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Kalahari, South Africa – Visit to Johannesburg

31 March 2016

IMG_0287 -Oumas, Saray & Nigel

After almost 10 years delay I have at last arrived back in South Africa. My wish is to complete the work I began in 2005, so am returning to the Kalahari.  My desire is to somehow make visual the important issue of endangered language and it’s impact on our collective future.

I owe the completion of this project to Madgdalena, Oumas |una, Kheis, Anna and Oupa Andries.  Sadly the elders and Madgdalena have now passed away and the language that they spoke may also be on the cusp of departing this world. They each opened their homes and families to me,  sharing their knowledge and culture so their stories may be known outside their world.

I hope to make a work worthy of the generosity of all the people I met on this journey. Many thanks to Nigel Crawhall for his introduction to this world and his unending support.  [Image L-R: Sarah (assistant) Ouma |una, Ouma Kheis, Nigel Crawhall]

 

Johannesburg

I am in Johannesburg for few days re-familiarising myself with the research from my previous visits in relation to this work.

 

Corner of Bronwen's Studio

I am luck to be staying  with the amazing artist Bronwen Findley whose work and practice is a constant inspiration.

Process/In Progress

Venice

13 September 2015

Thursday 10th–Sunday 13th September 2015

Having only seen the Gardini and Arsenale during visit to the Venice Bienale in the opening week, I decided to go again.   This time I managed to cover the outside of the main menus but once again failed to see the American Pavilion. We did however enjoy excellent pizza, very reasonably priced fine white wine and a quieter city.

Venice SunsetIMG_7087

Iraq

Babak Kazemi – 8 Year Old Persian Pickle installation of rows of jars containing images of “pickled” Persian life 0n a white-painted pantry shelf. The form brings to mind work of Sri Lankan artist Thamotharampillai Shanaathanan and his collaborative installation Imag(in)ing ‘Home’ although the ideas behind the work are very different.

Raza Aramesh’sAction 144: Friday April 25th, 2003 at 07:55, 2015 references a particular incident where prisoners’ clothes were burnt forcing them to parade entirely naked through the streets of Baghdad. A punishment meted out by the US army.

 

Babak Kazemi -IMG_6880 Babak Kazemi -IMG_6881

Raza Aramesh-IMG_6846

Angola

Délio Jasse’s Ausência Permanente like much of his work re-appropriates, re-locates and re-presents images through the lens which focuses on the ruins of the Portuguese Empire

Delio Jesse-IMG_6964

Delio Jesse-IMG_6970

My favourite piece was a video by Binelde Hyrcan entitled ‘Cambeck Voitures’. The inequalities of the world are enacted through the four children’s play and conversation which eloquently voices experiences of poverty and migration.
Binelde Hyrcan-IMG_6977

Jenny Holzer

Despite great intentions and eating in the adjoining café, we didn’t actually manage to make the show.   Fantastic if you are going to see the palace but €18 to see 10 paintings … I’m not sure. Hope very much to see them in the UK.

Jenny Holzer War Paintings-CFneqFaWoAEsjW2

 

 

Jenny Holzer War Paintings-CFneqFaWoAEsjW2

 

Jenny Holzer War Paintings-03_800px_W1

San Servol

Home to Benedictine monks for over 500 years and later used as a place to care for the mentally ill, this must be one of the most beautiful and peaceful places in the whole of Venice. San Servolo is only Conference Centre in Venice to offer accommodation. I am hoping that is is possible for mere mortals to stay on the island. My interest was to seethe Syrian and Cuban Pavillions, which are housed on the island and did not disappoint.

San Servolo-IMG_7182

Cuba

Focus on concern with Cuba’s the new relationship with the USA and Capitalism, a graphic depiction of knowledge alongside a video shot in Kabul showing children playing with ‘the debris of war’.

Lida Abdul-IMG_7273 Lida Abdul-IMG_7274 Lida Abdul-IMG_7275

Giuseppe Stampone, Casa Particular-IMG_7222 Giuseppe Stampone, Casa Particular-IMG_7227

Celia Yunior-IMG_7265

Syria

The day went very quickly and the gallery was closing. Wide range of practice and concerns. I was most struck by the video BAA’L by Narine Ali which showed the destruction of antiquities in an museum .

Narine Ali-IMG_7332

Scotland+Venice

I was completely blown away by the video installation Graham Fagan’s Slave’s Lament. It made this second trip to Venice totally the right thing to do. I am so going to get the vinyl, which had sold out in Venice –Matts Gallery??

Slaves Lament-IMG_7119

Shilpa Gupta & Rashid Rana

‘Your East is My West’ is the first time a Pakistan and Indian artist have shown together in Venice. There is a deep discomfort in the experience of the viewer being the viewed when you realise that what you imagine to be a video is others viewing you in real time. On top of this they can hear and interrogate you and you them! Being British we fled but there was a French couple who took great delight in the experience and probably spent the rest of the evening there.

Process/In Progress

Jamaica

6 September 2015

London

Great to be back in London. Nothing like a sunny day strolling from Strand to the South Bank to make you fall in love with the city.

Gardens at the National Theatre

Discovered beautiful roof Garden at the National –quiet and secluded. Great place for a quiet read or in our case a birthday tea. It was fabulous to lie on a bench in the sun hidden by the long grass only minutes from the Elephant and Castle!

Waterloo-Bridge-20150906_161522

Carsten Höller

Felt the need to make the most of my Southbank Membership and went to see the Carsten Höller’s Deciscion. It was the last day so I didn’t manage to go on any of the rides but had a good look round. Not sure that I got the most out of it -but hey everyone was having a good time

Carsten Holler Hayward