AAW! gives good moments of bliss. We love making work that lasts for a moment to a few months."
15m high in Johannesburg Cratefan Oupa stood on Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown, Jhb Inner City from June to August 2010. A little higher than the top of the double-decker flyover. Joburg Cratefan is named Oupa after the main guy on the scaffold team.
Just over 18m high in Cape Town, nogal sitting – so he’s big. Named Elliot, also after the main man. He is still up and s staying that way until the end of March 2013.
36tonnes of steel scaffolding (recycled before and will be recycled again) to create an armature
Scaffolding especially painted red. Red cable ties used. Clad in plastic Coca Cola crates (also recycled again and again) after a complete wrap of steel mesh to enable the cladding to sit flush. About 4000 crates used.
Design concept by Porky Hefer in 2006. Produced by artatwork working with the very calm Mark Sinoff.
“Coca Cola have shown some serious courage and imagination sponsoring these two works. Although we've seen some art made of crates and other works made of scaffolding around the world in the last decade, this is a challenging international contemporary piece that has literally confounded - with intense engineering innovation and a myriad of bureaucratic hurdles ... We have a brilliant team who somehow get calmer as the complexities got more thwart-orientated.I t's the first time we managed a project for an artist whose shown as much stamina as genius (three years looking for the funding) and we are enchanted to be alive at the same time as him. Cratefan is far out. He reminds of us our cities’ big strength and we keep expecting him to walk around.
artatwork's year ended with the beginning of something very interesting – an exhibition about contemporary arts in public space around the world.
The show put the spotlight across all disciplines of the arts in public space – from performative and temporary installations to landmark city sculptures – spanning many countries and significantly including works South Africa, elsewhere in Africa, Europe, South America and the USA.
The launch programme for the show included the exhibition in Sandton Central and a small-screen projection programme featuring video documentation of works managed by artatwork and a premiere of Hobbs/Neustetter's Entracte, a projection-work in Dakar, Senegal.
Late last year, in response to the furore around freedom of expression, national security and the media tribunal mooted by South Africa's ruling party, poet Phillippa Yaa de Villiers and Les Perkes prepared a statement that was installed on the orange trees between Eastgate and Ellis Park in downtown Joburg (wrapping the trees was part of the land-art project AAW! did with artist Strijdom van der Merwe for the World Cup 2010).
The South African National Editors Forum assisted us to find a printer who would print the statement - one word per tree - and Media24 came to that party too, for which we are forever grateful. Of course, the posters (on thin newsprint) were installed on the windiest day in South African living memory ... okay it's an exaggeration but it was a bit windy ... and so the Tree Tribunal lasted in its entirety for about 3 hours, instead of the hoped-for 3 days. Such is life, it was blown away. Here is the statement, online forever maybe unless they invent a wind app and we have weather online.
You can say what you like
But don’t ask difficult questions
Like where’s my money?
Why do they want to keep secrets?
They must have something to hide
How do you hide luxury?
Sit on it maybe
Throw a blanket
a security blanket
Listen to clever people
Spread the beautiful word
Read the trees smell the roses
After a go-ahead from Gauteng Provincial Government at the end of April 2010, residents and tourists in Joburg, SA were treated to a growing surprise. A team of students, labourers and artatwork, under the direction of land-artist Strijdom van der Merwe, (www.strijdom.co.za) installed 20 000 bright yellow hands on the Gillooly's interchange (busiest traffic intersection on the continent) and wrapped hundreds of trees in bright orange dayglo fabric between OR Tambo International Airport and Ellis Park.