TIME FRAME Durban - Process and Production


The exhibition at the Durban Art Gallery (DAG) showcased the final work that had been compiled during the course of the project. The work was installed in the Red Room in the gallery providing an interesting and critical counterpoint to and dialogue with the other exhibitions on at the time. The exhibition was opened by Jenny Stretton (Acting Director of DAG), Heiner Holtappels (NIMk) and Doung Jahangeer & Rike Sitas (dala).

The descriptions for the projects have been adapted from the artist statements and reflections provided by each of the participants.

Zen Marie (South Africa)
Big Boss

“Big Boss" is a short film that arose from a two day ethnographic process. The film was made in conversation with Mark Chinsamy, the owner/driver of "Tha Big Boss", a high ace taxi dedicated to the memory of his late brothers Nolan and Craig. Durban has a unique phenomenon of decorated minibus taxis. These taxis emerged during apartheid as an alternative form of public transport, predominantly for the poor. In Durban, a number of taxi owners decorate their taxis with elaborately designed murals. Mark’s taxi is distinguishable predominantly for the word “dollarlicious” which is emblazoned on the front and back of the vehicle. The starting point for the project was to engage with issues of public transportation and the World Cup. This primary concern was extended to an experiment in ethnography/visual anthropology and real-time documentary forms.

The film was presented at the KZNSA. Crucial to this presentation was a conversation with Mark, the artist and the audience at the presentation. "Tha Big Boss" was also at the presentation and visitors were able to interact with the vehicle as it was parked in the entrance to the gallery. The film was also installed at DAG. While "Big Boss" the film is complete, "Big Boss" the project will continue.

Performance / presentation (KZNSA) and video installation (DAG)


Mayura Subhedar (India/Netherlands)
...city within a city reveals thousands of cities inside

We started off with a guided tour Doung from DALA conducted for us, from Musgrave mall to the Early Morning Market. As we were guided through the various physical and psychological thresholds and intersections many familiar sights emerged. The market especially with its colorful tapestry of good and still life's of fresh produce reminded Subhdar of markets back home in Bombay, India. The density of people thronging around, the intensity of smells felt like home. More unfamiliar and eventually unsettling were the abundance of signs cautioning trespassers, the massive walls and gated houses, the guards, the alarms.

These overt surveillance iconographies and the cautionary tones make one nervous and hamper movement and the ability to discover the city alone. Subhedar asked, ‘how was I to discover anything meaningful, relevant to my practice if I wasn't allowed freedom of movement? What lay beyond the beautiful houses overlooking the glimmering Durban bay? Her inquires about the how people moved about in Durban lead to the discovery that during the World Cup, FIFA had laid ban on un-authorized vendors to sell their wares inside the 800m distance to the stadium. Again, a curtailing of movement.

The idea was to intervene and understand the space; also the mental space we inhabit that are more and more impervious to reality. During this project two nodes in the Durban city - the Early Morning Market and the Musgrave mall – were identified as sites of exploration. The intention here was to interact among the people around, in order to understand certain social norms and ways of life which shape the way people move within and between these spaces. In this process and special context of the World Cup Subhedar had to also rethink and question the possibilities of her common practice to produce a work of art. What resulted was a multi-sensory mixed media installation.

Mixed media installation (DAG)



Dean Henning (South Africa)
2010 soundscape - Long Street - Moses Mabhida - South Beach

This 20 minute quadraphonic soundscape performance was developed through a real time audio exploration of field recordings from three locations in South Africa:
* The opening day of the World Cup in Long Street;
* Brazil versus Portugal at Moses Mabhida Stadium; and
* Ghana versus Uruguay at the South Beach Fan Fest (Durban).
The piece was performed live in DAG to construct an aural experience of the 2010 world cup. The purpose was to explore the recreation of public space experiences during the world cup through an auditory experiment.

Quadrophonic sound performance piece (DAG)


Peter McKenzie (South Africa)
Street / Peoplescapes

Peter McKenzie was involved in a part time capacity both as an artist and as a critical and conceptual sounding board for the project. His contribution to the exhibition was a photographic exploration of people moving through Warwick Junction.

The images reflect on the Early Morning Market as a node of convergence and intersection of urban mass mobility. The frame simultaneously serves a device to describe demeanour, its relationship to disposition and the physical and psychological spaces that evidence in the narrative of this urban history.

Series of flush mounted colour prints


Rike Sitas (South Africa) and Lilia Perez (Mexico / Netherlands)

“banothando” is the isZulu word for the shared loving feeling of a community. The title for this work came from one of the project participants when describing what links the people of the Early Morning Market* with each other.

“banothando” is a follow up of the collaboration between Mexican artist Lilia Pérez and Dough Jahangeer of dala that started with the interactive installation, Sawubona, produced in Amsterdam. “banothando” constituted a series of interactive portraits that use physical contact between people (spectators) and images of market traders, as an interface to the stories gathered by Rike and Lilia during, and immediately after, the World Cup. The piece explores the tension between the general enthusiasm for the spectacle of the World Cup, and the concern for the sustained livelihoods of the market traders.

When the spectator approached “banothando”, she was confronted with one of the market traders, observing her from the projected image of their market stand surrounded by the merchandise they sell. From this pose and the framing of the shot, the character seemed to be waiting for a customer. The character would carry on like this, breathing and blinking, sometimes smiling, until the spectator touched the screen. As soon as contact was made, the character started moving, responding with the same gesture, placing her hand and gaze on the user’s hand, following any route it follows. While the virtual and the real hand were touching, the spectator was able to listen to the trader’s stories about the market, life in general and the effect of the World Cup in their life and surroundings. When the contact stopped, the character became silent again. Trapped in this small sequence of gestures, the character and the viewer meet one another in an instance of simulated connection. Physical contact, so natural for the market traders amongst each other, but so rare between the predominantly Indian and Zulu traders, and the very often white visitors of the gallery, becomes a condition for communication as well as an ingredient for emphatic listening.

Interactive installation

*The Early Morning Market, a fresh produce market in Durban, turned 100 years on the 19 May 2010. Despite a rich social, economic, cultural and political heritage, the municipality wants to remove the market and replace it with a mall. The municipality, who had wanted the development to be ready by the 2010 world cup, has been temporary stalled by the struggle to save the market. However, the future of the market is yet undefined. dala has worked closely with the Early Morning Market Traders Association for some time and has been involved in documenting the struggle since the first eviction notices in April 2009. As part of this process, Rike has been documenting the history of the market through the stories of the traders.


Doung Jahangeer (Mauritius / South Africa)
djibril the inbetween

i am the second and the first
both here and there
both black and white
both mother and father
angel of the heaven and the earth, i am
absent and present
in this moment,on this threshold
i am today and yesterday
i am everyday
i am the first of july
i am always and never
i am delivered and the deliverer.

The premature delivery of Doung’s child intersected precisely with the arrival of the artists at the beginning of TIME_FRAME. The convergence of the unexpected birth with the project compelled him to renegotiate the form of his input. This image is a FRAME in TIME - the very moment which marks the beginning of Djibril’s life on earth; the moment of the intersection of worlds, histories, culture and time itself.

Flush mounted photographic print.


Walter Langelaar (Netherlands)

In relation to the CityWalk Initiative and in anticipation of doing one of these walks ourselves with Doung and Rike, Langelaar decided to prepare for some mobile exploration of Durban's ether. He was specifically interested in seeing how wireless fidelity (WIFI) would be spread around the city of Durban, and what conclusions could be drawn from the data when moving from 'white suburbia' into the areas which are generally understood to be 'no-go zones'.

Over the course of collecting the data, via a mobile Android device with WIFI and GPS enabled, differently interesting topics came up when discussing the layout, and access to technology in general in SA with people in the project group. It turned out that because of the FIFA World Cup event, Google had put its view on the country as well - resulting in large scale mapping efforts for the Google Street View and Maps application, and many added 3D renderings of buildings and sites in the cities where the matches were to be played. Having worked with similar Google tech and API's (from a critical perspective) before, Langelaar decided to dissect their recent practices around Durban and turn this into a visual work - which to me made total sense as opposed to all the fairly general 'FIFA-bashing' that went on, since obviously a big multinational (or should that be 'online'?) player like Google also brings with it it's own politics and dubious decisions.

The resulting work in DAG shows a story of two people in Durban's newly built football stadium. It follows a young, white male and female, both wearing Google t-shirts, moving around the stadium taking pictures - all recorded via the Google Street View application. Interestingly, the narrative is coloured by the fact that the Street View technology, and its interface limitations, clearly depicts a suspicious desire of the camera-person to stay focused on the Google employees, instead of also engaging with the local, native SA workers that can be seen viewing the spectacle all around the stadium. As an installation this video-narrative was combined with two additional screen which show online articles and websites, dealing with controversies surrounding Google's move into South Africa

New media Installation