It’s the 16th of June 2012, and we are heading to the Goethe Institute. There’s 3 of us in the car, happy faces with no expectation as the invite clearly stated, “A sound Installation”, the closer we get to the venue the harder it becomes to stomach our curiosity.
We arrive at the institute and parking space delays the discovery of our mystery, “A sound installation” we kept repeating, I guess we can’t wait!
We walk into the venue, at the entrance we are greeted by one of our bright minds, a lady with a camera takes a few snippets, and we then walk into a larger crowd where all other great minds are.
It is now obvious to see that, this is South Africa in the re-making, the shape of our country is taking a much clearer form, bright faces, seeds of those that fell so that we can stand are all present for this occasion.
Drinks are served and the installation gains consciousness, lights are switched off and a melody that seems to twist and turn echoes through out the room, a form from the darker side of the room joins this harmony, this form, twisting and turning, embodies the shape if this majestic sound. We are all taken as the melody travels further into the mystery…a gasping and choking sound evokes different feelings inside.
The dancing continues, at first it seemed almost like a spirit expressing sadness but it is now celebrating, jumping side to side, one would mistaken it for dancing the fire dance, taking all forms and shapes till it fell in front of the singer, on the floor facing upwards, the sound and the dance cease to exist, a seed has been planted in our memory and a break is taken.
Standing outside, different views are shared about the meaning of the installation I had my own and so did everyone. The purpose had been achieved; the artwork had sparked thought and conversation.
We walk back into the venue and a panel is ready to explore a question termed “Are Universities doing enough for the arts?”
The panel shares their view and shares a number of interesting opinions about the posed topic. Interesting enough, some were bashing the existence of the Arts in Universities while others were uplifting them and pin pointing their place and viability in society as well as the economy.
The room sparked as we witnessed the differences between the Arts and other faculties in our environment. A number of artists in different Art fields shared their views about the topic and further shared their opinions about the unavailability of Universities in the Arts and how they could be made more available.
The rooms swayed when one of the panelists openly stated that “If it were according to us, the Arts would be cast out (not in exact words)”, it was not only him that felt that way about the existence of the arts in Universities but there were a few other participants that felt the same, his argument was directed to the economical viability.
“Our education system does not teach artists how to be or to do art as a business,” one of the artists said. Many who are from the arts shared the same sentiment as Dr (Please insert name), a Drama lecturer from the Tshwane University of Technology
“My feelings are that, other faculties should be educated about the arts or be subjected to a preliminary Art subject that touches on the basics and the viability of the Arts in our Economy. The arts and other faculties will in-turn be able to forge a relationship that allows them to co-exist seamlessly.”
To be able to tackle issue and have results, different groups from different social and academic structures have to be put in a single space outside their comfort and allowed to debate real issues such as this, this in-turn opens a whole new way of looking at them and reaching new and different solutions that may further be taken up and possibly be applied.