Friday, 14 January 2011 13:45

PUBLIC ART AROUND THE WORLD

Marcus Neustetter's Erosion Marcus Neustetter's Erosion Photograph by Nadine Hutton/ 2point8

artatwork's year ended with the beginning of something very interesting – an exhibition about contemporary arts in public space around the world.

The show put the spotlight across all disciplines of the arts in public space – from performative and temporary installations to landmark city sculptures – spanning many countries and significantly including works South Africa, elsewhere in Africa, Europe, South America and the USA.

The launch programme for the show included the exhibition in Sandton Central and a small-screen projection programme featuring video documentation of works managed by artatwork and a premiere of Hobbs/Neustetter's Entracte, a projection-work in Dakar, Senegal.

The highlight of the evening was a site-specific performance titled Erosion by Johannesburg based artist, cultural activist and producer, Marcus Neustetter. Well-known for his mostly process driven works, Marcus's production of art at the intersection of art, science and technology has led him to work in a multi-disciplinary manner, from conventional drawing to permanent and temporary site specific installations, mobile and virtual interventions and socially engaged projects internationally. Of Erosion, Marcus wrote:

"I critique and playfully reflect on the consumerist manipulation of the local environment to a questionable end. Through temporary light drawing and the sweeping clean of the surface, I critically allude to the local cultural landscape that is eroded through global economic trends that threaten the sensitivity to site and context."

Within the international context the show featured works by the world-renowned Anish Kapoor in Chicago, the anonymous JR (whose Women are Heroes projects expands across the globe from from Liberia to Paris and Santa Fe), Brazilian artist Néle Azevado's compelling 'melting' works responding to the idea of permanent monumentalism in the contemporary world, Royal de Luxe's breathtaking Sultan's Elephant and many others.

South African works were a highlight with a special focus on performative and temporary installations. Amongst them were works managed by artatwork in the Western Cape, KwaZulu Natal, inner city Joburg and in Sandton Central alongside The Trinity Session's South African and African work in Dakar, Soweto, Pretoria and more, as well as performative highlights from Cape Town's Infecting the City project curated by Brett Bailey.

"There were a few really hot, current themes running through the exhibition," said Lesley Perkes. "Freedom of expression sees activist works including our Tree Tribunal, Nadine Hutton's wrapwrap alongside works that had no intention of being activist ... that have become so as a result of perceptions of power, such as the sculptures of elephants in Durban by Andries Botha. Juxtaposed as the current state of this work is against one of his more respected commissions on a beach in Belgium says it all. The show was / is a real sign of the times." said Lesley.

Last modified on Thursday, 10 January 2013 09:20

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