The Wrong Side of the River Tour
Multimedia intervention & performance
Spier Wine Estate - Stellenbosch
With Doing it for Daddy
All photographs by Esti Strydom and Paul Grose Spier Contemporary Art Award 2007
For the 2007 'Spier Contemporary' competition and exhibition, the collective Doing it for Daddy comprising Renée Holleman, Bettina Malcomess and Linda Stupart, invited exhibition visitors to leave the gallery space for an historical tour of the Spier estate where fiction and history intertwined:
'An umpire’s chair stands like a relic inside an art gallery, the lines of a court still visible on a surface that was meant for outdoor weather. Just on the horizon of the estate the silhouette of a township comes into view through a pair of opera glasses. A box of letters and watercolours is discovered under a bridge, yellowed by time. A curiously marked lovers' bench leads you from your path into a clearing, where you are enveloped by trees and the sound of water. Red and yellow ribbons mark a tree to resemble the licks of flames. Twelve wine barrels are arranged beneath a slave bell, unfamiliar names etched into their iron bands. A row boat built for the ocean is moored to an island in the middle of a manmade dam.
Through these interventions, the traces of the minor histories written out of the official narratives of the pristine wine growing region of Stellenbosch become visible once again. Actual historical events that took place in the early colonial history of the Cape and during Apartheid are connected to sites on the estate, and real characters prompt our fictional narratives.
A map and guided tours provide visitors with the opportunity to discover these constructed histories through seven strategic sites, and to consider the fiction inherent in the narratives of time and space.