Very Real Time residencies provided artists with a salary, project budget, transport costs to Cape Town and lodging with a local resident. The intention of the latter was to allow for visitors to quickly develop their own relationships and networks and points of access to the city. (Many of these friendships are still active today).  Projects were selected with the desire to promote art of a 'engaged' nature without setting preconditions of large-scale inclusivity or overt moral, political or social relevance in the work. ​​​​​​​

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).​​​​​​​

Very Real Time 2 (February - October 2006).
The second stage of Very Real Time 2 was a 1-month residency, involving 7 artists from South Africa and abroad. This residency took place in September/October 2006. Like its predecessor, Very Real Time 2 favoured performative and socially engaged projects but unlike its predecessor, it aimed to engage a macro audience as well as one to one engagement. This was achieved though the development of projects which may have ephemeral aspects but also made use of online platforms of debate and dissemination, most notably the Artheat blog, developed by Robert Sloon (Chad Russouw).
Artists: Ed Young (SA), Jeanine Diego Medina and Conrad Tostado (Mexico), Jimmy Robert (FR), Sung Hwan Kim (Korea, US), Mieke van de Voort (NL).
Very Real Time 3 (2012)
Artists: Claire Harvey (UK, NL), Julia Rosa Clark (SA), Milena Bonilla (Colombia, NL), Leonid Tsvetkov (RU, NL, USA), Kianoosh Motallebi (IR, NL)
Theme : Going inside time
In Antonioni's films of the 60's (L'avventura, Eclipse and La Notte in particular), he created a poetic visual language to evoke an era in which the accelerating rhythms of the capitalist model had led to a loss of meaning in modern life, and a crisis in the intimate realms and relationships of the films' protagonists. 50 years later, his films still resonate, even if a great deal has also changed since Antonioni's day; the rise of the Internet, the end of the ‘fast-burn' culture, and the pervasive ‘universality' in media languages and codes.
Zygmunt Bauman also writes about the phenomenon of ‘liquid modernity', in which our institutions no longer last long enough to become solid and durable forms which the individual can use as a frame of reference on which to build a life path. Our ability to create our own meaning is reliant on our ability to ‘swim' and intuitively navigate the local and virtual forms which surround us. The fact that for many, engagement on the mediated virtual level is usurping direct physical involvement implies the possibility of a gradual effacement of local history, politics and culture by the strategies of the global market. In this layered reality, Very Real Time 3, poses the question, what is the relevance of global art travel in this context and in what ways can artistic practice engage, interfere, manipulate and rearrange our perceptions of daily experience to help us to be better swimmers?

Very Real Time 4 (2012 - 14)



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