THOUGH we know that objectivity is impossible, arts writers still gesture towards neutrality. Part of that gesture is coverage: making sure (in the case of visual arts) that we write about exhibitions at a range of galleries in different areas, about practitioners from across the possible demographic spectrums and about a variety of artistic media, styles or techniques.But that doesn’t mean we don’t have our favourites.Often, in preparation for this column, I find myself drifting towards a 100m stretch of Jan Smuts Avenue — a pocket of Johannesburg on the fringes of Rosebank before it becomes Parkwood, Saxonwold and other affluent suburbs. As arterial roads go, it’s fairly typical: an intersection with hawkers weaving through the traffic; pavements that track the rhythms of the day, washed clean in the morning but slowly littered as the hours go by; a garage; some squat blocks of offices and flats; a small selection of retail — scooter outlet, pool shop, tailor, locksmith, convenien...

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