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The Pandemic Project

The Pandemic Project :: Ronél de Jager

The Pandemic Project :: Ronel de Jager

Shifting between painting, sculpture and installation, painter and sculptor Ronél de Jager deals with concepts of the fleeting, with environmental concerns, and with the notion of deep time. De Jager’s work ‘When the Earth Stands Still’ is a response to a poem of the same name by Don Macdonald. The haunting piece forms a context into which de Jager’s oil painting is of destruction or regrowth.

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The Pandemic Project :: Allen Laing

The Pandemic Project :: Allan Laing

In this artwork, Allen Laing blends performance, video and traditional woodworking techniques in his practice.

Laing is based in Pretoria where he shares a studio space with Angus Taylor, Beth Armstrong, Heidi Fourie and Rina Stutzer. Laing was inspired by the UJ Choir’s rendition of Loch Lomond well-known traditional Scottish song. This love song regrets the parting of the lovers in a sad, melancholic tune.

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The Pandemic Project :: Diane Victor

The Pandemic Project :: Diane Victor

Diane Victor’s inspiration throughout her creative process for The Pandemic Project was the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic and University of Johannesburg Choir’s rendition of Trilo by Bengt Ollen. Trilo is the haunting song that tells of a woman calling or lamenting into the great fog, calling out to men at sea.

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The Pandemic Project :: Fana Tshabalala

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Fana Tshabalala is a South African multi-award-winning dancer, choreographer and co-founder of Broken Borders Art Project. His artwork, Confined by Numbers, is inspired by the UJ Choir’s rendition of Sedjedo by Angélique Kidjo arranged by Sabelo Mthembu and featured on When the Earth Stands Still.

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The Pandemic Project :: Lothar Böttcher

The Pandemic Project :: Lothar Bottcher

In this artwork, Lothar Böttcher uses his skills and passion to give glass a voice as a contemporary art medium. Böttcher was also inspired by the West African song Sedjedo sung by the UJ Choir and the fear of the times. “I wanted to merge these dichotomies, unifying them in one sculpture which resembles a head with open mouth and eye surrounded by dots… exhaling notes or inhaling symbolic “viruses”. “We are in the midst of global change for humankind and even if I’m unable to understand the sung words of Sedjedo I comprehend the beauty and fallibility of what makes us human in this new dawn”, says Böttcher.

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The Pandemic Project :: Khaya Ndlovu

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29 May marks 5,443,200 seconds, 90,720 minutes, 1512 hours, 63 days, 9 weeks or17.21% of 2020 since South Africa has been in lockdown due to the Covid-19 outbreak. This is dancer and choreographer Khaya Ndlovu’s response to UJ’s ‘The Pandemic’project with her work entitled 'Lockdown'.

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The Pandemic Project :: Strijdom van der Merwe - Past Lives

The Pandemic Project :: Strijdom van der Merwe - Past Lives

Land artist, Strijdom van der Merwe's second artwork for The Pandemic Project, entitled Past Lives, speaks of the earth as a complex layer of energy lines, representing many different stages in history and human life.

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The Pandemic Project :: Strijdom van der Merwe - Paths of Listening

The Pandemic Project :: Strijdom van der Merwe - Paths of Listening

Land artist Strijdom van der Merwe showcases his site-specific artwork ‘Paths of Listening’ which focuses on an organic minimalist approach enticing the viewer to enter into a state of deep listening.

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The Pandemic Project :: Sunnyboy Motau

The Pandemic Project :: Sunnyboy Motau

MIDM Professional dancer and choreographer Sunnyboy Motau showcases a moving piece that explores the juxtaposition of an imposed daily routine with the need for movement and change.

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The Pandemic Project :: Yannis Generalis

The Pandemic Project :: Yannis Generalis

This artwork by Yannis Generalis, entitled Prophylaxis (Greek: Protection), tackles the unseen, microscopic nature of the COVID-19 virus by introducing a more cosmic sort of protection.

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The Pandemic Project :: Ignatius van Heerden

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BìNGDú is a thought-provoking multi-media dance piece by Ignatius van Heerden. The title is the Chinese translation of the word virus and is van Heerden’s direct mental and emotional reaction to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Built around the image of a cage, van Heerden captures the deep sense of isolation and loss of freedom so many felt during the COVID-19 lockdown.

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The Pandemic Project :: Tanisha Bhana

The Pandemic Project :: Tanisha Bhana

Tanisha Bhana's artwork, When the Earth Sighed, delves into the introspective reality that “the new normal” has presented us within the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the earth coming to a standstill, you might question the real purpose of life. For Bhana, this is a time to explore the common link that humans share with every object and organism. 

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The Pandemic Project :: Athena Mazarakis

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At Our Fingertips is a work by Choreographer and Performer Embodiment Practitioner, Athena Mazarakis along with performers Alex Halligey and Jennifer Halligey.

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The Pandemic Project :: Lehlogonolo Mashaba

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Lehlogonolo Mashaba is a visual artist and printmaker. His work, entitled Re-form XI, looks at the mysteries and complexities surrounding the origins, and ultimately the meaning, of life.

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The Pandemic Project :: Devlin Tim

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Visual artist Devlin Tim showcases his artwork, entitled Looking Back, which draws heavily on the song, Moon River performed by the UJ Choir. Moon River talks about meeting at crossroads, of moving on and letting go, a moment of introspection that we all go through at some stage in our lives.

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The Pandemic Project :: Heidi Fourie

The Pandemic Project :: Heidi Fourie

Heidi Fourie's artwork, entitled Õhtul, looks at how the lockdown has forced many to take better notice of their surroundings, reconnect with nature and find more time to focus on themselves.

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The Pandemic Project :: Thami Majela

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The Last Supper Thami Majela's response to The Pandemic Project. For Majela this was a piece that came at a difficult and inopportune time – a time where it was both difficult to work and express oneself. Through The Last Supper Majela sought to highlight the plight of the homeless who could not Stay Home, Stay Safe. 

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The Pandemic Project :: Gordon Froud

The Pandemic Project :: Gordon Froud

I used the energy and repetition of this song to inspire a digital collage/print based on the subject of old cars and booze. I utilised images from google search, appropriated them, altered them and made them mine by collaging them together into a coherent image. The image has been altered enough to be declared my work. The final step was to convert the image to a graphic pen drawn print. The image is of a man working on the engine of his I-skoroko ro` (in this case an old VW Beetle). The roofrack is stacked with booze bottles, some empty, some full. I could imagine music pumping from an old transistor radio while he tinkers. I incorporated the graphic of the soundwave from the music file into the work on the bottom. It reminds me of a picket fence and guys working on cars on a Saturday afternoon. - Gordon Froud

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The Pandemic Project :: Siyabonga Mahlaba

The Pandemic Project :: Siyabonga Mahlaba

Siyabonga Mahlaba's artwork “Lenyalo“, which is Sesotho for wedding, is a literal connection between the past and present. "It depicts the wedding of my parents, who got married in 1983 at a Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) in the township of Bethlehem – the very same church whose rubble and remains are depicted. Both these images are superimposed onto that of another DRC in Bethlehem, which, in contrast, houses a white congregation. This artwork deals with my frustration with the DRC, which is infamous for supporting apartheid, lobbying for racial discrimination within the church, and creating architectural disparities for the different races based on this discrimination. This eerie image also addresses the value placed on the lives of black people through racial hierarchies during and post-apartheid."

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The Pandemic Project :: Collen Masangwanyi

The Pandemic Project :: Collen Masangwanyi

Collen Masangwanyi's artwork is based on the song “Ri khou Dzhena” by UJ choir. This is the UJ choir wearing a Venda attire known as mun'wenda. They are doing a Venda greeting known as Ndaaa and Aaaaa by their hands . The Ndaaa is done by men and the Aaaaa is done by women. This type of greeting can be used to ask and to say to thanks as well. The heads of choir members are books with engraved musical notes. As the song says we are about to enter and they need God’s help, I put a cross on the book symbolizing the presence of God. The choir’s conductor is the short lady amongst these tall choir members. With this I am saying authority does not come with size. On the head of the conductor is the directive of 123 the comes enter.

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The Pandemic Project :: Lebo Magolego

The Pandemic Project  :: Lebo Magolego

This artwork by Lebo Magolego is a copy of an original photograph she documented of a member of the Zion Christian Church (ZCC) waiting for a taxi during the 21 days lockdown. Since the 1940s millions of church members of the ZCC religiously attend an annual pilgrimage at Moria. Members of the church travel to Polokwane during the Easter holidays "to meet the Bishop and pray for blessings." Unfortunately for the ZCC, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Easter service for the year 2020 has been cancelled.

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The Pandemic Project :: Craig Muller

The Pandemic Project :: Craig Muller

In this artwork Craig Muller depicts a hypothetical future discovery of a preserved human form. The work explores logical answers to emotional and existential questions.

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The Pandemic Project :: Neo Mahlangu

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Neo Mahlangu (b. 1992) is a Johannesburg-based artist working primarily with charcoal and digital illustrations.

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