Art from the Global South Brought to the Fore on New Gallery Platform from Liza Essers

Liza Essers © Goodman Gallery
“Before the pandemic, around 70% of income for many galleries from the global south came from fairs and it’s very difficult and isolating not being able to travel—sitting here in Johannesburg, I feel a long way from the art world centres”, the platform founder told The Art Newspaper.

This feeling of isolation from the US-Europe dominance of the art world inspired Liza Essers, owner and director of Goodman Gallery, to create a new online gallery platform to promote art from the Global South.


The gallery-led platform, South South, will debut in February 2021 and will feature video introductions to each invited gallery and the city in which they are based, seeking to “address an imbalance in the art world framework by providing a means to explore alternative art centres within a broader geopolitical context”. The platform is invitation-only, and galleries pay a participation fee of between $1,500 and $3,000, although some younger galleries will not be charged.


South South will launch with an online selling event using auction technology from February 5 to 10, with a percentage of the profits going to non-profit art organisations.. South South Veza, borrowing the isiZulu word for “to show, produce or reveal”, will seek to revamp the “very flat” experience of online viewing rooms by reintroducing an element of competition for buyers looking to snap up a work from the 40 participating galleries. Alongside the event, the platform is hosting a film programme organised by Rodrigo Moura (Museo del Barrio chief curator, New York), a talks programme organised by Elvira Dyangani Ose (The Showroom director, London) and online exhibition curated by Paula Nascimento and Suzana Sousa (both based in Angola).


Essers hopes that a physical manifestation of South South Veza will appear in London, Mexico City, Miami, New York and Tokyo in the future.


Participating South South galleries: Addis Fine Art (Addis Ababa, London), Rele Gallery (Lagos), Gypsum (Cairo), A Gentil Carioca (Rio de Janeiro), Luisa Strina (São Paulo), Anna Schwartz (Melbourne), Taka Ishii Gallery (Tokyo), Experimenter (Kolkata), Blum & Poe (Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo), Monique Meloche Gallery (Chicago) and Stephen Friedman (London).