Jane Alexander at the Art Fair

#92. Wait to see artist Jane Alexander’s installation “Security” at the Joburg Art Fair. The piece, originally commissioned for the Sao Paulo Biennale in 2006 will make its Joburg debut and has the art world talking.

Security / Segurança. 2006 is “an installation, consisting of a sculpture enclosed in a fenced area of germinating/growing/dying wheat, surrounded by a passage created by a double fence with razor wire containing earth, 1000 machetes, 1000 sickles and 1000 used South African workers’ gloves. [sic] “Five Brazilian men dressed in South African private security uniforms with batons guard and form a component of the work.” For a glimpse, go here.

Writing in Business Day, Alex Dodd said: “A work more apt for Johannesburg, a city of booms, guards and razor wire, electrified fences and 24/7 armed patrols, would be a challenge to find.”

At a dinner table  last night friends spoke about how relatives in Melbourne knew more about crime incidents in this city than they did.  Living here is to some extent about navigating through dysfunction, along the narrow path between exhilaration and a sense of possibility, and on the other side, sheer terror. The fear comes in waves, reaches its height and then dissipates, and the city recovers itself, and life goes back to something close to normal. There was a time when the booms and and guard huts, guards and electrified fences seemed insulting, out of proportion. Now they are as much a part of the landscape as the trees.

I am assuming Joburg’s suburbs will be five security guards short for the duration of the fair —

Should I be worried?

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