Sweeping Maputo, 1998
30 day performance. Single channel video projection on a loop 9'x 12'. Installation dimensions variable. This work has been performed in seven different locations.
Extract from a conference paper delivered at The National Museum of Film, Photography and Television, Bradford, UK, 2001.
This performance presents the viewer with a space of contradiction. Footprints are wiped away by systematic, meditative sweeping which is a seemingly meaningless act. Synchronous to this act the bristles of the broom comb new textures into the sand, drawing a line down the coast.
There are many implications in this gesture most notably, though, are questions around spatial neutrality, and the remote possibility of assuming any form of cultural impartiality. At first it might seem like an act of erasure, an elimination of identity, which it is, but at the same time it is an attempt at manufacturing space. It implies intermediacy, a spatial dimension constantly in flux or a grey area. It is a cathartic rendering of the landscape that entails cleaning, wiping, sweeping...
... I have in this work attempted to expose fragile elements of a corrupt culture. I am interested in the way that cultural conventions overlap, and the manner in which the layering of these influences exist all around us. As our histories increasingly intersect, our stories elucidate new vectors of overlap in a world of unimaginable information and exchange. It is this area that I’m interested in, a point where identities fuse, become plural, and a space in-between is formed. Somewhere that resonates with the loaded complexity of history and implies complicity. I am speaking here of an emotional space I am not always sure of myself. And when I am not sure I clean, wipe, and sweep.