Over the weekend (Sunday), I went to the Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG) with my friend Patricia and her fiancè to soak up some culture......or so I thought. The JAG is an impressive building that shares a boundary with Joubert Park, smack dab in the centre of Hillbrow, one of the first suburbs in early Johannesburg, exclusively white and predominantly jewish. Filled with beautiful architecture, this suburb was well-kept up until the mid to late 90s, when inhabitants started migrating to newer suburbs such as Rosebank, Sandton, Fourways and so on. Now, Hillbrow is inhabited by immigrants from around the continent, mostly Zimbabwean, Congolese and Nigerians. A source of constant concern I daresay to the Gauteng provincial government.
It was the opening of Africa Remix, the biggest exhibition of contemporary art from around the African continent. I was looking forward to an interesting and visually exciting evening. It was not to be....
We spent three hours trying to get to the JAG, when we finally got there, parking was a nightmare. Consequently, we were directed by metro police to park in some dodgy 'parking lot' opposite the entrance to the JAG.
Frankly, I had lost all enthusiasm by then. Getting into the building (eventually) there was a huge crowd! Certainly not conducive to a relaxing and contemplative viewing. I caught glimpses of some interesting installations but before I could take them in properly, we had to leave to avoid being 'accosted' in the parking lot by 'undesirables'.
So ended my efforts at ingesting some art and culture. I'll have to go back at a more leisurely time, to do justice to the artworks on display. By the way I ran into our very own Thomas Blaser (http://www.thblaser.blogspot.com/) at the JAG, brandishing a bottle of wine!!