Taking art to the streets

2020-01-22 06:01
PHOTO: suppliedSome residents looking at Rory Klopper’s artwork.

PHOTO: suppliedSome residents looking at Rory Klopper’s artwork.

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MULTIDISCIPLINARY artist Rory Klopper has been giving people of Pietermaritzburg an opportunity to see art outside the sterile gallery space.

With the help of his assistant, Derrick Ndlovu, Klopper has been momentarily setting up his work at various points in the CBD and township areas.

Klopper said the idea was to give people an opportunity to see art without having to go to a gallery, and also to disrupt their busy day.

“And to create small but memorable moments in the lives of our community. In doing so, I hope to inspire people to embrace their uniqueness and creativity, and share it with others,” said Klopper.

Describing his visits to the different parts of PMB, Klopper said a key element to imposing oneself unexpectedly into a public space is trust.

Furthermore, the artist said that over the weeks of creating the activations, it became apparent that we distrust each other. “The artist’s intentions have been met with suspicion, but his continued participation in gently disrupting city life is ironically building trust within the community,” said Klopper, adding that he and his assistance are now becoming familiar faces on the streets of PMB, carrying quite large pieces of art around the city blocks.

The visual artist said after documenting the various responses, talking to interested members of the public and then moving to the next location; they have concluded that the work can be interpreted as performative.

While showcasing on the streets, Klopper went as far as rolling out a red carpet for the public.

“The red carpet was well received. Friends would encourage one another to engage and the energy these engagements created was always inspiring and positive. A number of people mentioned that this would probably be the first and last time they would be went to a red carpet event,” he said, adding that he rolled out the carpet because he concerned himself with how celebrity culture consumes everyone.

“We see them as special and ourselves as ordinary, so I bought my own red carpet that people could walk on. Sometimes we need to be reminded that we are special too, and although we think we want what other people have; we should appreciate ourselves more,” said Klopper.

In concluding, Klopper said he hopes to continue injecting the city with compelling art as a catalyst for positive change, and in the process he hopes to transform how people respond to one another and how they think about themselves and others.


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