Monday, November 4, 2019

Cloud Series: Behind the scenes

--4 November, 2019, Cape Town--Cloud Series, a group of composite artworks created by artist Monique Pelser, and positioned last month at transit nodes in site-specific parts of Cape Town as a public art intervention together with guerilla gallery, have led interesting second lives.

The Cloud Series artworks are of cumulus clouds, building up in different formations, that speak to themes of movement, migration and flux. They are effectively temporary installations, comprised of differing numbers of smaller images pasted onto surfaces by the artist. They are designed to be temporary works that offer a fleeting message and provocation. The artworks are ephemeral and erode over time, leaving traces of themselves and perhaps being intervened with by other visual modes and tags, creating in the process a kind of urban dialogue. Indeed, this is what has transpired.

The Cloud Series at the Salt River site was installed across a series of pillars where the work created the illusion of a cloud through which commuters entered and exited from a tunnel, at a railway station. Within days, a large notice advertising a public event for the South African Navy had been stuck over one of these cloud formations.

Another Cloud Series artwork installation site, at a freeway offramp, began to peel away after some days to reveal a graffiti tag that it was obscuring. It became more evident that the artwork is in fact part of a series of formerly erased expressions that add up to a kind of sentence along the curvature of the entire wall, which the City over time has erased with patches of dark grey paint. 

The third intervention, on a bridge, is positioned over an existing artwork that mimics these painted-over grey squares that cover up tags with a series of squares of their own, painted in the urban fabric. Cloud Series was positioned against one of these squares as backdrop, creating an artistic double play.

There are two more sites to go in this series of public art interventions by Pelser, manifested in conjunction with guerilla gallery. (See the IG feed @guerillaza).

Below are three time-lapse videos giving a behind-the-scenes glimpse of how the artist created the composite performative artwork interventions, sheet by sheet, at each site:

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