CAT Cologne, Cologne, Germany 01 May 2018 - 23 Jun 2018
Khanyisile Mbongwa. Courtesy CAT Cologne.
CAT (Community Art Team) Cologne, an artist residency that supports international emerging artists working in the field of social practice and community engaged work, presents BLUEPRINT, the work of South African artist Khanyisile Mbongwa.
BLUEPRINT is conceptualized as a curatorial research project that engages with historical legacies and future possibilities of public space, asking the questions: What is public space? Who is the public? How do we create public space? Khanyisile Mbongwa will introduce urban sociologist Robert Parks’ ideas of human ecology, social movements, and social disorganization: “The city is man’s most consistent and on the whole, his most successful attempt to remake the world he lives in more after his heart’s desire. But, if the city is the world which man created, it is the world in which he is henceforth condemned to live. Thus, indirectly, and without any clear sense of the nature of his task, in making the city man has remade himself.” (1); and to Karl Marx who articulated “men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past.” (2) The aim of BLUEPRINT is to draw intersecting lines across continents as we study human flow both as a historic and contemporary happening in how public space can be imagined and created by means of music and performance art. It draws from the archive of the International Library of African Music at Rhodes University, but is shaped by local artists and the specifics of the sites and public places with which they engage.
(1) Park, R., On Social Control and Collective Behavior, Chicago, Chicago University Press, p.3
(2) The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte. Karl Marx 1852.
This project is interrelated to previous resident Zwoisy Mears-Clarke’s Blueprint I.
Khanyisile Mbongwa (*1984, Gugulethu) is a Cape Town-based curator and Adjunct Curator for Performative Practices at Norval Foundation, based in Cape Town. Focusing on performance-based practice, her work engages with the re-imagining of psychological and physical spaces—using photomontage, sound and video. She just completed her Masters in Interdisciplinary Art, public art and public sphere at the Institute of Creative Art/University of Cape Town (UCT) and researches on iRhanga (township alleyways) as public spaces that provide another entry or exit point for thinking about blackness and self. Mbongwa has a strong passion for youth development, which has formed a focus in her work.