MADEYOULOOK through small interventions highlight the absence of knowledge access and sharing in traditional accessible public spaces and the disconnect between academia and the public it writes about. The consideration for the award is that Sermons on a Train is small and contained, and it is not prefaced with a transformative agenda. The project understands the context that it works in, and carefully places itself between clearly define conceptual dichotomies. The project understands both its intended publics: academics and public transport commuter and considers the way they come together. It also challenges the notion of public art as grand spectacle by showing an appreciation of ‘what’s there, everyday’ and highlighting the vast social distances that still exist in a city like Johannesburg. Sermon on the Train took on the fraught clash of connectedness and separation that is embodied in the train, engaged it, yet did not change it, but rather highlighted it. It explores placemaking as performative, located within the important moment of exchange and interaction between two diverse and transient publics.
The project started in 2009 as single experiment. Mokogtho and Moiloa wanted understand what would happen if academics gave a lecture on their topic of specialization, to a confined and unsolicited public. The project was developed through the Wits School of the Arts and based on the interest in the first lecture, small amount of funding was made available to support two more lectures on 2010 and the other 2011. The project hasn't continued, but is still sited as exceptional project.
All copyright belongs to Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts, Shanghai University.