About the Bag Factory
The Bag Factory is a non-profit organisation promoting the visual arts through a broad range of activities. Both emerging and established artists rent affordable studios in a cultural environment that encourages diversity and cross-fertilisation of ideas and practice. The Bag Factory is a converted factory with approximately 20 studios, two residency studios, a public gallery and workshop spaces.
About the residency
Bag Factory invited Kathrin Böhm, Andreas Lang and Ottillie Ventiroso, of the art and architecture collective public works, to Johannesburg, to help create a research-based strategy for the Bag Factory’s facilities. public works proposed the project Make Shift in collaboration with 26’10 South Architects based in Johannesburg. The programme was a participatory process that involved tenants of the the Bag Factory as well as local community members, articulating a brief for future changes to the Bag Factory.
The residency was divided into two phases; an initial two-week research phase in March 2005 together with their nine students from the Architectural Association in London, and a second and final phase to present, discuss and implement the proposals, from July to September 2005.
During their stay public works set up an open office in the entrance area of the Bag Factory, where ideas for future changes to the building and the supporting arguments were collected and discussed with the users and visitors to the building. Results from the first phase were made public during an evening presentation at the Bag Factory. Upon their return to the UK the students gave a presentation of the outcomes at Gasworks in an event entitled Speculations.
The second phase of the residency involved Böhm, Lang and Ventiroso continuing the research as a series of interventions. A project involved Lang, Böhm and 24 locally-based artists making interventions in and with the park, markets and taxi ranks. Makeshift examined the contradictions and connections between the fixity of the Bag Factory and the relative flux characterising its immediate context. Each artist was given a production budget of R100 to work in a public and interactive way, with limited time and resources. The interventions have been taking place throughout the month of August, in a variety of locations. Each project was documented and reconfigured in the Gallery.
This project prompted an event at Gasworks entitled Hosting Informalities organised in conjunction with public works, which took place on 4th and 5th November 2006. The event involved a series of presentations and debates with practitioners from Johannesburg and London discussing the nature and quality of informal networks in relation to organisational, architectural and curatorial strategies.
About the Bag Factory