CUBE-ROUTE is a mobile gallery project beginning in Johannesburg, South Africa, March 2013. It is facilitated by Io Makandal, Grace Cross and Jessie Hammond from the Open Drawer Projects collective. Through literally dismantling the white cube, the archetypal exhibition space, and taking it out of its normative context and delivering it into the circle of life, the cube will be reappropriated into alternative contexts within South Africa.
The project is concerned with interrogating fluctuating contexts, interacting with a widened art audience and challenging entrenched display formats that have been developed throughout history. Each city, road, smallholding, cave, river, factory, or informal settlement that the gallery visits will determine the mode and meaning of the site-specific exhibition. The different heritages encountered at each new location will foster unique visual displays. Cube-Route’s flexibility allows the project to function across genres. The mobile gallery will be used as a studio, as a movie theatre, as a kitchen, as a classroom, as a vehicle or as a printing press at various points on its migration. Makandal, Cross, and Hammond hope to create an unusual presence at each environment, enticing new audiences to their unconventional displays.
Cube-Route aims to emulate, scrutinise and pay homage to the many migratory patterns that occur in diverse cultural brackets across the country. The journey, a sort of art-pilgrimage, joins the many idiosyncratic migrations it encounters along the way resulting in a brief glimpse into a dissection of South African culture.
The cube was constructed in Mpumalanga by Grace Cross, Jessie Hammond and Jaekan Coetzee. The cube will then travel with the Open Drawer Project artists to Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and thereafter to the Eastern Cape region. From the Eastern Cape the cube will move to the Klein Karoo, and conclude its migration in Cape Town mid April 2013. The project will span over a months period.
Open Drawer Projects is an artist’s collective, founded in June 2011, born out of a passion and fascination with drawing, and its fundamental ability to invent and reflect society in South Africa. We hope to expand the perceptions of what makes a drawing, by creating shows that exploit the intrinsic qualities of mark making, displayed in different contexts hoping to challenge discourses within normalised contemporary art practice. The adaptable structure of the initiative, making connections with a host of local artists and communities in each individual project, allows for public engagement and social relevance. ODP projects include; running a drawing workshop, Drawing Apparatus (2012) with high school students, performing a three night fire installation sculpture, Fire Horizon (2012) during AfrikaBurn, in Tankwa Karoo, and participating in a 24 hour Suburban Residency, Horizons (2012) with the Sober and Lonely Institute for Contemporary Art, in Johannesburg. In 2011 we facilitated and participated in the insitu studio/show, Part 1: The Drawing Room in collaboration with VANSA, at the Spin Space Gallery, Cape Town. This year we will travel to Berlin to participate in the Z/KU Residency that we were accepted into. The proposed project, ‘DIVIDE, EVIDENCE and DIVIDENDS’ will span a two-month period. Our latest project Cube-Route (2013), involves the creation and display of a mobile gallery around South Africa, facilitated by Io Makandal, Grace Cross and Jessie Hammond.
Io Makandal was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, 1987. She lives and works between Cape Town and Johannesburg.
Grace Cross was born in Harare, Zimbabwe, 1988. She lives and works in Cape Town.
Jessie Hammond was born in Johannesburg, 1988. She lives and works in Mpumalanga.
Continue to follow the journey on this site or meet us at one of the points we’ll be visiting and join in.