WOORDE ONTGAAN MY
Public Artwork - Jan Smuts Ave, Parkwood, Johannesburg
Johannesburg has long been in the process of transformation – from urban decay to cultural hub – concrete structures visibly interspersed with trees, their shifting shadows providing a constant play of projected shapes. But is still part of the overall urban sprawl, traversed by people intent on their daily business, ‘seeing’ only selectively. The very act of seeing has become increasingly compromised in an image-saturated world, in a world technologically mediated - seen and experienced through screens rather than through the physical experience of ‘looking’. Public art introduces an interlude into the living spaces in which people move and work. ‘Framing’ the shadows arguably has the potential to refocus the viewer’s attention - to arrest the flow of time, if only for a second.
Framing is a device that contains; that encloses that which exists within its boundaries. But a frame is never only a space of containment. By framing the ‘painting’ of shadows on the wall - made more prominent by its insertion into the city space - the viewer’s attention moves beyond the frame to a sharper awareness of the concrete and organic structures projected onto the wall, light itself becoming both the medium and the content of the work. The artist’s frame is preceded and followed by other frames, frames drawn and extended both by the context and by viewers themselves. The text, which is of personal significance to me, remains open-ended, allowing for levels of meaning arising from many different points of view.
Should you be interested in funding a public artwork by Ronél de Jager, please get in touch with her here.
- FEBRUARY 2013