PORTALS, an exhibition by Scott Eric Williams & Friends, combines the media of wheatpaste, woven shoelace sculpture, performance, zine and video.
The exhibition imagines a scenario where the power to insert portals into public space resides in the hands of someone as lowly as a municipal worker or manual labourer. At its heart the exhibition is futurist and urbanist in that it uses an afro-speculative scenario to explore possibilities of equitable access to public space by those who access the cities as predominantly cheap labour.
In keeping with the artists’ usual mode of working the exhibition is collaborative and includes several collaborators. Amongst the collaborators are participants of the “POORTE” youth workshop who draw from the histories of the Dwarsriver Valley to imagine what portals would look like to them. The questions around what it sounds like when a portal is activated are tackled by Grant Jurius and Charles Palm in two separate sonic explorations. A dramatization of the insertion of the portal is performed by the dancer, Thandiwe Mqokeli, who wears a garment made in partnership with Lesiba Mabitsela.
Above all else, the exhibition is the first in a series of activations which imagine positive reconfigurations of realities by encouraging agency towards positive possibilities.