73 Juta Street Braamfontein Johannesburg South Africa, 2000
Johannesburg: 26.2041° S, 28.0473° E London: 51.5072° N, 0.1276°
Curated by Sumayya Vally and Josh Ginsburg
July 2 – October 8, 2022 A4 Arts Foundation 23 Buitenkant St, District Six, Cape Town
Customs takes its cue from a series of photographs taken by Sumayya Vally in Saudi Arabia in 2021. The images record a number of roadside mosques of varying architectural structure and opacity, forming sacred and ceremonial space. Vally writes: "I became interested in how the community of itinerant users were encouraged, by the structures themselves, to read them and make use of them. They were infrastructures for gathering, and further, inherent in these same infrastructures were invitations to participate in their making and upkeep." Customs wonders after practices of maintenance, both static and dynamic. What is it that invites us to use, and to be of use? Accompanying the exhibition is a wayfinder, offering reflections on the artworks as well as prompts for visitors to enact or consider, as they interact with Customs.
When walking through a doorway
touch the right post, with your right hand, at head height –
consider the room you are leaving
consider the room you are entering
consider the gap between the two.
(J.G.) Yoko Ono’s Mend Piece (1966/2018) installed in the Reading Room as part of Customs carries its own instructions from the artist for visitors to participate in ‘mending’ irreparably broken pieces of cups and saucers, making these anew. Mend with wisdom
mend with love
mend your heart.
It will mend the earth
at the same time.
Sumayya Vally Josh Ginsburg
Dor Guez Yoko Ono Steve McQueen Kapwani Kiwanga Igshaan Adams Frida Orupabo Ezrom Legae Nolan Oswald Dennis Nairy Baghramian Binelde Hyrcan Peter Clarke Willem Boshoff Moshekwa Langa George Hallett
Design by Ben Johnson
Writers Sara de Beer Lucienne Bestall Lily van Rensburg Margot Dower Editor Sara de Beer