South Africa, 2010, mixed media spacial installation, variable dimensions, corrugated iron, wood, metal, chairs, car seat, bricks, tables, lighting, photos with visitors, tin cans for ashtrays, door, fridge
Already in the first weekend I got to know the phenomenon 'shebeen' through a powerful collage that radiates energy: Discussions at the shebeen by Sam Nhlengethwa. During Apartheid shebeens were illegal bars in the townships, managed by individuals, often women, and regularly next to their homes. A week later I visited a few shebeens in Soweto with fellow artist in the residence, Senzo Shabangu, p.e. The Shack, a well-known shebeen in Orlando-West. I also visited shebeens in Johannesburg, near Bree Taxirank in CBD to check the interior, furniture, atmosphere, details., and I went to the Museum Africa and the SAB World of Beer Museum, to have a look at the shebeens displayed there.
After some more research, like investigating which other artists have been dealing with the topic - I found an installation by Kay Hassan - I decided to built a shebeen in the exhibition space of the Bag Factory for the final show Losing Virginity. During the eight days my work was operational I wanted to create a happening in which the audience took part, and I made a program: 1. Opening of Shebeen with a performance by Quaz, followed spontaneously by Jeisie the Genius and Aviwe; 2. Kwaito music by DJ Mma Tseleng and umqombothi made by Tshepo; 3. Presentation of the 24 videos of City One Minutes Johannesburg.
The audience was very straightforward in the installation and there were a few scandals: drunkenness, a stolen wallet, a stolen art work, even slight racial tension. In the shebeen I had visitors that normally don't go to shebeen and there were people inside that do not attend art shows. With this work I reached different subcultures.
Thank you: Shime Senetla, Phli Legate, Senzo Shabangu, Dion Azi / The Shack, Stephen Reid / 2016 Architects, Adrian De Gouveia / Ama Gents, Mark Straw / Weekend Culture Club, Musa / Pandora Lighting, Pitcho Carseats, Gwydion Beynon, Petros Ghebrehiwot, Dolly Zwane, James French
Business Art, South African Art Times: Alex's Dodd's Column, April 2010
Maandblad Zuid-Afrika: Shebeen Queen from the Netherlands: Su Tomesen, article by Bart de Graaff, September 2010