Hotel Yeoville was a participatory public art project, conceptualised and directed by artist Terry Kurgan, and based online and in the public library of the old suburb of Yeoville in Johannesburg’s inner city. Kurgan developed the project in collaboration with a diverse group of people working across a range of disciplines. It comprised a website, a photo wall and a series of booths in which members of the public were invited to offer stories about themselves through mapping, video, photography and text. Over the course of a year, Hotel Yeoville came to represent an intimate and multi-layered document of a segment of this diverse community, most of whom are immigrants from across the African continent. Its stories are a small but unusual record of the complexities of everyday life in a rapidly evolving city. The book presents new critical perspectives on contemporary artistic research and practice, and is a remarkable documentation of the complex negotiations—between artists, residents, consultants and audience—that brought the work into being.
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