On 08, Sep 2015 | In Curatorial | By admin
Drawings in the Sky | 2015
The second edition of Drawings in the Sky took place over Art Week Joburg 2015. Parts & Labour worked with four local artists to create unique video pieces that ran sporadically from the 7th September – 19th September 2015.
The artists were: Faith47, Maja Maljević, Haroon Gunn-Salie and Simon Gush.
This project is an ongoing show in support of local artists working in and around Johannesburg with the Absa Lumen forming an intriguing platform on which to showcase video art and reach a widespread audience. The video pieces form a contrast to the usual subject matter that appears on such a platform and the four artists created works that provoke curiosity and thought around their subject matter. The subject matter ranged from mundane objects and actions to playing with nonsensical shapes and patters.
Special thanks to Absa for their support and collaboration on this project.
feet don’t fail me now
Feet Don’t Fail Me Now is an artwork created for the ABSA Lumen Display in Johannesburg, which translates the words ‘home,’ ‘sanctuary’ and ‘ache’ into various languages spoken on the African continent, from Amharic to Zulu, using a custom-designed font hand-inscribed on cardboard.
These are emotive words. We may not understand the different translations, but we can all identify with the layered meanings behind them. While language, like culture, can divide us, essentially we all share the same deep-rooted human longings and feelings embodied within these words.
Johannesburg houses people from across the continent but suffers from xenophobia. I wanted to communicate with the city utilising the language of a larger African diaspora, reflecting on the inherent meaning embedded in the examination of the words ‘home,’ ’sanctuary’ and ‘ache,’ in a globalised word, where we’re almost all immigrants of one generation or another.
Thanks to Inka Kendzia for the animation and compositing.
As a painter, Maja Maljević is interested in expressing a visual language made up of abstract elements and principles that converse with each other but do not construct a narrative through symbolism or analogy. It is a language of primary, bold, colourful, layered and dense imageries assembled on the canvas without prior negotiation. The composition evolves as each part is painted. The painting becomes itself.
In the case of the “Journey”, Maljević’s first experience with animation, she tried to work in a similar fashion to the way she paints. Using stop frame animation, abstracted elements (colourful pieces of paper) move around the canvas while linear traces (Tipex) attempt to ensnare them.
The resultant movement and changing compositions are a recording of the work in process. There was no script and the work evolved naturally. It is a medium Maljević is now interested in exploring further.
Special thanks to Duško and Snežana Marović for photography and editing.
Gush’s piece derives from a previous site specific installation that took place at the Drill Hall in the inner Johannesburg in 2005. In this installation four ceiling fans were mounted very low in order for the blades to rotate just above the heads of the audience. The concept had a direct relationship to the site and its use as administration offices for the conscription campaign of the Defense Force during Apartheid. The proximity of the fans to the visitors, resulted in the fans being potentially dangerous objects
Gush has modified his use of the fan in the video created for the Absa Lumen. The piece features one slow moving fan and can be seen as a continuum of his study on Johannesburg being a city that is defined by the work day. He also explores the prevailing perceptions of work and the work place/space and what exists within it.
The placement of a mundane and commonplace occurrence such a fan continuously moving on a platform such as the Lumen also acts in raising questions around its reasoning and significance and acts as a tool in surprising the viewer. It is unusual and playful and is a contrast to the usual subject matter displayed on such a platform.
Gunn-Salie has filmed himself walking across floodlights of colour. The artist’s movement around the square building, synchronically edited to seem as if he is walking from one screen to the next, will be a grand experiment in colour, light and shadow.
The work presents a South African identity, multi-coloured and multi-faceted, defined by the past, present and the future.