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Pres Steyn turns pink in anticipation of Vryfees
2014-06-06

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Australian artist Cigdem Aydemir vacuum packed the Pres Steyn monument on the Bloemfontein Campus’s Red Plain – in pink. Aydemir’s project, ‘Plastic Histories’, forms part of a public art project that encourages us to evaluate public monuments in their historical context. 

By vacuum packing monuments, Aydemir alludes to their significance and preservation. At the same time, though, it reveals the nature of their contentious and gendered historical function. This is because most monuments in post-colonial countries typically celebrate men’s achievements in serving their nations.

In response, this project acknowledges the contribution of women from all races, communities and sexual orientations to the grand narrative of a post-apartheid South Africa.

Aydemir is also developing an app in collaboration with Australian artist Warren Armstrong. This will be used for augmented reality viewing of three city monuments – those of President Brand, General De Wet and General Hertzog. This means that visitors will be able to hold a smart phone or iPad in front of the monuments and view the monuments as if vacuum packed in pink plastic.

In conjunction with the public art project there will be an exhibition of digitally manipulated photographs of nineteen-century and contemporary male monuments in Bloemfontein. These photos will be exhibited at the Johannes Stegmann Gallery at the UFS Sasol Library from 15 July – 1 August 2014.

Public tours on the Bloemfontein Campus and into the city will take place on:

• Tuesday 15 July at 11:00,
• Wednesday 16 July at 14:00, and
• Saturday 19 July at 11:00.

Aydemir’s ‘Plastic Histories’ public art project is part of the UFS Programme for Innovation in Artform Development (PIAD) and the Vryfees arts festival’s partnership with the Australian-based SituateArt in Festivals initiative. This partnership is managed by the Salamanca Arts Centre in Tasmania. 

Read more articles about this project:

POZIBLE launch (pdf document)
Media release: 17 June 2014: Art Stars Revealed (pdf document)
PIAD/PIKO - http://bit.ly/1gazQTV
OPENLab - http://bit.ly/1hzguUG
CAD Forum - http://bit.ly/1sNvtRB


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