Archive: Issue No. 55, March 2002

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Beyond the Gallery: Art in Public Spaces
Provisional Programme

Friday March 15

Keynote speech and finger supper
Moravian Chapel, District Six, adjoining the Cape Technikon. Open to the public. R60 per person.

6pm Welcome glass of wine

6.30pm Introduction by Sue Williamson of Public Eye

Keynote speech by Professor Jane Taylor: 'Inside/Out' - What is meant by the catch-all phrase 'the public'? What audience does 'public art' address? Professor Taylor, of the Skye Chair of Dramatic Art at the University of Witwatersrand, is known for her important contributions to the discourse of art in this country.

Presentation: Dance director Jay Pather will make a video presentation of a public performance project in progress. Entitled 'Cityscapes', the work is located in urban spaces, drawing on Durban's vernacular architecture.

Cocktail reception and finger supper in the gardens of the Moravian chapel. Wine sponsored by Neethlingshof. Cash bar.

Additional video footage of various public projects will be screened during the evening.

Saturday March 16

Panel discussions including teas and lunch.
Commerce Building at the Cape Technikon
Open to the public. R100 a head. Student discount 15% with card.

The day will consist of four panels, with three speakers and a moderator on each panel. Each speaker will make a 2O-minute presentation, and approximately 25 minutes will be available for debate and participation from the floor.

8.15am Registration and coffee

9am - 10.30am Panel 1: Memorials: Approaches to commemorating the past in public spaces

Public art can acknowledge the struggles and achievements of the past, pay homage to those who played a significant role, and contextualise the present. Issues of community ownership come into play, however, and meeting the needs of a diverse public remains challenging and often controversial.

Moderator: Prof Jane Taylor

Ahmedy Vawda, former head of Community Development of the City of Cape Town, will explore the topic of how communities have been largely excluded from access to the city, and alienated from their own sense of place and notion of memory.
Melvyn Minnaar, Cape Town art critic. 'No Thanks for the Memories' - Contemplating the contemporary monument: Artists challenge people�s perceptions.
Gregory Sholette, of the Art Institute of Chicago. Sholette's group REPOhistory is an 11-year-old artists' collective that has produced over a dozen collaborative art projects primarily in public locations including New York City and Atlanta Georgia. The group's mission is to develop site specific art projects about the unknown or forgotten histories of working class men and women, of minorities and children.

10.30am - 11am Tea break

11am - 12.30pm Panel 2: Reclaiming Spaces: Projects which help to bring communities together

As the structure of urban society shifts, many areas which were once off-limits become open to the public but can still have problematic connotations. Creative intervention can help overcome past stigmas and generate new audiences for such spaces.

Moderator: Emma Bedford, Head of Art Collections, Iziko Museums, Cape Town

Professor Yacouba Konate (Cote d'Ivoire) 'Short Adventures in Public Art in Black Africa'
Dorothee Kreutzfeldt, co-curator of the Joubert Park Project. This project has now run for two years, attempting to link the people of Joubert Park with the Johannesburg Art Gallery in its midst. Over a period of months, a series of events and exhibitions re-energised the space.
Iain Low, architect and urban planner at UCT. 'Space and transformation' will take a critical look at the dynamic between public and private realms in the changing spatial environment.

12.30pm - 2pm Buffet lunch will be served in the lecturers' dining hall.

2pm - 3.30pm Panel 3: Sensitizing the public: environmental and social issues

What role can art play in addressing such universal problems as racism, environmental abuse, HIV/AIDS? Creative intervention can heighten awareness on these issues and allow communities to become involved.

Moderator: Sue Williamson

Art at Work - Janis Somerville and Pip Cozens are an Australian/English duo based in Germany who do performances in public places around issues such as racism and environmental abuse. Apart from giving a presentation at the symposium, they will also do at least two performances in the townships as part of the Cape Town Festival proceedings.
Francois Davin is a French artist who will speak on his work in both urban and rural areas, where he has directed large-scale projects linking artists with doctors, healers, terminal patients and disadvantaged youth. In 'Le vent des Forets', a remote farming area, 68 artists worked with the community to make site specific works which have raised the consciousness on the environment and improved the economic situation of the area.
Sabine Marschall of the University of Durban/Westville: 'Public art and education: The 'Break the Silence' (on HIV/AIDS) billboard project.'

3.30pm - 4pm Tea

4pm - 5.45pm Panel 4: Crossing International Borders: Performative Public Art in the global village.

For technologically advanced nations, the term 'public' has taken on new meaning. In cyberspace, ideas, images and information can be instantly transmitted to the other side of the world, allowing for rapid artistic intervention to take place on a global scale. But even in the less developed countries, artists everywhere are using performance in public art projects.

Moderator: Nic Dawes, media commentator and art critic

Ralph Borland, Ex-Cape Town art student now lecturing at the Tisch School of the Arts in New York, will send a specially prepared video on how technology and the internet are linking social actions by artists across the globe.
Swiss duo lang/baumann will show work done in public spaces around the world.
Virginia MacKenny, Senior lecturer at the Technikon Natal: 'Indecent Public Exposure - an analysis of gender and identity in Steven Cohen's performances Crawling, Flying, Voting (1999) and the Chandelier Project (2002).
Performance artist Robin Rhode will also be on this panel.

Sunday March 17

Workshop for invited speakers, moderators, Public Eye members and other special guests

9am Tea and coffee

9.30am Feedback on the previous day's proceedings will be given, additional information shared, and participants will discuss new possibilities for co-operation and engagement.

2.30pm Optional bus excursion from Moravian Chapel to Cape Town Festival events at Khayelitsha and Manenberg. Free, and open to all.