and Niq Mhlongo mark three roofs

Jozi Art Projects

Johannesburg/March 2009

REMOTEWORDS and writer Niq Mhlongo mark three roofs in Johannesburg curated by jozi art:lab.

REMOTEWORDS (Achim Mohné & Uta Kopp) is a long-term art project that installs messages on roofs and, by means of virtual programs like Google Earth, gives them worldwide coverage. The messages are mounted in durable form as giant, bright red letters. The site and the message are conceptually a semantic unit.

Three roofs in different spots of the city – the posh suburb of Melville, the difficult and violent district of Doornfontein and at last the writer’s home in Soweto are the places to send out messages by South African writer Niq Mhlongo into the world.

Jozi art:lab enabled this artwork as a collaboration of a visual artist group and a writer, both working together to explore the spirit of Johannesburg and its different districts and suburbs. What is the idea of a place, how can you express the idea of a place in a short message that will give passers by and connoisseurs both a clue about what makes this city a special one.

Johannesburg’s history – anytime since the foundation in 1886 people deliberately moved and were moved, constant change seems to be the motor of the city and its people. The most interesting point is how people have coped with forceful removal and neglection and the constant search for a place in their city.

„MSAWAWA“ (tsotsitaal for Soweto)
Private home of Niq Mhlongo
Soweto, Johannesburg, South AfricaRoof size: 39 square meters

jozi art:lab
Melville, Johannesburg, South Africa
Roof Size: 45 square meters

MABONENG (Place of light)
Arts on Main
Doornfountain, Johannesburg, South Africa
Roof Size: 250 square meters