In February and March 2010 the Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA) is hosting two exhibitions that explore Cape Town’s structures. Through a cross-disciplinary range of approaches, the exhibitions focus on the interaction between space, architecture and identity, and raise questions about the future development or decay of the city.

Third Worlds: Model Cities is a collaborative exhibition built around an abstract city of Cape Town that uses fine art, architecture, language and literature to critically explore the urban landscape and how it is constructed. Made possible by a Donald Gordon Creative Arts Award, this exhibition incorporates architectural models, photographs, an isiXhosa glossary, text and multimedia. Local settlements – such as Kosovo and Kuwait – are featured as are their ‘other’ namesakes, building a connection between different landscapes.

The collaborators are Tessa Dowling (Professor of South African Languages at UCT); Harry Garuba (Professor of English and African Studies at UCT); Svea Josephy (photographer and Senior Lecturer at Michaelis School of Fine Art); Noëleen Murray (an architect and academic affiliated with the Centre for Humanities Research at the University of the Western Cape and previously with the Centre for African Studies at UCT) and architect Carson Smuts, along with assistance from John Coetzee, Lorenzo Nassimbeni, Justin Brett and Shafiek Matthews.

“The interdisciplinary research to investigate land and identity in a changing South Africa allows cities and built structures to be critiqued in a way that would not possible through a solely architectural approach,” said artist Svea Josephy.

Proposal for a new city, the same as the old one is an installation by Donald Gordon Creative Arts Fellow and fine artist Jonah 

Sack. The central element of the installation is a newspaper-format publication based on Sack’s drawings of Woodstock, Paarden Eiland, Voortrekker Road and other areas of Cape Town, in which the city is represented as abandoned and derelict. The publication depicts Cape Town as a made and unmade city, as a city in the process of being constructed and simultaneously dismantled. The publication will be displayed with an installation of platforms that have been constructed to evoke collapsed scaffolding, or a series of structures on the edge of disintegration.
Proposal for a new city, the same as the old one and Third Worlds: Model Cities are at the Michaelis Gallery from 18 February to 19 March. Michaelis Gallery is on UCT’s Hiddingh Campus, Orange Street, Cape Town and is open from 10.00 to 16.00 Monday to Friday. Entrance is free.

Both exhibitions were made possible by funding from GIPCA, which was established to enhance the arts at the University of Cape Town and facilitate a broad range of collaborative and interdisciplinary projects that use the arts to explore culture and knowledge.

For more information about GIPCA and the exhibitions contact Niek de Greef at GIPCA on (021) 480 7156 or email or visit

Start: 18 Feb ’10

End: 19 Mar ’10

Cost: Free


Organizer: Michaelis Galleries

Phone: +27 21 480 7170

Venue: Michaelis Galleries 

Phone: +27 21 480 7170 

Address: Google Map UCT Hiddingh Campus, 31 Orange Street, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa