Desmond Zeederberg’s installation at Red Eye Art.Red Eye Art was an innovative and exciting project aimed at promoting fresh, underground art in the City of Durban. Taking place quarterly, the event also aimed to reclaim the inner-city. The emphasis at a Red Eye Art event was on performance art, with dancers, DJ’s and bands taking over the main gallery. Smaller rooms usually showcased installation pieces, while the main foyer was jammed to capacity with drinking-talking-laughing crowds surging towards the bar.
“Red Eye, being a one night event, lends itself to experimenting with one-off performance pieces. This is born out of the frustration of trying to work as a professional contemporary artist in South African society. But I think Red Eye is an energetic and creative concept in response to the plight that contemporary art finds itself in South Africa. It offers young artists involved within all the fields of the arts, an open forum to express themselves,” says artist Clinton De Menezes.
For the last several years the event hoovered up the cobwebs from the skeletons of art and honed the blade of Durban Culture to a razor-sharp edge.
“We are trying to promote the inner city and we want to bring people together in the CBD, and at the same time, create an awareness of the arts,” Carol Brown said. Red Eye gave artists an opportunity to express themselves in a way that does not inhibit them; by “bringing the street into the gallery and the gallery into the street”, art was made accessible to people from all walks of life.
Ashley Jewnarain, a fine artist, said that this was the perfect platform for artists to display their work. “For me, it allows for expression in any form, no matter how extreme it may be.” Jewnarain feels that Red Eye played a vital role in that its organisers understood the changing face of art and are able to accommodate evolution.
“In this day and age, we need to learn tolerance and understand each other on a common level, and this, I feel, is what it is all about.”
Red Eye Art closed in 2007 and re-opened in 2009.