Friday 11 July 2014

Day 7: Grahamstown National Arts Festival 2014 x Rhodes Fine Art Exhibition

I popped in to the Rhodes Art Exhibition to check it out, walked about the gallery in solitude, although there was some gentleman tucked in a corner sketching something intensively on a piece of paper.  A piece of paper smaller than a standard business card.

I then stepped in to a private room where Jenna Burcell’s interactive installation was stationed – pretty impressive stuff. So, basi-cal,  the room is filled with all these copper strings (cords) from ground to ceiling and together with a synchronized sound system.

The copper cords are touch sensitive, same mechanism as a touch screen cellphone and when you touch the copper strings a specific sound start to play. It could be people in a deep conversation, dogs barking, a musical instrument being played, traffic sound etc. it is intense and gobsmacking.

Verb [ no obj.] 
(of an animal) return by instinct to its territory after leaving it. 

“Wandering through a field of hundreds of glimmering copper strings, strung from floor to ceiling, touch, listen and play your memories of home.  Dogs barking, laughter, thunder, traffic, a piano - wherever you may be today, wherever you may live, each string of the artist Jenna Burchell’s touch-sensitive instrument Homing triggers familiar sounds that take you back to that place, real or imagined, where you know you belong, feel safe, breathe easily. 

The travelling project Homing encourages audiences to talk about what home means to them in the context of diaspora.  It is an opportunity to move diverse people to interact and exchange stories, embracing the differences and similarities that unite South Africans.  This meticulously hand-built interactive environment has been designed to be an accessible and exciting meeting of contemporary art, sound and live interactive participation.

The unique soundscapes are recorded and collected with the local communities prior to each exhibition.  Some of these memories, conversations and ambient sounds are heard raw, others processed into intricate musical tones. “ - SOURCE

The project will be touring from the Grahamstown National Arts Festival to Johannesburg, where a sample of the work will be shown at the Turbine Art Fair, in the Turbine hollow from 18 to 20 July. After its Johannesburg showing, the project will travel to Cape Town, where it will be installed at the Lovell Gallery from 31 July to 13 September. 

So go check it out when it is your city lover! 

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