Leonid Tsvetkov (Russia/USA/NL)
After having several experiences of the city I found it to be a very strange, difficult and confronting place that I did not understand or did not agree with or that it did not agree with me. Without understanding the history or the social conditions I did not want to really engage with the city through my work. I felt inadequate and uneducated to make a response. I found an ‘escape’ on the mountain that was in the center of the city. I quickly understood that was the place where I wanted to spend most of my time. But it was not to escape. At first it was a place of contemplation but quickly it became a place to meet the residents of my new city and to get to know them well.
The Very Real Time project in Cape Town will resolve in a series of interviews conducted through various paths across the Table Mountain. The mountain is a unique biosphere that has very different meanings for the residents living in various parts of Cape Town and its vicinity. It is a physical as well as a social barrier that divides the city. I will ask residents of Cape Town of different backgrounds, living on various sides of the mountain range to participate in these interviews. The interviews will be held one on one, during the entire day, throughout the walk over the mountain range. Physical exhaustion, unstable landscape, isolation and reliance on the other are important conditions for these conversations. The knowledge, which is performed by walking through the main dividing barrier of the city will investigate the continuity of these social connections. Impermanence and uncertainty are the terms identified to try to interpret the signs of the landscape and the behaviour of its inhabitants in an effort to stretch a bridge between social and cultural divides.