Up and Down – Bekkersdal, Gauteng and Masiphumelele, Western Cape

Up and Down aims to create an experience of participation somewhere between sport and artistic site-specific interventions. Bandoma and Mbikayi aim to build two soccer pitches, one in Gauteng and one in the Western Cape. Playing with the metaphor of the ‘level playing field’, they will be traditional soccer fields with a difference: one will be built on a hill and the other in a valley with the fields conforming to the shape of the landscape. The project intends to foster dialogue between foreign nationals living in the town and local residents through soccer matches on these pitches.

UP and Down is one of the diverse projects supported and initiated by the Visual Art Network in South Africa (VANSA). UP and DOWN is runned by Maurice Mbikayi and Myself It's actually still in its research step as we didn't yet get all funding required for its realisation.However for the research funding we got we run two different workshops one in Bekkeersdal-Gauteng(Down)and another one in Masipumelele-Western Cape(DOWN).

In May 2010, VANSA put out a call for proposals for the project "Two Thousand reason to live in a small Town" and Ten Reasons to live in a Small Town, with a deadline for submissions in August. A series of project briefing and proposal writing workshops were held across the during the course of June and July. Please visit http://www.vansa.co.za/2010-reasons-to-live-in-a-small-town-submission-guidelines-1/
to find out more about the brief for the project.

A large number of exceptional proposals were received, and we would like to thank all who engaged with the project concept. A total of seven projects were finally chosen by the curatorial team VANSA convened for the project, comprised of Nontobeko Ntombela, Rat Western, Rike Sitas, Dorothee Kreutzfeldt and Joseph Gaylard. VANSA has also made available smaller project development commissions against four proposals that were felt to show substantial potential.

In October 2010, we convened a weekend workshop involving all of the commissioned artists and the curatorial team, aimed at sharing ideas, building a ‘community of practice’ and putting in place practical plans for the realization of projects. Kindly hosted by the Nirox Foundation, the weekend was a great success, opening up lots of new possibilities and ideas for all involved.

For ongoing updates, insights and images related to the project posted by the artists and curators, visit: http://www.vansa2010reasons.blogspot.com/