PaísÁfrica do Sul
Axis Johannesburg, explores the formation of an artist’s identity in Johannesburg as achieved through his embodied practice of place-making. The spatial history of Johannesburg began as a mining camp which then developed into a colonial town. The architecture and urban planning of the city was also used to separate the races during apartheid. The gold rush and apartheid formed contradictory and conflicting foundations that the city was built on. Because of these complex layers it is still difficult to form rootedness in this place. In this film, Axis Johannesburg, the main character, Dirk Bahmann, who is an architect and artist, searches for rootedness in Johannesburg. The film follows his flanerie as he searches for motifs that represent his notions of being in Johannesburg. These motifs include, indigenous highveld grass, from the small farm where he grew up on the outskirts of Johannesburg, his move to the inner city and the motif of the skyline, and his fascination with the mining headgear that symbolises Johannesburg’s centre of origin. The locations that he moves through represent questions that the artist has asked regarding his identity and search for rootedness in Johannesburg. In each location, the question he has asked is answered through the representation of the artwork that he has produced. The artwork is overlaid into the scenes which represent fragments of the artist’s thoughts as he wanders and searches.