We follow up with Chris Auret, Capetonian artist who began the crowdfunding project, #1000PrintsNoFootPrints, a campaign aimed at creating a sustainable world where our human footprint is decreased. How does he plan to do this, you may ask? With an exchange of art for donations where all money collected goes towards the funding of a creative retreat on the east coast of SA, where all are welcome.
Chris, please describe your performance piece, and tell us why you’ve decided to take a vow of silence and present yourself in the gallery?
To show my dedication towards the cause, my faith in the power of community, draw attention to the campaign, as well as to personally challenge myself and my commitments – I will be taking a vow of absolute silence and living in the gallery window throughout the 10 days of the physical exhibition. Essentially, I will be a homeless man on display for the world.
I will remain confined to the window, even if the target (R1m) has been reached, practicing a Vipassana-type silent meditation schedule of roughly 12 hours meditation, and live-painting a piece to be auctioned off at the end of the exhibition. There will also be a live web-cam of the performance online.
By housing the space in this way, I also believe the doors are open to view the exhibition at any time, day or even night, where I may freely roam the space, although keeping my silence. I hope it will also clear my mind for the last week of the campaign.
Who are the contributing artists?
The idea of community is very important in the ultimate vision of the campaign. The contributing artists are a community of friends, artists and strangers from all over the world, who have been moved by the vision of the project and have generously responded by submitting prints of their own unique art. These include a diverse range of media from photography, to illustration, drawings and so on. Contributors vary from experienced artists to people who have never felt comfortable showcasing their work before.
Other collaborative artistic events will be taking place in the Muti Gallery space over the course of the 10 day exhibition such as live music, sound journeys, independent films screenings, environmentally conscious talks, meditations, yoga classes, poetry and doodle evenings. This will hosted very much by the community, while I enjoy simply housing the space for those conversations.
As an artist, my personal work has always been a reflection of my frustrations, realisations and my solutions, as my eyes have opened through a number of situations and decisions. I hope to constantly challenge where my thoughts come from as I leave behind an ‘ideal city life’ towards what is very much lacking and often seen as a ‘downgrade’. I have become aware of my luck and my privilege and my role as an artist in this lifetime. I have become aware to my own personal need to be in nature, for nature. And I need to act on it. This is my way to share that knowledge with others to experience; through my own personal paintings, photographs, films and sounds channeled towards good intention, hopefully stirring something. And I get to learn through the processes of its creation and it’s reception.
A few member of the 1000 Prints Team (left to right, Chris Auret, Nixiwaka Stirling, Cassandra Hellberg & Nick Burton-Moore
What are your dreams for future of this project?
My dream is to turn this into more dreams, I suppose. I am an artist at heart. A dreamer. This is a launch pad towards something I believe in and it allows me to dream further. I have a dream to create a solution for us to live in a more sustainable way with the earth. And be the change I want to see in the world, and all of those incredibly truthful clichés we so often dismiss. I hope that I turns to we. And we hope that by initiating this drive to change the way in which we live among our community of friends, inspires a spark of action among others, and eventually gathers a community, which we hope will continue to grow.
For more information about the campaign and how to make a donation visit, Chris Auret or Indiegogo
The exibition ends 23 October, and you may make a donation until 31 October
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