Tag Archives: woodstock industrial centre

Lump Sum – Champagne Art and the W.I.C.

Last week was a cool, networking, kind of week. Had to finish the selection of photographs for the new Strato website on Monday as well as fetch a new car somewhere near Kirstenhof. The guy told me that when the police first found the car, the car was perfectly fine besides a small dent in the fender yet when they came back to tow it to the pound it had been completely and utterly stripped. Ai. Kinda makes you wonder *who* stripped the car exactly.
 
Met with the Grand Daddy guys and the girls from The Imaginarium late Tuesday morning and that was very cool. Looks like we’re going to co-organize an event… Overtone and Instant Grass may also be getting involved. Stay tuned all:-)) Had lunch with the lovely mermaid in Newlands and then went to opening of the Visiting Artists exhibition at Greatmore. It should be called GreatNoMore… seriously… Or Gratemore.. grating away at something, patience maybe. Quoting Desmond Tutu on a canvas. Seriously? Hell, what do I know. Suffice it to say that I think most works were easy, superficial and finished in a sloppy fashion and not very exciting at all.
 
Wednesday saw us going to Museum to have a look at the 2nd year Varsity students which was cool enough. Met with Magdalena (Overtone/ZuMedia) to chat about the Swimming Upstream exhibition and how to push it out there more on Thursday after which we went to the launch of a new events company called Colligo. They had a free whiskey tasting and did a cool shout out about my exhibition. Thanks guys!
 
(copyright: Roger Ballen)
 
 
Friday was the best, starting with a visit to the Woodstock Industrial Centre where Word-of-Art had organized an exhibition of and talk by photographer Roger Ballen. I love going there and yes, this time was just as cool as always:-) Exhibition in one room, wooden benches, bar and projector in another. The shop was open as well. Free champagne, fabulous snacks and gorgeous people. I must admit that I had never heard of Roger Ballen but I am so glad I went. I first had a look at his work from ‘Boarding House’ and then listened to the man talk about his work. It was very inspiring and cool to hear some background stories about the photos and to have him point out the elements that make a certain picture to him.
 
‘Boarding House’ somehow reminded me of Robert Frank’s work. Subject matter is very different but maybe the connection to me lies in a certain intangible yet very present psychological charge to these photos. We kinda rushed into Ruth Prouse at the last moment to check out the graduation projects. I was most impressed with two installations: one made out of gauze and resembling a large wound. The artist was interested in the transformation of wound to scar after undergoing serious brain surgery. Elizabeth Kübler-Ross’  five stages of grief were also used as an inspiration. The other one that I liked, basically for the sheer size and determination it must have taken, was a massive white room where everything was white white white. Cool though. After this we went to Long Street to check Hot Water on the rooftop but we were too late and headed off to Club Voom Voom instead where Babu performed later that evening. After uhm, a few drinks and several chats later we headed home. Happy tired inspired:-)
 
(copyright: Roger Ballen)
 
I bumped into Mister Ballen at the National Gallery on Saturday where I managed to say something to him but most likely did not leave much of an impression on the man:-) You see, there’s something John Cleese-esque about his posture and the way he walks and I keep coming up with the most unfortunate things to say or ask but then remember it is Roger Ballen so all I managed was a stumbling mumbling aren’t you… yes, yesterday… beautiful… hi… bye:-) The National Gallery hosted an opening that evening showcasing 5 different exhibitions: Roger Ballen, works from the African Biennale, young designers (including the awesome Anna Richerby) and more that I can’t remember. There was so much to see and so many people to watch that after about 2 hours or so I was too tired to watch and just headed to the bar. Bumped right into Ronan Skillen who was part of the band that night. Awesome. Cape Town:-)
 
Lump Sum – From Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago… beauty.
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I’ll sell pussy to a lesbian if I have to

“I was very strategic about what I was doing, where I was hanging out. I was studying photography but worked in a bar and I made sure it was in a cool place in town where the right people came. You have to surround yourself with the right environment, meet people and get inspired. A challenge is to get yourself known, gathering ties, selling yourself but you have to have the portfolio to back it up. I’ll sell pussy to a lesbian if I have to.”

(Neil John Smith)

We did the interview at his studio at the Woodstock Industrial Centre on a Friday morning. He brought champagne with. We drank it. It was a good interview. I was tipsy by 11 am.