Funded through the Triangle Arts Trust in 2004, artist Dora Longo Bahia and I were invited to reside in Johannesburg whilst creating a new body of work to be exhibited at The Bag Factory Gallery. Through Johannesburg Daily Archive we built a body of video-based research which depicted the city through overlapping reflections and narrations, appropriating devices from documentary film and archival installation to develop a history of a place as we experienced it.
Working in conjunction with one another on all aspects of creating the work, we used our positions as outsiders in Johannesburg to develop research that reflected the daily routine of an urban centre undergoing massive developments both structurally and sociologically. Assuming various roles including those of performers, tourists, filmmakers and facilitators, we composed an archive of our role-playing experiences that combined a wallpaper installation of daily newspaper headlines with a series of videos shown simultaneously on different monitors. The work manifests as a confusion of sound, text and image, with only moments of uncalculated quiet occurring during the rare pauses in the video sound feed.
Significantly, this body of work became a portrait of an urban environment still recovering from decades of civil strife and uncertainty. The research mirrored the experience of the (ubiquitous) city itself, and points to the evolving and chaotic state of many urban centres: cities that have become meeting places of disparate people searching for pleasure, experience, work or simply a place to call home.
The work has since been exhibited in Videometry at Galeria del Angels Barcelona in 2006, at Film:Basel as part of Art:Basel 36 International Art Show in 2005, and featured in Video de viagem (Travelogue), that took place in Paço das Artes, São Paulo June 2007.
Evidence: Catalogue, Invitations, DVD, Images, curatorial statements