This platform is an urban experiment founded and managed by Kim Gurney, initiated in its early days with the help of artist and curator Neil Nieuwoudt. guerilla gallery began life in Johannesburg inner city; it was inspired by scouting for unlikely, disused or make-shift spaces that could potentially be turned to artistic ends. The platform in 2013 moved along with its founder to Cape Town but is mobile in nature. The impetus remains to encourage imaginative responses to the urban environment by activating alternative sites and formats and making these accessible to new audiences.
guerilla gallery references in its origins the global ‘pop-up’ cultural phenomenon, which harnesses unusual venues to host transient events that are often interdisciplinary and experimental in nature. Specifically, the idea struck during a London visit in a post-financial crisis world, passing a familiar restaurant that had failed. In its place was a contemporary art installation run by a roving co-operative. At the same time, a potential Johannesburg location to host a project space fell away and the solution was borne to create a nomadic platform instead that would better suit its conceptual fluidity.
Each iteration asks something very different of the platform and the intention is to stay free, open and flexible to allow artists room to breathe and give tricky projects a chance to find traction. guerilla gallery has a lowfi ethos that takes on board slow time, soft touch, situated knowledges and second-chance.