Cuss, Catherine Dickerson, Jared Ginsburg, Jamie Gowrie, Mbali Khoza, Talya Lubinsky, Malose Kadromatt Malahlela, Naadira Patel 

Curated by Lerato Bereng

 Opening by invite only: Friday 13 July, 6-8pm, with an afterparty till midnight

 Note: The exhibition is on view for two days only, on Friday 13 July from 2pm, and Saturday 14 July from 10am to 1pm.


Buchanan Building, 160 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock 7925   PO Box 616, Green Point, 8051, South Africa 


STEVENSON is pleased to present Out of Thin Air, a group exhibition curated by Lerato Bereng.

For a few days, the gallery will be inhabited by eight young artists from Johannesburg, exploring notions of fantasy and ‘make-believe’ space through multi-media installations.

The construction of any building or structure, imaginary or real, requires that one carve a space ‘out of thin air’. In their installations, the artists will focus on the demarcation of space and the creation of imaginary landscapes. The concept of a fantasy space denotes a simulated environment designed to generate a particular set of experiences, allowing us an escape from everyday reality. In a child’s fort, where the rules of engagement are crafted and put into practice by the child, the framework is based entirely on one’s imagination. Upon entering, we consciously partake in the act of make-believe.

For the participants, the project kicks off on the train journey from Johannesburg to Cape Town, finding its roots in a mobile ‘non-place’. As Alain de Botton writes in his book On Seeing and Noticing (2005):


Of all modes of transport, the train is perhaps the best aid to thought: the views have none of the potential monotony of those on a ship or plane, they move fast enough for us not to get exasperated but slowly enough to allow us to identify objects… At the end of hours of train-dreaming, we may feel we have been returned to ourselves: that is, brought back into contact with emotions and ideas of importance to us. It is not necessarily at home that we best encounter our true selves.


The idea of ‘train-dreaming’ suggests a level of contemplation that becomes fertile ground for creative and reflective interaction. Texts and films such as Lars von Trier’s Dogville, Dambudzo Marechera’s House of Hunger, William Golding’s Lord of the Flies and K Sello Duiker’s The Quiet Violence of Dreams will be discussed on the 26-hour trip and will inform the installation process.

The participants will inhabit the gallery space in such a way that it becomes a three-dimensional collage of fantasy islands and breathing forts. At no time will the show be static, nor will it ever reach completion: between polishing, hoisting, inflating and broadcasting, the fantasy spaces will be in constant flux.

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