Mini skyline, Marika Pretorius, ink on paper, 2016

Mini skyline, Marika Pretorius, ink on paper, 2016

Mini skyline, Marika Pretorius, ink on paper, 2016

URBAN IMPRESSIONS

10  june – 20 june 2017

Fried Contemporary is pleased to present an exhibition curated by Elani Willemse in collaboration with the Found Collective opening Saturday 10 June from 10am-2pm.

 Urban Impressions on home ground

After the successful debut of Urban Impressions at the Aardklop National Arts Festival in Potchefstroom in October 2016, the exhibition now returns home for a 10-day showcase at the Fried Contemporary Art Gallery from 10 to 20 June 2017.

Curated by Elani Willemse in collaboration with the Found Collective, the exhibition is a multi-disciplinary collaboration between creatives from different art disciplines based in the Capital. Through painting, photography, sculpture, sound and video installation, Urban Impressions is an exploration of subjective experiences and perceptions of City Living. Each rendition adds a new layer of meaning which evokes thoughts of nostalgia and melancholy in the viewer.

The concept was initiated by composers Franco Prinsloo and Pieter Bezuidenhout who, whilst living in Sunnyside, were confronted by different sound stimuli. An organ-playing neighbour, a choir singing in a church across the road, a night club next door, these became the backdrop to what would later become the “Sunnyside suites” – a juxtaposition of sound and sensory experiences within the Capital City Centre.

Paired with sound the visual representations in the exhibition acquire new meaning, evoking a sensory experience in the viewer. Various aspects of life in the city are rediscovered and recontextualised: the breaking down of monuments, the erecting of new monuments, urban dilapidation and rejuvenation, city dwellers and everyday life in general. The artists bring their personal experience of city living, specifically within the context of Pretoria, to life.

The exhibition will be concluded with a live musical performance of the music composed for the exhibition on the 20th of June at Nazareth House Pretoria, featuring internationally acclaimed Magda de Vries on the marimba, as well as the composers Franco Prinsloo and Pieter Bezuidenhout in concert.

 

Maaike Bakker  |  Bianca Brand  |  Elbie Erasmus  |  Sunet Feirrera
Heidi Fourie  |  Cobus Haupt  |  Christo Jansen Niemandt  |  Banele Khoza
Cedric Kwata  |  
Allen Laing  |  Michelle le Grange  |  Renier le Roux
Shenaz Mahomed  |  Franli Meintjies  |  Reatile Moalusi  |  Leanne Olivier
Marika Pretorius  |  
Franco Prinsloo  |  Michael Stopforth 
Barry van der Westhuizen  |  Morne’ Venter  |  Ilze Wessels

 

COMPOSER’S NOTES

Franco Prinsloo: SUNNYSIDE SUITES

“Sunnyside Suite” is a sound work composed for solo marimba (performed and recorded by Magda de Vries) utilising a loop pedal, found sound, poetry recordings and voice. Traditionally, a suite is a musical work that comprises a set of dance movements. The diverse rhythms found in urban spaces generate their own dance which would ultimately inform the “Sunnyside Suite”. While living in a block of flats in Sunnyside, I became acutely aware of the intense eclectic fusion of ever present urban sounds in my surroundings. Different ideas and worlds intersected and became a point of reflection and contemplation.

To embody this experience I made field recordings at the T-junction of Robert Sebukwe and Bourke Streets in Pretoria. It explores the juncture between past and present: conflicting ideologies, contrasting cultures, juxtaposed and ever present in inner city environments. The T-junction becomes the signifier of a turning point, the proverbial fork in the road leading to an inevitable change in direction. It is a place of coming together, where different roads meet, and where others part.

The poetry selected for the piece echoes this coming together of voices, featuring Xitha Makgeta, local slam poet from Pretoria, and Kobus Kotze, South African poet now residing in Korea. The juxtaposing of traditional African sound in the marimba with a rhythmic remix of found pitches in the street recordings reviews the tension and beauty of contemporary urban living. The work can be regarded as a three movement Suite with a more traditional marimba loop in the beginning and street recordings acting as accompaniment. In contrast to the first section, the second utilises the marimba as accompaniment to a rhythmic reconstruction of found pitches which finally flows into a resolution of spoken word and improvised female vocals by Netanja Brink. The work endeavours to explore the inner-city rhythm which is both constant and in a continuous state of flux.

 

Pieter Bezuidenhout: FORT

The work by Pretoria based composer Pieter Bezuidenhout titled “Fort” is based on the four forts around their capital built by the government of the South African Republic just before the outbreak of the Second Anglo-Boer War. These four forts; named Fort Schanskop, Fort Klapperkop, Fort Wonderboompoort and Fort Daspoortrand a.k.a Wespoort are all in different forms of decay. Both Fort Schanskop and Fort Klapperkop have been renovated to heritage sites whilst Fort Wonderboompoort and Fort Daspoortrand are in derelict and ruined conditions. What makes these forts fascinating is that they were all identical. This allows for a very interesting compositional approach.

This work tries to capture the identity of these forts in their current states. The melodic, harmonic and rhythmical elements used in the work conveys the sense of purpose that these buildings had when their utilization was at its peak, and each piece evolves to show the transformation to the state that it is in today. The work is very rhythmically driven; infusing African beat patterns and melodies with western harmonic structures. The result is a musical fusion of the two worlds these structures exist in.

Very aptly the work is written for the Marimba, which in itself is both an excellent rhythmic as well as melodic instrument. With its root firmly placed within the traditional music of Africa, it is widely used in modern classical music specifically for these reasons.

 

VIDEO RATIONALE

Christo Jansen Niemandt: WE ARE FRAGMENTS

As a visual artist I have always tried to create audio-visual material that speaks to my own experience as part of this world or plain of existence. Rhythm, space and time are important key aspects of my work and as such I do not intend to merely force a sequence of images into sight of the viewer. Instead I attempt to create a shared space where art, artist and viewer can discuss their relationships to each other and their environment as it is collectively and subjectively experienced. The content of my work always has elements of nostalgia and voyeurism and through this I wish to make available my own experience of the city and surrounds I grew up in and convey this in a visually stimulating manner.

A remembering and recollection of past memories, as fragments of a whole. As Ludwig Wittgestein said: “‘The [problems] are solved, not by giving new information, but by arranging what we have known since long.”

With this piece I incorporated many elements from 8mm films, photography and video in order to create a visual piece that communicates in a purely subjective language and creates an inter-subjective space where meaning resides in the dialogue between art, artist, the experienced world and the viewer. In this way I attempt to navigate and re-experience my fragmented memories in a shared and subjective way with other people in this space. It is an attempt to re-arrange what I have known and experienced in my personal capacity, in order to establish a new thread of meaning.