A new campaign by Absolut South Africa sees the brand launch their first artist residency program called ‘The Residence by ABSOLUT’. Six artists will be living and working together for two weeks in May 2014 in an apartment situated in Maboneng. This project takes place under the global brand ethos ‘Transform Today’ which aims to bring meaningful change to Johannesburg from a creative perspective.
During the two weeks in May, the selected artists will be working collaboratively and independently to come up with creative ideas and solutions for Johannesburg. Mentors will be visiting them on a regular basis to inspire and encourage them to create and use Johannesburg as a canvas to generate something new. The whole process will be documented on a blog which will allow readers to watch intimate videos on who the creators are and what their goal is. The blog will be a place for the creatives to interact with the Absolut community who they can draw inspiration from, and will allow the artists to engage in a greater creative collaboration.
The project is a reflection on the insight that for the Millennial generation, the future is not given, one creates it. The ultimate aim is to inspire the creative ‘spirit’ in everyone so that artistic transformation around the world can be achieved.
The brand manager for Absolut, Shirley Mabiletja, adds, “What we are introducing in South Africa is an artist residency unlike any other, with participants originating from a variety of creative disciplines. We have selected a handful of cutting-edge artists and creatives who will undoubtedly bring the innovative spirit to do this initiative justice. We are excited about what type of ‘Absolut’ transformations this initiative will bring to the Jozi CBD. For us as a brand we love to champion contemporary art and creatives who have daring spirits and a dedication to continuously transform the possibilities of personal expression. It is through creativity and curiosity that we are able to bring about change, and ultimately ‘Transform Today’.”
The search for the artists began in February and only 6 were chosen. They are Bogosi Sekhukhuni, MJ Turpin, Breeze Yoko, IO Makandal, r1. and Linzi Lewis.
Bogosi Sekhukhuni is a mixed-media artist who will be using digital platforms, architecture, performance art and sculpture as his mediums to explore and address the burdens of South Africa’s history. Bogosi believes that art has a major role in both addressing the burdens of South Africa’s past and re-inventing and re-forming our identity for the future.
MJ Turpin is the founder of the Kalashnikovv Gallery in Johannesburg, a musician, artist, curator and director who drifts between Johannesburg, Cape Town and the world. His work includes themes of geometry, diaspora, socio-politics, geography and violence.
Breeze Yoko is a Johannesburg based multi-media artist whose work is whimsical yet thought-provoking. His artworks are inspired by global street culture and the universal language of hip hop. His work is concerned with pan-Africanism, culture and politics.
IO Makandal is a multi-disciplinary artist and co-founder of the Open Drawer Projects. Her work is created through re-appropriating urban debris and found objects.
r1. is a street artist with a fine art background. His work is usually placed in urban spaces where he plays with familiar environments raising questions and offering different alternatives. r1. uses found materials, transforms them and relocates them back into the city.
Linzi Lewis aka Liliana Transplanter is the co-founder of AMbush eCo-Art Collective who has her Master’s in sustainable tropical forestry. Co-creative intervention is at the heart of her work reflecting local social and environmental context wherever she works.
Visit theresidencebyabsolut.tumblr.com to follow the project.