This week the second Open Design kicks off at City Hall, with plenty of design-focused talks, exhibitions, conferences, workshops and launches spread over 11 days. There’s also a solo exhibition by Kerry Chaloner opening at Blank Projects and a multi-sensory showcase of food, photography and film by three local creatives who’ve just returned from India. Here are all the details:
Wednesday, 13 August
Open Design Cape Town 2014 starts
For the next 11 days Cape Town City Hall and the City of Cape Town will be a hub of creative energy as Open Design opens its doors for the second time. From talks and exhibitions, conferences and launches, educational wings and even the occasional party, Open Design Cape Town has a little of something for everyone – showing how design can enable change in the most surprising and exciting of ways.
The event takes place from 13 – 23 August at City Hall and various other locations around town.
See the Open Design website for the full programme or to book a spot at one of the events.
Thursday, 14 August
Black Dog White Bread, a solo exhibition by Kerry Chaloner, opens at Blank Projects.
It is 2014 and 20 years of Democracy. There is a lot of information and it is easy for things to become complicated and it is easy to get distracted.
I relocate my studio from the inner city to Paarden Eiland because the rent is cheap. I used to walk through Greenmarket Square into Adderley Street, past Studio 47 House of Fashion Fabrics; 5-Rand Store Traders Welcome; The Gold Man Sell Your Gold For Cash; Eastern Food Bazaar. I would open the studio doors and the noise of the city sustained me over my iPod. Now I take the bus from my Kloof Nek flat to this odd putty-coloured building. It has a canted view of shipping containers and the dolosse and the flat ocean. In the early evening the horizon slips from austere greys into ridiculously gorgeous polluted sunsets. First I feel awkward looking at them because it’s too romantic but I get over that.
Every day I take the bus and watch people watching their devices. I feel stupid when the gatsby shop downstairs doesn’t sell rye bread. I start eating white bread again. BP is drilling downwind from the studio and the fumes make everything high-altitude. I am listening to everything from Rihanna to Rachmaninov. The air is rare and cold. There is no Deluxe Coffee. There is no ornament. There is no excess anywhere except of industry and the waste detritus of industry lying in the streets. I am unsure why I am here.
It is lonely and I make excessive, opulent, hypercolour works to compensate. I have a lot of Big Ideas. The Big Ideas take up a lot of my energy and time and one by one they become boring and they slip away. The paintings I am making now are avatars and they slip between the digital and IRL. But they make me feel more lonely and more stupid. One day I buy some sulphur powder from a pharmacy and I put an unremarkable raw canvas on the floor and I mash it into the surface.
It feels pure and innocuous to the point where I forget about it until it is pointed out to me. It feels dangerous. I like this. I also know it is a trick and a trap of minimalism, but it is okay for now.
I try not to buckle under the weight of Abstract Painting, here, in 2014. I try not to buckle under Surface and Depth and Concepts and Relevance. I stop thinking and rabidly researching and trying, and I play around with new and familiar materials, and I fail a lot. Only things that slip fluidly between something and something else appeal to me now. I am looking for a quality of non-ness.
Sometimes I go on walks to nowhere through this industrial zone that is like The Zone in Tarkovsky’s Stalker, but that is also too romantic. Instead of researching I think about what I knew 20 years ago. I think of the time before that. I think about armed guards under the Merry Xmas lights of Mugabe’s compound. I remember the mud and melting snow in Ladysmith. I think about the skinned knees of the other children; the red and violet stains of Mercurochrome and Gentian Violet running into dusty school-socks. I think about learning how to make gunpowder and the alarms of the terrorist drills and not understanding and crawling under our desks. I think about the ash from the next-door hospital incinerators blowing onto our sports day doughnuts. I think about things sitting under the surface of other things. I make attempts and tests to make things from the little I think I know at the moment.
Exhibition runs 14 August – 13 September.
13-115 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock at 6pm.
Saturday, 16 August
In Foreign Transit, a photo exhibition, food showcase and film screening takes place at Fiorini Motors
After spending three weeks in India, three local creatives are exhibiting their foreign experiences in the form of a photo exhibition by Max Mogale, a food showcase by Jade De Waal and a film screening by Dewald Brand, aka Squiggly Shmuggs.
Fiorini Motors, 117 Kloof Street at 6:30pm.
See the Facebook event for more information.