“I thought I knew exactly what I was gonna say and how I was gonna say it this evening, until I popped into the gallery early for a sneak preview. I totally became a kid again. I was so excited that I started vocalizing every time I saw a new piece. One of the curators commented that she hoped everyone would be as excited as I was. I said I didn’t think that they would be as vocal, but I was sure they would be equally as stoked.
I was completely overwhelmed by the sheer skill in all of the technique on display, the absolute quality of craftsmanship, from the Free Beer to the ChangeRoom recycled cassette belt buckles.
I was totally stoked on the energy inherent in all of the work, on the walls and the canvasses and the found objects, it just seemed to be screaming at me in some kind of insane visual hysterical laughter and I couldn’t help but screech back. The mixing of mediums, the fresh styles and the complete and utter embrace of grungy now pop clashing culture, carried off in fine Durban laid back it-is-what-it-is style had me totally buzzing.
Then it was the full-on life affirming society stripping messages in all of the work, provocative, catchy, funny, relevant and conscious and correct, everything mainstream advertising trains to attain, all contained in this one mind-blasting space of cool kid culture. Cool in the way it is rad to be able to hookup the lightie at the robots with a couple crown on your way home walking past all those dirty walls. Cool like it is when you kick the breeze over a brew with a bru while the band settles into the next set and you both think their sound is okay, saluting them with a cold quart. Cool like cool should be, like whatever is clever, like sweet is subject to taste so your sweet might not be mine but that’s fine. Cool like the Durban collective.
So, some words about the FOLLOW YOUR ART exhibition.
This is an exhibition of art that exists outside of any exhibition space. Without the galleries or the exhibitions, this art will still find its way to you. This art actively seeks you out, in its fashion and its design and its music and the way it constantly occupies physical public spaces, this is a culture of art comin’ at you.
It brings itself to you, and it will find you, and because it is so able to do this, it becomes fully aware of the responsibility that is intrinsic in this brazen act of attitude and self confidence. The responsibility, when claiming public spaces, to benefit the viewer in some way, to enhance the experience of that space, and need it be said, to contribute to its community. This is not selfish art, or subliminal art that asks so much of the viewer and yet seems so unwilling to translate or be translated. This art wants to communicate clearly with you, and it understands the necessity for this type of communication in bringing people together, in supporting other sub-cultures within its own, in inspiring further developments through the free sharing of its craft.
This is our art, as a community of creatives, musicians designers writers authors poets performers activists and accompanying heads, this is our art. This art is a gift, as in free and I hope you like it, as in I want you to have this, a gift as in out of respect for you and in celebration of you.
This art is a gift, from a generation of artists who want to play their part for us all, who want to communicate for us all, who actively seek to define clearly the many messages of our collective culture, who are not satisfied only in the journey from studio to gallery space to collectors wall, but are focussed on playing a real part in influencing and supporting and promoting every aspect of our day to day missions.
In this way, we are the art, and they are the artists, and in typical wonderful flip the script mash-up anything goes style, the opposite also applies. This exhibition pays tribute to our collective fashions, our collective music, our collective and diverse ideologies and all of the in-between idiosyncrasies that allow us all to keep the fire burning, to keep our cool, and to keep conscious.”
(Images courteSy of the COLLECTIVE)