Saturday, June 19, 2010
Someday Today is a follow-up to an earlier project, Someday Soon. In Someday Soon so-called hoarders, who included Heidi Redelinghuis, insisted that one day they would use the items they accumulated. Someday Today affords Heidi, who collects a monthly average of 19 magazines, the opportunity to act on her assertion.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Sasol New Signatures 2008
The central theme of my work is the ownership of public space and property in South Africa at present. As self explanatory as the term “Public Space” may seem, the reality is that stringent laws (whether legally or socially generated) are often imposed, by both the private and public sector, on public spaces which inhibit the way in which the public occupies these spaces.
My work often takes the form of public interventions and simple actions that question who the real owner/s of public space is. In one example of my work, using reflective cones and danger tape, I demarcated a section of a street lane in a business district so as to limit the flow of traffic and I then advertised the space for sale. Interested parties (in theory) could then call the number attached to the advertisement to enquire about the property for sale.
As an extension of this, my proposed work for the Sasol New Signatures exhibition moves out of the public domain into the gallery but still seeks to raise questions pertaining to ownership, this time specifically the ownership of intellectual property. I propose that my name be inserted into every label of the works on exhibition and that I receive a special mention before the commencement of all performance works (without the consent or knowledge of the artists) so as to be credited as a collaborative partner in the creation of the works. In this way I question the [sole] ownership of an artwork by its creator. The work asserts that artworks emerge as a result of social engagement and interaction. It therefore, promotes social production of art as opposed to singular production and authorship. The work is also in direct contrast to individualized scholarship- a Western approach where individual authorship is power and claims to knowledge are competitive. This places my work very much in a post-modern frame that undermines the prevailing notion of artistic genius.
In my view, my conceptual investment into the works makes it only fair that I should be credited as the co-creator and co-owner of the works on show.
In conclusion, the proposed work opposes the long standing and exclusive acceptance of object-based art as art by the South African art community. My work also raises several other very important questions: How far can one push the boundaries of accepted conventions? How accepting are artists when their very identities as singular creators and owners of the very work they produced are unsettled? In my view I have answered the competition's calls for new and innovative work, though, I concede that in some ways my work challenges the precepts upon which the competition itself is hinged. It remains to be seen if the New Signatures Competition itself will, by including my intervention, challenge the accepted exhibition/gallery practices.
I have used the details of the 2007 New Signatures overall winner’s winning piece as an example of what I envisage the labels to look like:
Rooke, Gavin & Mokgotho, Nare (Johannesburg)
Photograph printed on 100% cotton rag
Using archival ultra chrome ink: edition1/3
84cm x 114cm
All other information, except the inclusion of my name on the labels of the works on show, will remain the same as that provided by the [original] artists. The title “Claim” serves to anchor the intervention and should not be included on the labels. Each of the labels will be for sale at R100 per label.
“CLAIM II” is a follow on from “CLAIM,” a recently proposed intervention for the Sasol New Signatures Competition. For “CLAIM” I proposed that my name be inserted into every label of the works on show and that I receive a special mention before the commencement of all the performance works (without the consent or knowledge of the artists) so as to be credited as a collaborative partner in the creation of the works. The intervention acknowledges that artworks emerge as a result of social interaction and undermines individualized scholarship and authorship, and the prevailing notion of artistic genius, which are all positions of power.
As an extension of this, my proposed work for the Martienssen exhibition continues to ask pressing questions pertaining to ownership, specifically the ownership of intellectual property.
For this work I propose that my name alone appear on the labels of all the works on show so that I may be credited as the sole owner and creator of the works on show. The work relates back to the central themes of “CLAIM” which I have already briefly outlined, but it is also a commentary on South Africa’s seemingly advanced intellectual property laws. Although South Africa is a member of countless international patent and intellectual property treaties, enforcing these laws remains a challenge. The work also parallels a growing trend in South Africa concerning the ownership of physical property. As South Africa’s housing woes continue, more and more people are becoming increasingly discontent with the situation and fraudulently claiming spaces for themselves. This is a situation that the Johannesburg inner-city is all too familiar with. Buildings are fraudulently claimed by building hijackers or are illegally occupied by lodgers. Finally, the work raises several other very important questions about the practice of art making. How far can one push the boundaries of accepted conventions? How accepting are artists when their very identities as creators and owners of the very work they produce are unsettled? And are galleries able to discard conventional museum practice to accommodate works that pose a challenge to them?
This is what I envisage the labels to look like:
All information, except the inclusion of my name on the labels, will remain the same as that provided by the [original] artists. In each instance my year of study will be third year. The result would be that there would be no mention of any fourth year involvement in the exhibition. This brings me to my main stipulation: Since each of the works would be accredited to me, the exhibition would function as a solo exhibition and pending the selection process, will be marketed as such by me. I will do this by posting up a limited amount of posters and via e-mail and the internet. On the opening night the keynote speaker will, as usual, give a brief synopsis of the body of work exhibited, but will do so as though all the work on show was produced by me. The keynote speaker should also make their opening address available to me so that it may serve as documentation of the intervention. I will also make myself available for a walkabout to speak about a select group of work that I feel best represents my artistic practice.
The title “CLAIM II” serves to anchor the intervention and should not appear on the labels.
Having worked with the idea of undermining authorship for most of 2008,I started thinking about the dissemination of and access to information and knowledge.Inspired by Josef Beuys' public lectures and his radical ideas and objective to afford the greater public access to the same information given at the university at which he worked at the time, I set out to publish videos of three English literature lectures that I had "illegally" sat in on. I found that the idea of the University was somewhat ideologically compromised by the school's regulations which prohibit even students of the university to sit in on lectures that they are interested in but are not registered for.This illustrated that there are regulations and restrictions placed on who can access information,knowledge and ideas-things which are immaterial. These three URLs are short youtube videos of the three respective lectures which I exhibited at Gordart contemporary as part of Lazy Eye, an exhibition curated by Michael Smith.