A Temporary Admission

Words: Toni Clayton
Photographs: Leila CHristensen

IMG_8334-horzBaker’s exhibition looks to create a space which brings both the past and present together. She creates a “performative” space, which forces viewers to interact with the piece, which in turn makes them a part of the work. The work largely portrays Baker’s personal experiences, as well as a historical narrative which combines both the past and present into a single space. In this particular exhibition Baker brings to the life the historical significance of the 1820 Settlers impact on South Africa today.

The exhibition has several aspects to it, having a large artefact shipped from London to the Port Elizabeth harbor and video projection displaying the on goings at a harbor. This however is strange and distorted, the viewer is unclear as what is going on until the end of the video where the harbor is seen. The video is artefact from another time combining the past and the present “temporary admission”.

The artefact is a basket that was used to transporter or lift humans, between ships and smaller boats out at sea. This technology at the time was used before the development of harbours. When in use the basket was unstable and uncomfortable. The exhibition is able to bring this feeling alive, as when viewing the artefact one has to crouch down through a wall into a cornered off strange room to examine the artefact and its intricacies .