Very Real time is a South-African programme looking to offer local and foreign visual artists the opportunity to live and work in Cape Town for a month. Very Real Time provides artists with the opportunity to produce intimate, personal works of art that are rarely sponsored by other institutes.
Very Real Time's residency places emphasis on project work itself, workshops, exhibitions and artists' talks as well as on personal interaction between artists and between artists and the communities of local people. The activities in the framework of this two-year project take place as part of the broader theme “Going Inside Time”. This theme explores the perception of time in our daily lives.
In Antonioni’s films of the 60′s (L’avventura, Eclipse and La Notte in particular), he created a poetic visual language to evoke an era in which the accelerating rhythms of the capitalist model had led to a loss of meaning in modern life, and a crisis in the intimate realms and relationships of the films’ protagonists. 50 years later, his films still resonate, even if a great deal has also changed since Antonioni’s day; the rise of the Internet, mounting oil prices and the end of the ‘fast-burn’ culture, increased global movement and the pervasive ‘universality’ in media languages and codes.
Zygmunt Bauman also writes about the phenomenon of ‘liquid modernity’, in which our institutions no longer last long enough to become solid and durable forms which the individual can use as a frame of reference on which to build a life path. The result is the need for the individual to reassess and improvise a path in an ever-changing terrain, largely unprotected by state or traditional structures. Our ability to create our own meaning is reliant on our ability to ‘swim’ and intuitively navigate the local and virtual forms which surround us. One of the curious affects of this ‘liquid’ realm is the inter-linking of personal and public, local and global and the inevitable displacement which exists between these two realms – between the significance of a phenomenon in the global realm, and what meaning or consequences this phenomenon possesses in its local and personal context. The fact that for many, engagement on the mediated virtual level is usurping direct physical involvement implies the possibility of a gradual effacement of local history, politics and culture by the strategies of the global market. In this layered reality, Very Real Time 3, poses the question, what does it mean to engage in the present today? What is the relevance of global art travel in this context and in what ways can artistic practice engage, interfere, manipulate and rearrange our perceptions of daily experience to help us to be better swimmers.