The convenience of having art brought to our screens comes with conditions; the biggest being the inconsistency in the visual depiction that appears on different devices. The Cape Town Art Fair delivered something of incredible value; art in a more certain form.
The work on display offered a level reception. How we digest and relate to pieces will always be scattered, yet; the size, the height, the colour; all of these physical aspects became a stunningly similar experience on a really big scale.
The benefits of a virtual exhibition are obvious, and not being disputed here.
Not only is accessibility often more open; the online space definitely gives the opportunity of more affordable entry.
But, we now live in a world where you can be sitting in the comfort of your own home, and your own pyjamas, viewing beautiful art, as well as potentially networking and socialising.
But, to be in this large open space, filled to its brims with a vast range of art, was mesmerizing. I spent twenty four hours across four days appreciating the overwhelming effect of being so deeply stimulated. I left, each time, with a happy headache.
As much as I am majorly inspired by visual art; I am in the copy world. This year’s fair was my attempt to submerge myself much deeper into the South African art sphere. I have a way to go with recognising big names, understanding key terms, and being able to recognise cultural influences. But, this year’s fair had an undeniable energy.
We were gathered together to acknowledge, and admire, the result of differing perspectives taking shape in intentional mediums. We collectively digested beauty, and pain, and voices given volume.
The physical engagement stretched beyond standing in front of a piece of work solid in its chosen display. Unlike scrolling over an image online, or attending a virtual installation; the art stayed put for the entire fair.
Attendees were able to walk up to these paintings as many times as they liked.
We could catch glimpses of sculptures when passing between stalls. We could see pieces from varied angles. We could watch others’ reactions, and swap perceptions and takeaways.
And, we could meet and talk to the creators, as well as celebrate beside them as the sold markers were secured in place.
The Investec Cape Town Art Fair delivered a weekend of enrichment; an offer to immerse oneself in a constructed sensory universe. Whether you explored row by row, or like myself, traced impulsive steps until you stopped seeing something new; you were faced with art that changed you.