Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Doing the JAG

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!!

6 comments:

Susan Arthur said...

glad you took some time for culture and a break from your studies. Good to see you back at your blog again!

Ijeoma Uche-Okeke said...

Thanks Suse, it was quite an experience. Good to be back to blogging!!

Thomas Blaser said...

I just want to point out that I am not in the habit of brandishing bottles of wine at public events. I was merely assisting my acquaintances in getting some of the desired liquid.

Ijeoma Uche-Okeke said...

Monsieur Blaser, je m'excuse. I certainly didn't mean to imply that you were a wino!!By the way, I went back today (Sunday 1st July) with my friend David Boberg to have a 'closer' look at the exhibition. Quite interesting. Though some of the installations just don't speak to me.

Valentin said...

It's nice to go to exhibitions.
I wouldn't say I enjoy all kinds of exhibitions, but some of them have been really amazing.
Ijeoma and the rest, one day I will show you the UJ Arts Gallery (right next to the UJ theatre).
Most of the time, they've got nice exhibitions.

Ijeoma Uche-Okeke said...

Hello Valentin, sounds good.