Final Programme

•March 11, 2009 • Leave a Comment

The programme for the Urban Scenographies festival has been finalised. Click here to view it.

Selected Works

•March 8, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Urban Scenographies Johannesburg will culminate this week with a public art festival, during which artists will perform, presentor display the works they have produced over the past three weeks of their residency in the Johannesburg inner city. Below are some images of various artists’ works in progress. For more images of and information about a particular project, click on the image and you will be taken to a more detailed discussion of the work. (This page will grow as more projects are documented).

This is part of Dominique Zinkpe's installation in the point blank gallery titled Shared Territories. This work is an approximation of the elements of the city - its crowd, the objects scattered in its streets, its night lights and the makeshift coherence of its daily routines and aesthetics.

This is part of Dominique Zinkpe's installation in the point blank gallery titled Shared Territories. This work is an approximation of the elements of the city - its crowd, the objects scattered in its streets, its night lights and the makeshift coherence of its daily routines and aesthetics.

In a work titled "Common Ground", Eric Van Hove performed a text intervention at the abandoned synagogue on Claim Street in Joubert Park. Down the central aisle of the downstairs men's section of the synagogue Van Hove inscribed a sprawling list of synonyms for the word "dispossession" in white chalk. The work considers the contentious political and ideological relationships between Israel and Palestine, Israel and apartheid South Africa, and Judaism and Zionism.

In a work titled "Common Ground", Eric Van Hove performed a text intervention at the abandoned synagogue on Claim Street in Joubert Park. Down the central aisle of the downstairs men's section of the synagogue Van Hove inscribed a sprawling list of synonyms for the word "dispossession" in white chalk. The work considers the contentious political and ideological relationships between Israel and Palestine, Israel and apartheid South Africa, and Judaism and Zionism.

On Thursday March 12 Michelle Harris walked from the Drill Hall to Jeppe Street and back as Dr Hoer, a woman herbalist whose field of expertise broaches "Tokoloshe for domestic duties", making "your min skirt long when walking through Noord", and  "unconditional love".

On Thursday March 12 Michelle Harris walked from the Drill Hall to Jeppe Street and back as Dr Hoer, a woman herbalist whose field of expertise broaches "Tokoloshe for domestic duties", making "your min skirt long when walking through Noord", and "unconditional love".

nastio-yard-projection

On the opening night of the Urban Scenographies festival, Nastio Mosquito screened three videos in the yard. On Nastio's orders, the audience viewed the projection from inside their cars, as if we were at the drive-in. This image is from a video documentary about the wasteful abundance of fresh fruit in Joubert Park. It covers the streets and mango juice flows into the storm water drains, the video shows us.

IngridMwangiRobertHutters statement on his/her/their performance work titled "The Cage": A fenced-off enclosure becomes a particular stage, on which MwangiHutter sightlessly shaves his hair and cuts pieces of his clothes, drawing a large audience of passersby, shop and street-workers. Asking people to trade, he offers them a packet of his hair with a scrap of clothing in exchange for writing on his bare skin through the fence.

IngridMwangiRobertHutters statement on his/her/their performance work titled "The Cage": A fenced-off enclosure becomes a particular stage, on which MwangiHutter sightlessly shaves his hair and cuts pieces of his clothes, drawing a large audience of passersby, shop and street-workers. Asking people to trade, he offers them a packet of his hair with a scrap of clothing in exchange for writing on his bare skin through the fence.

Zen Marie's Street Anthro project conceives of the city as a mindscape, a subjective, internal phenomenon, rather than a "landscape".

Zen Marie's Street Anthro project conceives of the city as a mindscape, a subjective, internal phenomenon, rather than a "landscape".

The abandoned Action Cinema (Ster City Cinema) over the road from the Drill Hall is where French director Jean Paul Delore is staging "Collective and Intimate Ghosts", an experimental theatre performance by young actors from France, South Africa and Mozambique. The production, which Delore says is about estrangement, experiences of foreignness and ghosts, is an instance of Kukuga Melancholic System 10, a travelling "itinerant laboratory" that stages theatre productions throughout Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa.

The abandoned Action Cinema (Ster City Cinema) over the road from the Drill Hall is where French director Jean Paul Delore is staging "Collective and Intimate Ghosts", an experimental theatre performance by young actors from France, South Africa and Mozambique. The production, which Delore says is about estrangement, experiences of foreignness and ghosts, is an instance of Kukuga Melancholic System 10, a travelling "itinerant laboratory" that stages theatre productions throughout Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Final artists’ presentations tonight

•March 4, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Tonight is the final set of artists’ talks ahead of the realisation of the Urban Scenographies Johannesburg public art projects, which will launch next week on Wednesday March 11 and will run until March 15. The development of the projects you will see at the festival, however, takes place in the context of the artists’ presentations. These are open discussion forums where artists present their ideas before their peers, curators, critics and members of the public, and it is out of this sort of exchange that the most interesting readings of the public spaces of Johannesburg’s inner city may emerge.

The ethos of Urban Scenographies suggests that dialogue, process and immersion in the environments of the inner city are the central to the production of of public art. Artworks should emerge out of artist’s perceptions of and experiences in specific locations, rather than being grafted onto sites arbitrarily and imperially. The artists’ talks contribute to building a spectrum of phenomenologies of the city, out of which, or rather as the articulation of which, work develops.

Members of the public are welcome to join in this process of making and doing by participating in tonight’s discussion, which will begin at 6pm (Joubert Park time).

These are some images from the artists’ presentations thus far. They’re from out partner Urban SCenographies site.

sat-night-balloons

mega-mingiedi-discussion

zinkpe-sculpture-drill-hall1

Images by Francois Duconseille

Public Art Survivor presentations and party tonight!

•February 28, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Don’t miss the Public Art Survivor final presentations at the Drill Hall tonight. Participants in the Public Art Survivor project, a two-week public art guantlet which culminates today, will present their work on the three locations – Sandton,  Soweto and Joubert Park –  respectively allocated to the teams of artists.

The event kicks off at 6pm and will be followed by a celebration with the artists, also at the Drill Hall.

For More information call 082 460 3427.

See you there!

Urban Scenographies Johannesburg launches

•February 23, 2009 • Leave a Comment

for daily updates also see: diary

On Thursday February 19 Intermission hosted a soiree in the sky for the joint launch of Urban Scenographies Johannesburg and VANSA Public Art Survivor. The event took place on the 19th floor of the Lister Building on Jeppe Street, flanked by spectacular panoramas of the inner city – the space that for the next few weeks Urban Scenographies artists will read as a stage, a marketplace, a battleground and a field of play. For more about these curatorial frames click here.


Instead of the speechification that typically inaugurates arts projects or exhibitions at these kinds of events, Urban Scenographies and Public Art Survivor were introduced with six brief presentations by various stakeholders in the projects. First up were Stephen Hobbs and Marcus Neustetter of the Trinity Session, one of the project coordinators for Public Art Survivor, followed by Joseph Gaylard (JPP), Solam Mkhabela and Kirsten Doermann (Black Lines on White Paper Architects), Jean-Christophe Lanquetin (Scu²), Lesley Perkes (AAW) and Steven Sack (City of Johannesburg). In these image-driven presentations each speaker had twenty images to present to the audience and twenty seconds to speak about each image. One of the artists participating in Urban Scenographies Johannesburg, Nástio Mosquito (Angola), closed off the round of presentations with his interpretation of the brief – an aggressive spoken word performance about the self, or the ego, and the city, contemporary meanings of mortality and late capitalist narcissism. Instead of accompanying images though, Nástio had a tray of eggs he would smash against the floor at emphatic moments in his monologue. This punctuatory egg-hurling had those sitting on the front row couches in the line of fire.

Watch this space for a video upload of the performance.

For next week’s series of artist’s presentations click here for more.

johannesburg 14 february – 15 march 2009

•February 4, 2009 • Leave a Comment

scenographies urbaines website

URBAN SCENOGRAPHIES JOHANNESBURG brings together more than 30 artists, writers and performers from Africa and the continent in the inner city of Johannesburg over a period of a month. It will culminate in a four day series of public interventions and presentations within the project boundaries. Artists will live in the inner city and are asked to develop site-specific projects in response to the curatorial frame of the residency, which is informed by the context of the inner city of Johannesburg and its global linkages. The project proposes four key parameters, each of which entails a metaphor and a method through which the inner city context and its dynamics can be understood and engaged with:

• ‘the field of play’

• ‘the ground of battle’

• ‘the space of the stage’

• ‘the place of the market’.

Artists will ideally engage with a specific location (interior or exterior) and the people that inhabit/use/pass through at specific times. Projects could take the form of performances, radio interviews, video-projections, collaborations with local businesses, object-driven production or public interventions. Potential sites for intervention include a variety of streets, a disused cinema, pavements/traders stalls, an open square, a basketball playground, a communal taxi rank, a heritage site, an Eritrean coffee house, local bars …

Each intervention will begin to construct a specific audience around itself. A team of assistants who are familiar with the context will work with the artists and act as facilitators/guides. The ‘territory’ and parameters of the project are located in the eastern end of the inner city (Joubert Park and Doornfontein), with the artists’ living quarters forming 3 edge-points and potential, very divergent ‘stages’: the Drill Hall, the Lister Medical Building and August House. The Drill Hall will provide both work and meeting space for the project, as well as a context in which some of the projects might be realised.

The project will also be represented at the JOHANNESBURG ART FAIR in April 2009 through a series of multimedia performances and sales on the trade ground at the Sandton Convention Centre, curated by the JPP/Anne Historical/Scu2.

Urban Scenographies was initiated by the French collective (SCu)2. So far it has taken place in Douala, Alexandria and Kinshasa. The project in Johannesburg is realised in partnership with the Joubert Park Project, an artists collective based at the Drill Hall in the inner city.

PUBLIC ART SURVIVOR: Four of the URBAN SCENOGRAPHIES artists, Emeka Udemba, Michelle Harris, Donna Kukama and Unathi Sigenu, will participate in a ‘public art survivor’ workshop, co-ordinated by the Visual Arts Network of South Africa. The workshop runs concurrently to Urban Scenographies and involves three teams of five artists and curators from across South Africa and the continent, developing projects in three locations – Soweto, Joubert Park and Sandton. In each location they will be given a brief to develop a public art intervention to be realised within ten days. The public arts consultancies, Art at Work and Trinity Session will host the teams in Sandton and Soweto respectively, and the Urban Scenographies project will host them in the Joubert Park neighbourhood. Curators from Cameroun, Switzerland and Flanders will play a mentorship/jurist role on the project.

RIMINI PROTOKOLL (Helgar Haug, Stefan Kaegi and Daniel Wetzel) is staging ‘Call Cutta in a Box’ within the project area of Urban Scenographies (17th floor, Lister Medical, Jeppe st). The project has so far taken place in Brussells, Groningen, New York, Seoul, Athens, Berlin and New York. It is scripted performance piece in which members of the public are invited to participate in a private ‘show’ that unfolds between an office space in inner city Johannesburg and a call centre in Calcutta. See press page for details (Daily shows, 1-6pm, 1 hour per session starting on the hour, booking is essential: call_cutta_jhb@yahoo.com).

http://www.rimini-protokoll.de/website/en/project_2766.html