On the evening of 8 March Dr George Mahashe opened U406 Pavillion Prototype 2. Staff and students have seen it emerge in the last six months from an empty parking lot to a site specific installation and interactive art work. This immersive camera obscura interacts Iziko Bertram House, Old medical building, the sky, Mount Nelson’s façade and the Msisni tree - catalogued U406. According to Mahashe “These images, drawn from a camera obscura and framed by the many triangles making up the structure, are fleeting and do not repeat, so every encounter differs depending on the time of day or season”.
The msinsi is significant because it brings to focus the idea of dingaka, who are placed by legend as liable to be buried under such trees, with all their technology/implements. At the same time across the garden from the timber pavilion, a Khelobedu material culture object associated with Dikoma, overlooks the scene, perhaps as a reminder that there are many ways to know and constitute a space of learning.
Staff, students and visitors gathered in the golden late afternoon to listen to sound and music by Sam Fortuin and Sisonke Papu and some great food, wine, companionship and celebration. IZIKO staff had opened up Bertram House and visitors were encouraged to interact with part of the installation on the second floor, looking across the new pavilion.
George says “As is the nature of a prototype, the pavilion will change and morph over the next few months as we troubleshoot and chase after productive tangents invited by the process of realising the pavilion”
Students are invited to keep visiting to see its progress. The exhibition is a work in progress site and care is advised when visiting the installation.