by Ares Kalandides

Talking about public art in a city of such social tensions as Johannesburg is not straightforward. On the contrary I find that, permanent art, mostly in the form of sculptures often seems out of place, in the midst of such poverty and misery. My question irritates Stephen Hobbs, who together with his partner Markus Neustetter and their joint Venture “The Trinity Sessions” has been appointed chief curators for public art for a period of three years. “Why do we ask about the impact of art when it’s in public space, but take it for granted as soon as it’s in a museum?” As in many other cities around the world 1% of the construction budget for public buildings in Johannesburg is supposed to go to art. Sharon Lewis, who heads the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA), explains:

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