opper

Alexander Opper

Junior Fellow

Contact

Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies
University of Bayreuth

95440 Bayreuth


Email: alexanderopper@gmail.com

Current Project

Undoing the undoings of the Johannesburg Art Gallery: For the museum yet to become


Research Interest:

Since 2009 – under the working title: Undoing Architecture – and driven by the spatial politics of Johannesburg I have generated and published a substantial body of artistic work and scholarly writing. This work sits at the core of my PhD. The research encompasses various fields, including art, architecture, urban studies, public space and photography.

Geographical Area:

Johannesburg, South Africa


Academic Vita

since April 2017

Junior Fellow at BIGSAS

since 2016

Director of the undergraduate degree programme (BArch), Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (FADA), Dept. of Architecture, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

2015

Establishment and running of UNIT 1: Architecture and Infrastructure – Learning from Main Reef Road, part of UJ/FADA/Architecture’s two-year master’s programme (under the banner of Unit System Africa), University of Johannesburg, South Africa

2010-2014

Designer (2010) and Director of the Architecture Master’s programme, FADA, Dept. of Architecture, Bunting Road Campus, Auckland Park, Johannesburg, South Africa

2007-2010

Senior Lecturer at FADA, Dept. of Architecture, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

1997-2001

Master of Architecture (MARCH) with Distinction, University of the Arts (UdK), Berlin, Germany

1991-1993

Bachelor of Architectural Studies (BAS), School of Architecture and Planning, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Professional experience

2017

Establishment and running of ELECTIVE 5: Landscapes of Worship: The Architectures of Belief and Belonging, Johannesburg, South Africa

2007-2012

Establishment and directorship of 'Notion Architects'

2006

Professional registration with the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (Pr Arch 20611)

1994-2007

Freelancing for a large range of architecture and design firms in Sout Africa and Germany

Selected paper presentations

23-26 March 2017

"Undoing the Artist's Book" - Booknesses Book Arts Colloquium: Taking Stock of the Book Arts in South Africa (International colloquium at FADA, UJ), Johannesburg, South Africa.

18-20 March 2015

"Derrière les panneaux publicitaires (Behind the Billboards)" - Viaduct 2015 - Archival Addresses: Photographies, Practices, Positionalities (International platform at FADA, UJ), Johannesburg, South Africa.

19-22 March 2014

"Separ(n)ation" - 16th ACASA Triennial Symposium on African Art, Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA.

21-22 November 2013

"Assessing pedagogical outcomes: Some reflections on Productive 'Leakage' and the 'Folding' of the Studio into the Field" - URBAN LAB+. The Laboratory approach to Built-Environment Education, Johannesburg Colloquium, Wits (School of Architecture and Planning), Johannesburg, South Africa.

23 May 2013

"'Folding' the Studio into the Field: Some Lessons learned and shared, between Johannesburg & São Paulo" - IBSA Working Group on Human Settlements (IBSA WGHS), Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), Pretoria (live simulcast between Pretoria/Cape Town/Durban), South Africa.

29 April 2013

"Informal Studio: Marlboro South, Johannesburg, South Africa" with Anne Graupner (26'10 south Architects) - Baukulturwerkstatt. Weltstadt - Stadtwelten, Deutsches Architektur Zentrum (DAZ), Berlin, Germany.

16-17 April 2011

"(Not) Everything counts in large amounts: Dusty Realism and the productive 'archive' of the in between" - Synthetic Dirt, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa.

11-15 January 2011

"Landscapes and Trajectories of Displacement: Finding Place in Hotel Yeoville" - SAVAH Conference (Other Views: Art histories in (South) Africa and the Global South), Wits, Johannesburg, South Africa.

15-16 October 2009

"Undoing Architecture" - On Making: Integrating Approaches to Practice-Led Research in Art and Design, FADA, UJ, International colloquium, Johannesburg, South Africa.

22-24 August 2007

"The Physical Relocation of Cultural Memory and the Political Dislocation of History through Architecture" - Second International Conference of the Arts in Society, Kassel, Germany.

Master classes, roundtables, design workshops offered

08/2017

Initiation and co-facilitation of a roundtable considering the innocuous term, Uitvalgrond. With Dr Jonathan Cane, of the WITS City Institute, and invited specialist presenters.

09/2015

Initiator and facilitator of a drawing master class (with Lorenzo Nassimbeni and Rhett Martyn). Drawing the City into Being: Jo’burg, Above, Below and In-between. SAF/AZA. Johannesburg, South Africa.

10/2014

5-day international workshop on informal settlement upgrading practices and methodologies. Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

11/2009

Initiator and facilitator of Playing ball, or, a friendly between two private publics: the Johannesburg Art Gallery and Joubert Park, an interdisciplinary (art/architecture) master class addressing the failed relationship between the Johannesburg Art Gallery and Joubert Park (conceptualised as part of architect Sarah Calburn’s Rapid Thought Transport master class series). Johannesburg, South Africa.

Solo Exhibitions

2015

Uitval: Unfolded. Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS). Johannesburg, South Africa. 04-26 March.

2013

Separ(n)ation. Goethe on Main. Johannesburg, South Africa. 24 Oct-17 Nov.

Selected Group Exhibitions

2017

Booknesses: South African Artists’ Books. FADA Gallery. FADA. University of Johannesburg, South Africa. 24 March-05 May.

2015

Past Imperfect // Future Present. FADA Gallery. Johannesburg, South Africa. 24 Mar-01 May.

2015

GROUP. The Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS). Johannesburg, South Africa. 08-22 Apr.

2014-2015

TWENTY: Contemporary Art from South Africa. Turchin Center for the Visual Arts Appalachian State University.  North Carolina, USA. 11 Jul 2014-07 Feb 2015.

2011

The South African Informal City Exhibition (Informal Studio: Ruimsig, a collaborative studio between UJ, FADA and 26’10 south Architects). Bus Factory. Johannesburg, South Africa. 11 Nov-11 Dec.

2010

Cloak & Dagger: The Curtain Raiser. Security Building. Johannesburg, South Africa. 25 Nov-31 Dec.

2010

Draw links: An exhibition of contemporary drawings. Gallery Art on Paper. Johannesburg, South Africa. 09-30 Oct.

2010

The Spirit is not an Idea, Says the Penguin. CO-OP. Johannesburg, South Africa. 18 Mar-17 Apr.

2010

Time’s Arrow. Johannesburg Art Gallery. Johannesburg, South Africa. 21 Feb-18 Apr.

2009

2nd Floor, Security Building. Security Building. Johannesburg, South Africa. 28 Nov.

2009

FADA Staff Show. FADA Gallery. Johannesburg, South Africa. 22 Sept-16 Oct.

2009

The Double Body: being in space. FADA Gallery. Johannesburg, South Africa. 20 May-21 Jun.

2008

FADA Staff Show. Signage and furniture design for Gallery Art on Paper. FADA Gallery. Johannesburg, South Africa.

2007

FADA Staff Show. On Megabyte House. FADA Gallery. Johannesburg, South Africa.



Publications

Opper, Alexander (2016). Derrière les panneaux publicitaires/Behind the Billboards. In: Critical Addresses. The Archive-in-Practice. L. Farber & C. Jorgensen (ed./eds.). Johannesburg: Jacana Media. 111-122. | pdf


Opper, Alexander (2015). About Time, (Or: Typological Transfers and the Case of Johannesburg’s Gas Works as an Evolution from Exploitative Industrial Machine, to No-man’s Land, to a Singular Chance to Realise an Inclusive Urban Future). In: The Johannesburg Gas Works. M. Läuferts le Roux & J. Mavunganidze (ed./eds.). Johannesburg: Fourthwall Books. 79-90. | pdf


Opper, Alexander (2015). Public Art/Private Lives: The Making of ‘Hotel Yeoville’. In: Museum Transformations (Volume 4 (of a 4-volume publication), Part 3 (Museum Experiments). A. E. Coombes & R. B. Phillips (ed./eds.). Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell. 439-470. | pdf


Opper, Alexander (2014). Spaces of Archival Slippage and […] Things […] not necessarily Meant to be Viewed as Art. In: The Fabric of Matter. The Matter of Fabric. A. Pauls (ed./eds.). Stuttgart: Akademie Schloss Solitude. 1-16. | pdf


Opper, Alexander (2014). Recognising and Revealing the Public in the Photographic Constructions of Lard Buurman. In: Africa Junctions. Capturing the City. L. Buurman (ed./eds.). Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz. 206-212. | pdf


Opper, Alexander (2013). Ways of belonging. In: Hotel Yeoville. B. Law-Viljoen (ed./eds.). Johannesburg: Fourthwall Books. 65-80. | pdf


Opper, Alexander (2010). Undoing Architecture. In: On Making: Integrating Approaches to Practice-Led Research in Art and Design (International colloquium held at FADA, UJ. 15-16 Oct 2009). L. Farber (ed./eds.). Johannesburg: FADA, UJ. 183-208. | pdf


Opper, Alexander (2010). Creating meaning in architecture and furniture design in a South African context: searching for interdisciplinary lessons between two disciplines. In: Imaging Ourselves: Visual Identities in Representation (International conference held at FADA, UJ. 15 Jun 2009). L. Farber (ed./eds.). Johannesburg: FADA, UJ. 48-71. | pdf


Opper, Alexander (2010). The Art of being Public. Art South Africa Vol. 09 (02, Summer). 44-49. | pdf