Remaking Place, a symposium on public art will be presented by the Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA) from 8 to 14 March 2015.

The Symposium runs parallel with the Infecting The City Festival and features luminaries in public art discourse such as Gabi Ngcobo, co-founder of the Center for Historical Reenactments, Lewis Biggs of the International Award for Public Art; Wang Dawei, Dean of Fine Art, Shanghai University and Marilyn Douala Bell, from the highly respected doual'art in the Cameroon.

The Symposium’s sessions fall in and amongst the Infecting The City programme, making it possible to attend both events.

Public Art is fast becoming a crucial nexus for South African art – it not only encourages innovation and excellence in art, but proffers crucial issues around the relationship of art to community, audience involvement and engagement, access, and bringing key questions around heritage, personal identities and governance into the public realm.

The increase in visibility and commissioning of Public Art nationally brings an awareness to the potential for the animation of a site that is accessible and available to a diverse audience, rendered equal in their pleasure, surprise, shock or discomfort by a common, unprecedented occurrence. At its height, public art allows for diverse meanings as well as coherence in the middle of complex, barely intersecting subjectivities. But the question resurfaces: Has it?
The Symposium is comprised of series of panel discussion that focus on Innovation and Public Art given the particular challenges of public art today. These panels are:

  • Promotion and generation of Public Art: Innovative practice from the formal to the anarchic.
  • Innovation and Diverse Publics 1: Women, Youth and Public Art
  • Innovation and Diverse Publics 2: Race, Class and Public Art
  • Principles of Innovation and Audience Participation and Engagement

The symposium opens at 6pm on Sunday 8, March will thereafter run daily Monday to Thursday, 9 to 12 March at the University of Cape Town’s Hiddingh Campus, culminating in a full public art programme Kasi-2-Kasi Public Art Festival at sites in Gugulethu beginning at the Gugulethu Shopping Mall, Steve Biko Street on 14 March.

Panelists have been drawn from various parts of the country. These include: Khwezi Gule (Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum), Eric Itzkin (Johannesburg Development Agency) and Ra Hlasane (Keleketla! Library) from Gauteng, Buntu Fihle (Dlala Indima) from the Eastern Cape, Doung Anwar Jahangeer (DALA) from Durban and Samkela Stamper from Mpumulanga. From Cape Town participants include Farzanah Badsha (Independent Curator and Creative Strategist), Bulelwa Makalima-Ngewana (Cape Town Partnership), Rike Sitas (African Centre for Cities), Amrita Pande (University of Cape Town), Zayd Minty (City of Cape Town), Bonita Bennett (District Six Museum), Khanyisile Mbongwa (Curator), Premesh Lalu (University of Western Cape), Sara Matchett (University of Cape Town) and Mike van Graan (African Arts Institute).

Jack Becker, editor of the Public Art Review and founding juror for the International Award for Public Art, will deliver an audiovisual presentation of the recently announced finalists for the 2015 Award from regions all over the world.

An art programme that punctuates the deliberations at various times, includes works by composer Theo Herbst, visual artist Meghna Singh and a selection of visual and performing artists curated by Mandisi Sindo.

The Symposium is made possible with support from the Departments of Arts and Culture’s Mzansi Golden Economy Initiative.

Admission is free but registration is compulsory. To register, please email or call + 27 21 480 7156.

See more at:

About GIPCA: The University of Cape Town’s Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA) facilitates new collaborative and interdisciplinary creative research projects in the disciplines of Music, Dance, Fine Art, Drama, Creative Writing, Film and Media Studies. Interdisciplinarity is a key theme of the institute and projects are imbued with innovation, collaboration and dialogue with urbanism and community. GIPCA was launched in December 2008 with a substantial grant from Sir Donald Gordon, founder of Liberty Life. An Advisory Board comprising Heads of Departments of all Performing and Creative Arts Departments at UCT helps to shape contexts for the instigation and development of projects by students and staff, as well as a wide range of institutions and individuals outside the University.
GIPCA Director: Associate Professor Jay Pather Chair of the GIPCA Board: Professor Sakhela Buhlungu

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