Arts on Main, Johannesburg

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The district around Main and Berea Streets in the Johannesburg district “Doornfountain” was given a new name after a message by REMOTEWORDS and Niq Mhlongo.

In February 2009, REMOTESWORDS—in collaboration with the South African writer Niq Mhlongo and Jozi art:lab (Johannesburg)—wrote on the roof of “Arts on Main”, then under construction, the message: MABONENG.

“Arts on Main” meanwhile, along with galleries, offers known artists such as William Kentridge a studio and for several weeks has provided an off-space for Goethe Institute: GoetheonMainMaboneng means “place of light” and is a quotation from Niq Mhlongo’s novel “Aftertears”. Mhlongo, who grew up in Soweto during the apartheid era, has made a name for himself with his descriptions of present-day life in the former ghetto. Thus Maboneng not only thematizes an aspiring district in Johannesburg that is to be given a shot in the arm by a colony of art, but is above all a reminder of those who for a very long time were prevented from standing tall in the light.

Installed: 09-02-2009
Location | GPS: maboneng precinct former Arts On Main, Johannesburg, South Africa | -26.20449,28.0576329
Curator: Indra Wussow  | Sylt Foundation, Johannesburg
Author: Niq Mhlongo
Roof Size | Font Size: 272qm | 3m x 22m
On Air: Google Earth 1-2012