PROJECT UPDATE: Two Thousand and Fourteen Ways of Being Here
The Two Thousand and Fourteen Ways of Being Here encourages the development of public art ‘from the ground up’, engaging with residential issues and working with communities to ensure local ownership of public art processes and works. With a focus on secondary and small towns, Two Thousand and Fourteen Ways seeks to develop new approaches and new audiences for public art.
The project also seeks to engage issues of democracy, 20 years after our first democratic elections. Through the partnership with The Con Magazine, this initiative looks at broader South African issues and the ways in which public art engages society.
Since November 2014 the project has shifted into two major projects and three smaller research projects. Spanning four provinces (Eastern Cape, Limpopo, Western Cape and the Free State Province) and with 16 artists, involved at varying levels, Two Thousand and Fourteen Ways provides a platform for innovative practice throughout the country.
The project is already a year in, with final projects to be completed by December/ January of 2015, with the intention to develop a series of public engagements.
2014 Ways is an approach to public art production that has three main outcomes:
- To develop artists in the critical and creative practice throughout South Africa
- To enable public art practice that is determined by communities with artists as facilitators
- To encourage public art in small towns, peri-urban townships and rural areas.
This project also intends to explore wider ideas of public art, to challenge the norm of singular sculptures as public art and have a process based focus where the space determines the ‘artwork’ in different ways. Previous projects like this, implemented by VANSA, have seen the production of local performances, festivals, networks and screenings all as viable and important forms of public art.
Three more projects were brought on, on a smaller, scaled-back format and are referred to as research projects. These three research projects include:
- Keleketla! (Initially included in selection): Ga-Molepo
- Banele Ndajayi: Walmer Township
- Tazneem Wentzel: Western Cape transit route
Artists and projects:
Rangoato Hlasane, Malose Malahlela, Phandeane Liphosa, Lisolomzi Pikoli and Nolan Dennis from Keleketla Library. Keleketla library is an inter-disciplinary, independent library and media arts project. It was established in 2008 to create access to the use of arts and media strategies as alternative education models and tools. Keleketla! Library began as a once off collaboration with Bettina Malcomess, innacitycommunity and the Joubert Park Project. The artists will work with a Dinaka/Kiba dance festival in Ga-Molepo, near Polokwane to integrate a contemporary visual art practice into the predominantly performance festival.
- Banele Ndajayi
From BL’art’ projects, Banele Ndajayi is a self-instructed artist from Gramhamstown. He works with various mediums, mainly using found objects such as zinc, metal, boards, woods, plastic canisters and canvasses. Banele teaches art at the Masifunde Learner Development Center. He has participated in a number of exhibitions including The South African Bridge to Chicago, which was held at gallery Guihard in Chicago. He also won a Merit award at the 2011 Artec New Signature Competition. Banele will collaborate with Bamanye Lethu Ngxale for this project. Banele and Bamanye will work with young people from Walmer Township in Port Elizabeth, exploring issues around the Red Location Museum, what it means for the community and what it could mean for local artists.
Critical Friends have been appointed to support the artists in the conceptual development and their project methodology. The critical friends serve as a feedback loop for the artists and the project as a whole. Each artist is appointed an individual or two-person co-critical friend.
- Taryn Mackay is a community organizer, writer and cultural facilitator. She is a founding member of the Imbawula Trust (Orlando West), coordinator of the film sharing collective KindoKadre (Johannesburg CBD and Western Cape) and a gender studies trainer for the Curriculum Development Project (Bertrams). Taryn will partner with Farieda Nazier as critical friend to Buntu Fihla (Phakamisa) and Banele Ndajayi (Port Elizabeth).
- Farieda Nazier has successfully curated and participated in a number of contemporary art and design exhibitions, most recently the ‘After Math’ at the Apartheid Museum. She is an artist, designer and lecturer in the Faculty of Art and Design and Architecture at the University of Johannesburg.
- Thenjiwe Nkosi is a painter and video artist who divides her time between studio work and the field of collaborative practice. Recent projects have been collaborations with artists in the Zimbabwe/South Africa border region, where she has followed her interests in art as social practice. Thenjiwe will partner with Lindiwe Matshikiza as critical friends to Rangoato Hlasane, Malose Malahlela, Phandeani Liphosa (Polokwane) and Tazneem Wentzel and Jarret Erasmus (Cape Town).
- Lindiwe Matshikiza is an artist working predominantly in theatre and film since 2003. She is writer and director of ‘The Donkey Child’ a multidisciplinary theatre project in which several independent Johannesburg-based artists collaborate with children and young people associated with the Hillbrow Theatre project and Keleketla! Library.
- Phillippa Yaa Devilliers is an award-winning writer, performing artist and lecturer in the creative writing department at the University of Witswatersrand. She is noted for poetry, which has been published in collections and many magazines and anthologies. Phillippa has been selected to serve as a critical friend for emergent artist Sylvester Mqeku (Bloemfontein).
In response to the 2014 Ways of Being Here project, VANSA will hold its first annual Winter School in Johannesburg that will run from May to June. The theme for the inaugural programme is ‘the everyday’, click here for more information.
The project has been funded by the Department of Arts and Culture.