Video

Chandelier

Steven Cohen

2001, 16:37 minutes, colour, English

TAPECODE 608.02

Chandelier looks at the disparity of circumstances in South Africa
The Artist is dressed in an antique French Chandelier reconstructed as a wearable tutu and capable of lighting itself which is then taken to a community of homeless people living in the harshest circumstances in cardboard houses along the railway line of Johannesburg City.
The work explores Europe and Africa, Black and White, Rich and Poor, Safe and Dangerous, 'us' and 'them'.
Unexpectedly, on the Day of the uninvited public intervention, the government workers, the 'Red Ants' Destroy the homeless community settlement, adding a poignant element to the already bizarre and surreal circumstances.
Reactions of the members of the homeless community vary, some are angry, some delighted, some puzzled - one woman sings the National Anthem and decries her circumstances, which is what the work is really about - harsh and bizarre social circumstances of South Africa.

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