play a role and have lasting impact – Being There.

Exhibitions views, Being There: South Africa, a contemporary scene, Louis Vuitton Foundation, 2017 © Fondation Louis Vuitton / Marc Domage


Anaïs Lepage is an independent curator and writer based in Paris.

Her research focuses on excesses and secrets in art history in connection with a history of the affects and spiritualities as well as postcolonial and gender studies. Inspired by radical pedagogies and feminist theories, she questions the forms of speech through collaborations, workshops, and a shift in critical, intimate, and performative narrative.

Trained in Art History at the École du Louvre, in Museum Studies at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), and in Curatorial Studies at the Paris I Pantheon-Sorbonne University, Lepage multiplies experiences in France and abroad.
She started at the Maison Rouge - Foundation Antoine de Galbert in Paris, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Montreal and, alongside Guillaume Désanges, at the Verrière - Hermès Foundation in Brussels. Then, she worked as assistant curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chengdu, the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, and the Louis Vuitton Foundation.

From 2015 to 2020 she co-founded HEIWATA, a curatorial platform based between Paris, Mexico City, and Toronto. She has developed projects with artists such as Madison Bycroft, Julien Creuzet, Gaëlle Choisne, Ad Minoliti, and Rachel Rose, among others. Recently, she collaborated with AICA International, the CNEAI art center, and the Palais de Tokyo. Since 2019, she teaches exhibition curating at the Sorbonne University