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A Word of Art | Guten Tag

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by Phumlani Pikoli, images by Danielle Clough / 27.01.2011

Art exhibitions are associated with class and always have free wine to loosen people up. Still the opening DJ is playing a slow set that’s sonically invisible. But as the Word of Art gallery in Woodstock fills up, black folk start arriving, which pleases Remy Gold, who lets it be known that as a DJ he loves it when black people turn up at parties – at least there’ll be actual dancing. Gold’s hit and miss golden oldie set makes me wonder why he said that, but as soon as he gets into the dub step it makes sense. Black bodies dancing. But B-Team sabotage any pretense at class by dropping Lil Wayne, and there goes the neighborhood! People scream and whoop and holler and things begin to unravel. My cue to duck inside and check the art.

The German artists currently in residency at Word of Art haven’t held back a thing. They’ve even managed to filch the infamous Gympie Street sign somehow. These guys are nothing if not inventive. Urban magpies roving the city for suggestive visual scraps. One of those huge green poles used to advertise parties becomes a bottle rocket installation. Someone whispers to me that “no black person would have been able to pull that off”. I think she means the cops would have intervened. I hope that’s what she means. Or does she think we don’t have the imaginative brio, guts and organizational skills to ransack the city for art? Lets give her the benefit of the doubt. That free wine must be kicking in.

A Word of Art | Guten Tag

The exhibit is enormous to say the least with over sixty artists contributing. It’s wide-ranging and chaotic. I try to be discerning but I’m pretty much clueless about art. Tika’s work is amazing and my friends and I take some time out to sycophantically gush over it. We’re told the price and my jaw drops. Yep, I won’t be puzzling over where to hang his stuff in my flat anytime soon.

Durban’s Finest house duo, B-Team, redeem the Lil Wayne snafu and play a return set that sets our feet alight. Outside later, I find the best bit of expressiveness of the night, this scrawl on the wall: “Some laities told us that it’s better to drink and drive than to get taken for a poes while walking home.” Words to live by. Word of art. No matter how much it strains to gentrify with art hubs, antique nooks and that Mill – Woodstock is Woodstock after all.

A Word of Art | Guten Tag

Word of Art | Guten Tag

Word of Art | Guten Tag

Word of Art | Guten Tag

*All images © Danielle Clough.

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  1. fobias tunke says:

    The decision to steal the Gympie Street sign angers me on so many levels – essentially, a gang of foreigners shows up and pinches a streetsign in an exceptionally poor neighbourhood. Bra-fucking-vo. Now the residents, who probably have enough bullshit to deal with living in what is notoriously what of the most dangerous streets in Cape Town have to waste their time and money calling up the council to get their shit back. These assholes should be locked up. An art exhibition predicated on vandalism: there’s nothing amusing or intellectual about.

    Someone needs to call out ‘the emperor has no clothes’ on some of these art exhibitions. Artists are full of shit.

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  2. Happy Brown says:

    Yo Fobias, go visit Gympie Street and tell them you are running for local councillor and the first thing you are going to do is make foreign artists pay for your self righteous thoughts. Better yet why don’t you call the council and tell on these guys, I think they’ll agree with you and give you a gold star which can be the beginning of your art exhbition.

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  3. fobias tunke says:

    @Happy Brown

    You sound a little socially unconscious to me.

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  4. the public says:

    fobias – get a life

    great exhibition. loved the billboard intervention!

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  5. we are visual says:

    hi tobias..

    at first thank you for konstruktiv feedback but i think u´ve been not at our
    exhibtion, it sound u argument on the basis of these photos.
    or u running like a blind guy though our exhibiton an don´t read the concept,
    what was really really importend to understand what we want to say.

    here is a abstract about gimpy out of our concept.

    … continuing the process of post-arpartheid name changes in public space and the beatification of the city in the build up to the world cup, the replacement of the Gympie Streetsign with a street name from Camps Bay is symbolic of the often negligent procedures ignoring history while re-enforcing historical boundaries…

    if you looking forward to have the full concept, give me a note…


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  6. Phumlani says:

    Just to let it be known B-team is not Durban’s finest duo they are in fact based in Cape Town Durban’s finest is completely different house music making group. the song they dropped from Durban’s finest was a “thousand seconds”.

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  7. fobias tunke says:

    @ we are visual

    Pardon my sarcasm, but I’m sure the Gympie street residents are positively thrilled at being used as guinea pigs for your social commentary. Vandalise away, all in the name of some leftist bourgeois ‘symbolic act’ that I can assure you has absolutely zero resonance for the people who live in that area.

    Furthermore, having a lovely little abstract about ‘post-apartheid’ name changes is as well and cryptic, but do you actually want to explain what the comment is supposed to be? which name changes have been ignoring history? and in which areas have these changes been historically insensitive? pardon me for calling bullshit, but I don’t think you actually know what you’re talking about.

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  8. go back home says:

    i agree with fobias, im all for street art and exhibitions that push social messages and boundaries. But foreigners who come here for 2 weeks, and try explain to locals about post apartheid and world cup issues, is a joke. Try even spending a day in Gympie street and you’ll know what time it is, and will come out with way less than you street sign!!! Also now the council has finally given locals a platform for legal postering to promote events and parties with the dedicated green poles, and you go and steal one for your show, great job guys im sure this will really encourage the council to try help us in the future!!

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  9. fuck you says:

    sorry but this is pretty fucking stupid, within and out of context. go put the sign back i am sure the locals would like to tear you a new asshole you fucking artfags.

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  10. fuck you says:

    i drive from lower main to main through gympie at least 3 times a week, fuck you, i liked looking at that sign.

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  11. Jeez says:

    Put the sign back chop-sock. I mean, WTF. The “We Are Visual” comment has to be a spoof – surely no one would actually write like this.

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  12. bteam says:


    just to point out that we are in fact not from Durban but rather the mother city and we play maximal, minimal, techno, glitch hop, dubstep, folk music and the chicken dance but we do not however play straight up house.

    just so you know 🙂

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  13. Rare.Golden.Collectables says:

    ^ no one gives a shit.

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  14. Rare.Golden.Collectables says:

    “But foreigners who come here for 2 weeks, and try explain to locals about post apartheid and world cup issues, is a joke. ”

    im with you on this one.

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  15. bored says:

    you people are poes boring. shut up. and stop stealing road signs. i hope u walk past gimpie one day and they steal your shoes.

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  16. Ricky Lee says:

    As representative of A WORD OF ART Gallery ,I would like to comment on all the above,
    We Are visuals actions should not be hastily dismissed and criticized and there is a valid discussion and dialogue here that many can learn from, And this conversation should continue, ,,,,questioning there actions is fair, but i dont think you fully see their point or maybe have not read their rationale at the exhibition
    What I took away from their show was that we as South Africans do not question our society as much as we should, and we do not engage with our city as much as we should and like any society we should not blindly except the way things are, there is still much to be done for this country and having blinkers on is not going to help,
    They as foreigners instantly noticed and challenged things that we simply just except as normal.

    There billboard liberation, was a comment on the “Dont drink and drive ,/drive alive campaign” They were bluntly saying that if you you’re forced to walk home, you could face being mugged.
    Like many SA public announcement campaigns the drive alive message is quite ambiguous as there are not much solutions to the problem, ie: We dont have good public transport system, So there billboards should therefore just say tell your friend to drive you home or call a private taxi.!
    The green poster poles, are in fact regulated and you have to pay the council to post bills on them, the funny part is that the council has yet to set up the process for this (Its been 1 year now) and currently they are uncontrolled, and also they are terribly useless, I know I cant ever read anything that ever get posted on them, unless you wrap the whole thing with one big poster. Which wont last very long,

    The point they were trying to make is that we should challenge the way things are, A dialogue with our city is needed for progress
    The people in charge do not necessarily know what is best for us, especially in South Africa which as a new nation, has infinite potential,
    The Gympie St sign was not stolen; The we are visual guys were adamant to not disrespect or harm the community, The intention was to return it after the exhibition, however the council replaced it within one day anyways.
    So you can continue to look at it from your car window.
    But if you would to actually take a walk through Gympy St. you would notice how it actually together with the rest of the Woodstock community, is one of the only places left in South Africa where kids actually play and families engage, in the streets, you wont see this in any gated community, (Maybe the kids, but never the parents,)

    With that said, there’s many issues these artist raised including, gentrification, of Woodstock and this is a topic no one seems to talk about .
    Soho in NY and Kreuzberg in Berlin are perfect examples of how artists create interest and then commercial offices take over, and just only 5 to 10 years ago these places were special, we should learn from history and take actions to make it different here in Woodstock,I am no suggesting I know exactly how ,but if the intent is honest the actions will follow.
    It is my intent through / A WORD OF ART to not act like a traditional gallery who focuses on art sales but to rather host creative ,inspiring events/exhibitions. and through http://www.writeonafrica.org we try make a creative difference in the community, please see this recent project that we did here in Woodstock as a perfect example //www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=186192448067652&oid=126220790726580&comments
    Not only did we inspire and rejuvenate the Percy Bartley home for boys but we also showed a corporate giant like Ogilvy (who has built mega offices here in Woodstock),how to give back to the community, in a real and honest way, at the end of the day these corporate are going to move in and gentrify anyway, cheap property = someone capitalizing, ,but its always the artist who seems to tread lighter with more awareness and more respect to the community that was there first.
    I myself am a mural painter and work often on the streets of Woodstock and through this action have made numerous relationships with all kinds of people from the community all who know about A WORD OF ART and are support us being here, in fact often I have people coming in off the street to visit and talk about art, and there were many locals who visited the exhibition and enjoyed the commentary, There was one guy did not like the Gympy St sign been stolen but when explained the concept and that it will be returned he supported the action,
    The “we are visual” artists were not here for 2 weeks but for 5 and in which time dedicated allot of time to research and trying understand the complexities, more then most, They also lived here in the Woodstock Industrial Centre and in that time probably also spent more time walking the streets of Woodstock then most.

    In the next days on the A WORD OF ART blog ‘We are visual ‘will post there full exhibition concept and rationale including a motivation for each work, this will allow more insight for those that are interested, I obviously was able to experience the build up of each idea as they approached it so I feel like I know how and why their true intent led them to each action and I support and commend them.

    Interact in your city, question society and contribute to your community.

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  17. Concerned Citzen says:

    As bullshit as most artists/exhibitions are at least this one seemed to ask some questions about how things are simply accepted in South Africa.

    Funny how there are so many angry responses to the exhibition but in general very little action to the actual problems the artists pointed out. If only the effort taken to engage with one’s environment was take up by those spending so much effort on pointing out how kak the artists were.

    But at least this debate got started.

    Now all that needs to be done is to stop complaining on behalf of those poor people with no say in their own lives obviously since they were so clearly robbed by these artists, and actually go round and speak to them and see what they have to say. Maybe instead of feeling badly about a stolen sign, that got replaced anyway, one would be be more emphatic towards the lack of job opportunities and poor standard of education.

    But maybe that would be getting to involved in the first place.

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  18. non says:

    hahaha !

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  19. Ah yes says:

    The old ‘art is theft’ schtick.

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  20. Rare.Golden.Collectables says:

    “gentrification, of Woodstock ”

    thats ironic ..

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  21. shaun says:

    same old shit on mahala all u haters can suck a dick

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  22. shaun says:

    as soon as i clicked submit i regretted what i wrote

    im not actually so hard, i just talk like that on the internet

    in fact im actually a nervous white guy


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  23. fobias tunke says:

    @ /A WORD OF ART

    Hi. There’s something wrong with almost everything you’ve said.

    Firstly, I love the supreme condescension of foreign artists from wealthy first-world countries (I presume) mincing into the city, and engaging problems in which they are not even properly implicated, with an artistic distance between themselves and the issue. How exactly did they encourage this “dialogue” with the city? By stealing a streetsign and vandalising a signboard. And this doesn’t even come from some brash energy of the downtrodden, but rather some proxy representative from foreign shores who has fuck-all stake in using the country as anything other than a canvass for their own self-important impulses.

    “Interact in your city, question society and contribute to your community.”

    I see you’re willing to dish out the platitudes, huh?

    Let’s just quickly take the drink/drive campaign thing. The artists attempted to deconstruct the message of the campaign. “They were bluntly saying if you’re forced to walk home you could risk getting mugged.” This is possibly one of the dumbest rebellions I’ve ever heard of. The point is to foster a new kind of responsibility: if you’re going to get drunk and don’t have a lift, either don’t fucking drink, or don’t drink beyond the limit – exercise some self-control. There aren’t only two options here – drive drunk or get mugged. So what the fuck exactly is the point of that message? to try and expose nonexistent contradictions in public service campaigns?

    Like I said before, artists are full of shit. They aren’t in touch with social reality, because that reality to them just looks like easels and paints; a playground for them to stage the drama of their precious personalities.

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  24. Gardens says:

    art that gives you an eye boner, nice.
    art that gives you a brain boner, sweeeeet.
    art that gives rise to conversation, double bonus prizes.

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  25. kwasi says:

    hey fobias … take a look on the drink/drive campaign… these artist give u 3 options…

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  26. Amy Daneel says:


    I would like to contribute to fobias tunke’s “something wrong with almost everything you’ve said” by clarifying on some important pieces of information.

    Am I not mistaken in saying that Ogilvy, a “corporate giant” as you’ve defined, financially endorsed you to “give back to the community”? Did they not supply the funds & corporate sponsors to “inspire and rejuvenate the Percy Bartley home for boys” that you are so easily taking credit for? Did these endorsements not pay your artists & supply the paint you used?

    To demonstrate some integrity, I would suggest that you pay credit where it is due before YOU “capitalize” on the idealistic fallacy of what you call “respect”. Or would these artists have tread so lightly & with more awareness & respect toward Percy Bartley without Ogilvy’s money?

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  27. Doctor L. says:

    Love you, Mahala. Keep growing, family.

    Andy, don’t drop this!

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  28. Andy says:

    Yoh… I think a lot of you are really being unfair on Word of Art here. At least they came on, took the time out of their busy day and tried to explain the way they see it. They’re the ones putting their money where their mouth is and producing the art exhibitions that actually engender debates like this.

    Personally I was a bit disappointed by the scope of this piece because the writer doesn’t really engage with, or adequately describe the rest of the art – beyond the Gympie St sign which kicked off all the hoopla. But hey, them’s the breaks. We’ll do better next time.

    As for the comments, I think when someone who runs a gallery in Woodstock, and is responsible for the event that’s being reviewed actually rocks up here, and makes a very detailed comment, it’s valuable and means we’re doing our job. And it’s really cool that people who have a stake take the time to come on our message boards and represent themselves. Obviously any comment from the gallery is going to read like a press release. They got to believe in what they’re doing and support their motivations. There’s nothing wrong with that. But it also feels like a lot of people just line up to takes potshots without really interrogating the subject matter or the gallery’s position too deeply. It’s almost like it’s hip to paint the residents of woodstock as victims of art.

    I think we’re responsible for some of the heat the gallery is copping here, for not describing and interrogating the work on display adequately. It all just kind of gets stuck on the street sign and the drunk driving thing… I don’t know what’s so distasteful about German artists pointing out that it’s not safe to walk home at night in SA, but I get the knee-jerk.

    But what are we saying here. Is there no space for foreign artists to comment on our culture and experience? Are we saying that a foreign artist’s perceptions of our society is not valid or valuable? Is it facile? Lame? A lot of the comments on this thread smack of a kind of hipster nationalism.

    And as far as I know, the exhibition was a colab between international and local artists…

    Just my 2 cents. And thanks Dr.L, we’ll just keep on…

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  29. Girl says:

    I think everyone should be given a space to comment on everything. Whether its on our society or on this article. So heres my opinion, I think there is a fine line between constructive commentary and just being destructive when vandalism in art is involved. (we are visual) I was at the exhibition and i dont think having the concept stuck to the wall on a clipboard that only arrived half way during the show is adequate. Perhaps an introduction at the begining of the show? We may have never had this debate. And if its a case of ‘fuck it, we came here and wanted do some cool shit like steal the sign for the most dangerous road in one of the most dangerous countrys in the world’ then own it. But if you want to be taken seriously and have us think your opinion is valid, then do it with professionalism. Or your just going to be seen as another brat tearing down the city. One more thought, instead of just commenting, contribute. As for Word of art, i think their intentions pure are in the right place. Oh yes, and the party was a banger.

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  30. damndemons says:

    ‘artists’ should be burnt alive for educational purposes in kids’ playgrounds. The moment Amy mentioned Ogilvy – well everything the Word of Art douchebag said turns into what it really is – a pile a steaming pretentious shit. Pathetic display.

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  31. damndemons says:

    Also – does this mean that I can go to Germany, set up a portable oven in an alley, charge 5 euros for admission and call it art?

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  32. fobias tunke says:

    @ Andy

    The hipster nationalism (why hipster, though?) is only one small sliver of the problem here.

    This idea that they produced the gallery that ‘engendered debate’, is kind of like saying that if I fucked my best friend’s pubescent daughter and it got into the papers, I should celebrated for ‘engendering debate’. The point is, we’re debating a whole host of things: to what extent these conceptual artists think they can get away with passing off acts like petty vandalism as social commentary; to what extent there is condescension inherent in first-world foreigners trying to talk to us about post-apartheid sociopolitical issues; to what extent there is always an artistic distance between a bourgeois artist and the comment he makes on working-class neighbourhoods.

    Most importantly, the Word of Art representative came on here with the most holier-than-thou self-defence I’ve read in a while – Amy showed him off to be a charlatan, and I took issue with his moralistic platitudes about ‘contributing to your community’ etc., which in his case was made possible by the largesse of Ogilvy.

    Furthermore, we’re criticising the nature of the art produced at this exhibition altogether. I think it’s bullshit. I think it doesn’t even fit within the boundaries of the rationale given at the exhibit. And I’ve yet to see one of their representatives make a coherent case for the streetsign and the billboard.

    Finally, I think artists and their products deserve to be mercilessly criticised constantly; they’ve been elevated to the level of pop heroes in a certain culture, and there’s also a tendency amongst that same culture to glorify any old conceptual nonsense they create. Critics need to whip them enough times until the start producing something that is properly challenging. Not this ‘I stole a streetsign’ garbage. This is 2011. That shit’s been done already. Evolve ideas or fuck off.

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  33. fobias tunke says:

    Oh, and damndemons gives a masterful parody. Made me laugh.

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  34. chief says:

    we still got a long way to understand (art)the matter its not who does what but the concept because most of us we thought some of social challenges (condition )people are the normal unless we start to engage and find a solution we have to remember that we have been divided by capitalism,we have been grouped,if we have a look at the world cup who benefits the government has manage to build to the stadiums in short period of time but yet we got people who have been staying in wet lands for more than 21 years during apartheid and post apartheid those people are staying in shacks how many billions have been used to build the stadiums in the interest of who? only that we are good in blaming and pointing fingers then fold our arms.
    it is true, the very nature of what we do is based on creativity, however
    more often than not we tend to be swept away by the latest trends or
    “what’s hot” rather than seeking out fresh inspiration.this is all about being creative using anything to express what ever the artist want to express.

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  35. Andy says:

    Fobias, I admire your anger and indignation. But we’re kind of starved of a movement here. I’m quite stoked that someone, even “condescending first-world foreigners trying to talk to us about post-apartheid sociopolitical issues” have taken the initiative and put on a show for us to engage with. I don’t think anyone can argue that this exhibition robbed local artists of space or opportunity to express themselves. It’s not an either or situation. It’s not a zero sum game.
    And it gave people like you the opportunity to express your opinions and have an audience with the artists and gallery responsible. So all in all we kick the ball fwd.

    As for the nationalism. I’m leaning to the belief that being South African (or any nationality) is stupid. We’re the generation with the most access to the most information ever. Why we still stuck behind borders is pathetic. I call it hipster to belittle it. Art fags carrying flags. What a joke. Let’s move on. Get involved and represent our local issues without getting behind outdated concepts of nationhood and other jingoistic bullshit.

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  36. /A WORD OF ART says:

    I apologize if anyone at Ogylvy who may of took offense, or feel that credit was stolen or there involvement was undermined, but i think you may be misinterpreting what I have tried to say,,, So let me try re say it,,
    Ogylvy is a very big company And they are aware that they could be doing more,
    And this project was hopefully the beginning of that change,
    Without Amy Mabin and Kate Derasmis from Ogylvy this project would not of happened, it wasn’t Ogylvy that had the heart it was these 2 special people (employees) who wanted to do more, and inspire the change from within as they new Ogylvy had the power to do more,, they came to us with the idea of working with PBH who they help fund, and together over time, we encouraged the heads of Ogylvy to support the project that write on Africa envisioned,, I was not taking credit for this project simply saying we shared our intent and knowledge to influence Ogylvy to do creative good, in this specific way, (as the truth is they really are the biggest corporate company in Woodstock who moved in 4 years ago and have influenced a lot of other big companies to also move in,so they should really be aware of this issues,) and up until now there community involvement was very small, They were simply donating money to the home, when I say we “showed them ” I meant that we guided them to approach making change with creativity the same way we do with other corporates on regular basis,and the same way we do with our own self funded projects,. Both ogylvy and write on Africa were needed to make this project a success.
    Even in the first talks, I mentioned to the heads of ogylvy that we were there to remind them of something they already new,,..how creativity can make a difference and how as a advertising agency who influences society with their ads should also be using this creativity and power for positive change,
    To say we capitalized is really not fair, as artist worked for 1 week and received modest payment; Also we helped get the costs down on major expenses like painting and fixing of the walls, by more then half ,this was never seen as a job,,,but community effort to make the most positive and dramatic change possible,,And together with amy and kate, really worked hard on this project for months leading up to it.
    Ogylvy paid for our work, then materials were sponsored by various suppliers, due the amassing fundraising of Amy and Kate, at Ogylvy, And many more other talented people(from ogylvy and elsewhere, volunteered their time and energy to this project. So this project was in fact bigger then ogylvy and write on Africa,,in fact any act of goodness should be a service and ego should play no role,,A great example,is Juma and Willard,who work with us often and worked on this project, have been running weekly workshops with these boys ever since,,
    They haven’t asked for credit, they just continue to fight to do what they no to be good (If youre interested you can read more about juma and Willard here,) http://www.mahala.co.za/culture/hope-street/
    Write on Africa and ogylvy had a partnership to make a difference in Woodstock and still do,
    Why would I ever try take full credit, this isn’t a competition, as long as the work is done im happy and whover wants to take credit can,as long as it leads to more change,, this is a country with so many problems and too many people complaining and not contributing,
    Ogylvy also focused on the PR and has also now entered this project for awards.
    Which you could call capitalizing for self gain…
    But To Capitalize and PR doing good is not a bad thing, in fact I think its good, If this project receives press it means more projects like this will be easier to materialize, and this project can inspire other businesses to do similar good work, as anyone who knows trying to make a difference in this country and raising money for good projects is harder then it should be Write on Africa has expenses as it is a full time project with an employee, and if you go to the website you will see were always working hard at what we do,we are not looking for glorification ,we know what we do and why we do it,and will continue to be active in the community ,even if called charlatans or a doochebags,,,at least were actually trying!
    It was not Ogylvys money that created the change,,,it was the intent of the people involved, (the money supported the project and that’s my point about being more aware of gentrification, and I think that was the point of the WE ARE VISUAL show,,to be honest and question our society, they made us question it by disrupting it for a moment,(they did this without hurting anyone,),! Just because things seem to work on the surface doesn’t mean they are,! So just maybe, sometimes you need to change the environment for people to see what has been there the whole time.
    And to the money comment:, Its not money that will solve problems but the way in wich we make the change and treat people,,,,I believe there is enough money in this world to fix all its problems, but theres not enough people with the right intent to make it happen,., if we want Woodstock to be a big trendy hang out then it will be ,but if we want the community that has been here for over 50 years, to stay then its best we ask them what they think, and things can maybe be better,

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  37. Damn foreigners says:

    One of the foreigners is actually South African. Does that change everything?

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  38. Damn foreigners says:

    And does a portable oven in an alley carry any social significance? if so, it might be art. I don’t think the charging of 5 euro would really be relevant as they Guten Tag show didn’t charge entry.

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  39. no name says:

    at fobias,youre a really good hate speech writer,with all these big words,,,,interested to know what you do as a job or contribution to society,?,,and what right do you have to be so judgmental,why really does this all anger you so much like you said at first,,,,and what connection do you have to gympy st or any community./? ,did you go to the exhibition? did you tell someone you didnt like, it,,did you leave? or have you is all you know the article above,,,? i saw the exhibition and i thik this article didnt do it justice,,i think this write should have interviewed the artists,,maybe mahala still should.. ,and one more question,what do you do to help or talk about,the problems in this country,,or do you just complain on the internet,?

    also is there not anything in what the exhibition did that you think is relevant,?,you wouldn’t be giving it so much time if you didnt?
    i like what gardens said,”art that gives rise to conversation,= double bonus
    this discussion is becoming part of the exhibition,wich is quite cool.

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  40. Max says:

    Written Articel = 50%
    Comments = 50%

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  41. fobias tunke says:

    @ no name

    You think I’m too critical, and I just think you’re not critical enough.

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  42. Arnaud says:

    @damnforeigner: setting up a portable gas oven outside the Reichstag or Jewish Museum Berlin would certainly have social significance. It would also be the end of your (artistic ?)career in Germany.
    I suggest Mahala move the article “August’s Garden” from ‘Reality’ to ‘Art’, it would show these pseudo’s up for what they are.

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  43. Arnaud says:

”…… Mr August’s Garden is a monument to suffering – the result of real pain and limited resources. Nurtured out of loneliness or grief, respect and creativity – these sites secrete private emotion into public spaces, turning anywhere intimate, wanting nothing in return for one’s attention, the complete opposite of advertising. And suddenly my “hey cool” fetish for strange memorials leaves a bad aftertaste.”

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  44. Anonymous says:

    i think it’s bullshit that someone can perpetuate the crimes they are commentating on, and justify it with their personal needs: An art exhibition.
    The ‘theft’ of whatever small scale it was on, is just a reflection of the bigger issues facing places like ours. That in itself could have been the commentary, but it was unintended, so the ‘artists’ only come across as arrogant about it: ‘We’ll just steal, sorry I mean lend this shit, for our purposes, because it is for us and that makes it more noble than petty theft’.
    that selfish mentality is half the problem we’re facing.
    So thanks Germans for pointing it out to us, by putting it in action.
    Everyone just wants a little something for themselves.

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  45. willard says:


    thank you so much for point out!
    the only fact that i have found out we still got a long way to go in South Africa and (Africa) to accept our problems and be part of change we want see happening we end up shifting the blame to others.
    we have to understand ART what its meaning to the society,the steeling and it wasn’t stolen at the same time of road sign it has become an issue, billions and billions of money are being stolen and miss used by these what we call elites we have no voice or comment.

    we have to remember it wasn’t GERMANS only including local artist as well,we are suppose to engage and find a solution than opposing,we all belong to one single human family,no matter who says what lets face the reality.

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  46. Anonymous says:

    Also, to take the focus back to the article: Phumlani, I take offence to your ‘benefit of the doubt comment’.
    Is there honestly a belief that runs rampant that at an art exhibition in Woodstock, focused on social commentary, where the sensitivity of race relations is clearly on the cards, that you think some ‘white girl’ would walk up to you and whisper in your ear ‘A black person could never get away with that’ and mean it in the malicious way you hinted at? Did you really need to give her the benefit of the doubt? Did you really ned to specify she was white, unless you really did want to highlight some phanton racial tension?
    She was just sitting there and thought, ‘fuck, let me get my unrestrained bigotry on. I’m feeling a little reckless. Hey, theres a black guy! Just what I needed for my racism!’
    Maybe she was part of the exhibition. Planted there to wander around and drop racist remarks so everyone gets a feel of context?
    Give our country a little more credit please, or you yourself will be doing a much worse job of selling us short than some first world germans who thought they would come show these naughty South Africans how we’ve been doing it so wrong for so long.
    We dont even need them to make us look like idiots.

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  47. maybe says:

    maybe im wrong but in europe the people who work on the highways,billboards,street signs etc are white or black,,,here its usually just black workers,? maybe a afrikaanse supervisor,sitting in his bakkie,(without being racist,,isnt this kind of true?)
    so to say only white people could get away with it is not true,,from there exhibitions you can see these guys dressed up in orange bibs,and did this stuff in broad daylight to look official,,would they have not looked more official if they were a few black guys ,? phumlani i think your take on the show was just scraping the surface ,would be cool to hear your real take on all of this,and mahala maybe you should have had a art writer review this,,maybe you still should! (taking these comments into consideration)

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  48. Anonymous says:

    maybe I’m wrong, but in Europe you have a higher population of white people?
    Now, this is funny, but try keep up:
    In South Africa, we have a LOT of black people (you may have heard) and A LOT of them work on streets, billboards, highways etc.
    I think the common misconception is that this needs to be coupled with a white afrikaans guy in a bakkie.
    But thats what we call a ‘stereotype’.
    Breaking those is what art should do, not perpetuate them. Unless it’s perhaps a historical commentary. But as an up to date and relevant one now: with an ANC controlled government in power for almost two decades: Who do people think is enforcing this lingering perception of the white man dominating the black? Most local governments are run by the ANC. Most municipalities.

    We have a high percentage of unemployment and a low percentage of white people.
    Thats mostly why you would see a black guy doing manual labour before you see a white one.

    Well, that, or there is still some secret afrikaans government society that is still enforcing apartheid ideals.

    (Dont get me wrong, I’m not completely ostrich headed about the consequence of previously segregated educational options etc, which lead to a legacy of the minority white race dominating most of the majority higher tier job positions. But it really is not as relevant. At 27 years of age, every step of my education or schooling was done in a class of mixed race and democracy. From grade 1).

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  49. Phumlani says:

    i didn’t mention the race of the person who said that to me, i wasn’t trying trying to incite any racial tension. you bore me.

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  50. Anonymous says:

    fuck everyone making money off of artists’ work
    and then taking credit…!

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  51. post says:


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    @ WORD OF ART:

    When you write ‘there’, but actually meant to write ‘their’, it means one of two things (or perhaps both), either you’re sloppy when writing your comments, or just can’t spell. This isn’t very good when you’re trying to argue something controversial! Who knows maybe someone clicked ‘KAK’ just because of this …? Get someone to proofread your comments next time.

    I personally thought the exhibition was great.

    I don’t know what the beef over Europeans pillaging our city is all about, clearly the exhibition was from a mix of artists, local and foreign. I doubt many Germans can coherently use the word POES in context.

    The foreign artists were probably only invited because of THE VERY OUTDATED MENTALITY THAT HAS PLAGUED THE SOUTH AFRICAN ART SCENE FOR DECADES that for something to be credible it needs to have some kind of European/US connection. SA ARTISTS AND CRITICS need to realise that we don’t need foreign approval anymore than it needs us.

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