africa projects

to return to the African projects menu
click on the logo


to return to the gallery's (UK) website
click on the AUGUST art logo

AUGUST art logo
Under Construction with Aeneas Wilder

Under Construction

Aeneas Wilder (UK/Japan)
with District 6 Museum, and the University of Cape Town architecture school 2nd years

part of Infecting the City festival 2013 (a curated public arts festival in Cape Town)
12 - 16 March 2013



about the art installation site - the District 6 Museum
The inhabitants of Cape Town's District 6 were forcibly removed and homes and buildings were destroyed during the apartheid-era. Today, it still stands mostly empty, nearly 20 years since apartheid's end, as land usage continue to be contested by former residents or their descendants and city planners tasked with the needs of the rest of the city.

The District 6 Museum is less a conventional museum than a repository of collective memory, holding photos of the neighbourhood as it was, displayed along side recovered street signs and artefacts of some of its former residents, with a large hand-drawn street map covering most of the central hall's floor. It is also a locus of the debate about the (im)possibility of making restitutions for a disrupted past, and the question of from whence a future might start?

Images of the District 6 Museum, from left to right, central hall, photo of neighbourhood as was, close up of map on the floor of the hall



District 6 Museum District 6 Museum District 6 Museum

about the art installation
Aeneas Wilder's work replaced the District 6 Museum's map for the duration of the Festival. It was an installation made of 2,000+ small units of wood, which were not affixed but self-supporting and balancing. The installation's shape roughly followed the outline of the district and grew organically in shape until it reached c6 metres high and c4 metres in diameter. It took 5 days to build, in the presence of Museum visitors and Festival goers.

Upon its completion, at the end of the Festival, Wilder ceremoniously kicked it, and with a very loud clatter, destroyed his work.

Photography Lorna Daniels, courtesy GIPCA


Installation day 2 installation of Under Construction day 2 Installation Under Construction day 2
Installation Under Construction day 6 Knock down Under Construction day 6 Knock down Under Construction day 6

about the part 2 of the project
The 2nd year architecture students of University of Cape Town designed and used Wilder's wood units to build a water-service station in an informal settlement or "township", Imizamo Yethu, just outside of a well-to-do suburb of Cape Town.

Images of the water-service station, from left to right: before, after build (with roof covering and mosaic floor), and close up of the roof using the wood pieces


Under Construction part 2 site before Under Construction part 2 site after Under Construction part 2 detail of roof over water service station in township

vimeo of Aeneas Wilder's installation and kick-down

Aeneas Wilder's website

District 6 Museum