Unveiling of public sculpture
Worldart in conjunction with the AVA
Invites you to the unveiling of AWP
JOHANN VAN DER SCHIJFF
FOURTH PUBLIC SCULPTURE COMPETITION
FOR THE CITY OF CAPE TOWN
at 6 pm
Thursday 1 November 2007
Parallel to the unveiling of this sculpture, Worldart will display a body of work by Johann van der Schijff that has since developed from this concept. This will include a bronze (editioned at 9) of the sculpture that is being unveiled, three new sculptures that was created as an expansion of the original theme and photo lithographs linked to these works. This show will take place from 1 to 9 November.
The AWP or Arm Wrestle Podium is a public sculpture acting as a communal platform where disputes can be settled, once and for all, in view of the public, by means of the physical act of arm wrestling. Located on the patio of the Association for Visual Arts, it is foreseen that it could play an important role in resolving those nasty art world disputes that seem to be part and parcel of the “scene”.
Its application, as a public sculpture in South Africa, is obviously much wider than the art scene and could be used as a way to find closure on political disputes where negotiation has reached a stalemate. But, it could also be as simple as acting as a platform to settle personal disputes of passers-by.
The advantages of settling a dispute on the AWP are that: it leads to a definite outcome; it is in the public eye for everyone to see; and although there is physical interaction and an undertone of violence, apart from possible stretched biceps, the result will not cause long-term injury to anybody if used according to the rules.
Attached to the sides of the podium will be four plaques, in English, Xhosa, Afrikaans and Braille, with the rules as adapted from the USAA (United States Armwrestling Association). There are fourteen rules at present.
The site for the winning piece is the patio of the AVA in Church Street mall in the city centre, a very lively area, popular with locals and tourists alike. The final piece will be installed in 2007 and will probably be executed in a combination of bronze, stainless steel, painted galvanized steel and rubber. Van der Schijff also made a bronze of the winning maquette, edition of 9, plus artist’s proof, which will be on sale. This, together with three other sculptures and a selection
Johann van der Schijff (born 1969 in Pretoria) is currently a lecturer in New Media at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town. He is also the course convener of the MFA in New Media at the Institute for Film and New Media.
Before entering the academic world he worked as creative director at Shift Interactive Communications and as computer animator at Delapse and Haptics in Johannesburg.
He holds an MFA (New Media) Academie Minerva, Hane University for Professional Education, Groningen in the Netherlands, an MFA (Sculpture) from UCT and a BA Fine Art from the University of Pretoria. His sculptural and new media works have been exhibited nationally and internationally. He has won several art awards, has published articles and catalogues and has made presentations both locally and abroad
These competitions were initiated by the J.K. Gross Trust with a view to making art more accessible to the Cape Town public by exposing them to contemporary art- making by some of South Africa’s most prominent sculptors. The regeneration of the inner city of Cape Town, for the benefit of both locals and visitors, is a vital component of this competition. All three winning sculptures to date have proved great draw-cards for the city centre and have elicited interesting debate around issues of public art and its role. Cultural tourism has thereby been advanced and the surroundings of the city greatly enhanced.