© 2005 by Elfriede Dreyer

Utopia map, 2009 

 

During the 1960s European and American vanguard artists began to create art in response to the ideologies of

institutions, perceived as places of “cultural confinement”, but since the 1990s it has become fashionable to have critical discussions within the confines of institutions, thereby making the institution not only the problem but also the solution. As the administrative capital of South Africa, Pretoria probably experienced the onslaught of local politics in much more pronounced way. Utopia map entails an aerial view of the eastern CBD area in Pretoria encompassing several institutions such as the University of Pretoria and the English and Afrikaans boys’ and girls’ schools; the sport stadium Loftus Versfeld; and the surrounding suburban areas. This geographical map has always been a critically significant cultural hub where ideologies have been playing out and citizens bear the scars of past utopian construction as well as of the impact of the new ideologies of the current ruling party. The colour green has been used in both works in reminiscence of a paradisiacal ‘green’ zone. Exhibited on Dystopia, 2008 - 2010