Art Against Xenophobia: Rebecca Davis Speaks to Michael Elion About His Interactive Freedom Day Sculpture
Rebecca Davis recently spoke to artist Michael Elion who revisited his “Perceiving Freedom” sculpture on Freedom Day this year to reflect the ongoing protest against xenophobia in South Africa.
Davis explains that Elion erected the pair of sunglasses at the Sea Point promenade in 2014 “as a tribute to Nelson Mandela”, but the meaning went awry and the sculpture was vandalised. This year he returned to give the work of art new meaning.
“I just wanted to add another good story into the narrative of this country,” Elion told Davis, author of Best White and Other Anxious Delusions. This time around the artist invited people to share slogans of their own and to express their feelings about xenophobia.
Read the article:
On Monday, Elion and a small team spent the morning on the Promenade re-installing lenses with a vinyl covering. On the sea-facing side of the lenses, the words “One Africa/ One Love” are printed. On the back: “My Freedom Is/ Your Freedom”. Pens have been tied to the sunglasses to allow members of the public to add their thoughts on the lenses.
“I just wanted to add another good story into the narrative of this country,” Elion said, after completing the installation of the lenses. “What this is, it’s a gesture. I’m an artist and I want to make my contribution … The idea is to create a sense of unity, a sense of social cohesion, get everyone involved, let them contribute a positive narrative.”
- Best White and Other Anxious Delusions by Rebecca Davis
Find this book with BOOK Finder!
» read article