Michael Blum- The Green Patch Party




Very Real Time 1 (2003)

Bridget Baker (SA) James Beckett (SA, NL), Michael Blum (France, Austria), Jo O' Connor (SA), Cinthia Marcelle (Brazil), Thembinkosi Goniwe (SA), Jean Meeran (SA), Gregg Smith (SA, France).

In September, 2003, seven artists, South African and overseas, were invited to spend a month developing projects in the city of Cape Town. The opportunity to invite foreign and local artists to develop work there was valuable as an exchange on different levels. For one thing the ‘fresh blood' of new visitors in this relatively far flung port is always welcome. For another thing it seemed that it would be impossible for foreign visitors to understand this crazy place with its warped history and psychological field. But somehow there must be a way to make the encounters genuine, fun and at times messy.

The intention which developed was how to create a situation where artists could develop projects in Cape Town in such a way that there was an equal balance between the imprint made by the artist on the place and the imprint made by the place on the artist. At all costs to avoid flying artists long distances to arrive in a strange place and immediately go about making a work that in the end they might have made anywhere else. To facilitate dynamics which allowed for more personal and less generalised responses to the place and also to allow for relationships to form outside of the normal cliques of the Cape Town art scene and network. Relationships which might even have lasting importance.


Projects were selected with the desire to promote art of a socially engaged nature without setting preconditions of large-scale inclusivity or overt moral, political or social relevance in the work. Its one of the good things of South Africa's new constitution that art of a socially engaged nature is fairly well supported, but this is at the risk that meaning is shifted away from the artists own subjectivity towards sentiments more righteous, boring and catering to such a broad audience that in the end there is nothing left for the individual. It was hoped that projects would first of all engage viewers and participants in their own personal reality in a way that was insightful and challenging for both the artist and whoever else happened to be there.

(Gregg Smith, October 2003)

catalogue designed by Sara de Bondt.