The future: relation or transaction?

The students were invited to the award ceremony in Sambil of a coffee drawing competition they participated in.  We took advantage of this opportunity by doing a public class on location. The topic was getting to know your relational vocabulary. 

Sambil is a shopping mall that has  opened only recently. It is part of the Sambil chain of shopping malls. It is a conglomerate of companies belonging to Gustavo Cisneros, the second richest man in South America, and the richest in Venezuela. Among the companies in the conglomerate are opposition channel Venevision, Coca-Cola Femsa, and the Miss Venezuela Pageant.

Sambil Curacao was one of the big promises for the future of Curacao made in the 2011 election campaign by Gerrit Schotte. He won the election, but rezined after allegationa of fraud. He is still part of the parlement and is expected to win the next elections in 2016. There is a trial pending against him.

Sambil is the first big shopping mall on Curaçao. To sensitize the students to these kind of public spaces we ask them to do a little rresearch. We explain to them the difference between social relations, transactions and rules and ask them to map the space with these terms.

  • You can teach SAMBIL!

    On arrival we ask whether it is ok to give a class herre. No problem. There is no objection. You cannot eat your own food but are welcome to teach!

  • transactions

    Half of the shopping mall is closed, because of lack of tenants. Even in the part that is open a third of the shops is empty. To camouflage this there are lots of pictures and brightly painted walls.

  • entertainment

    In the mall you can rent scootmobils to transport yourself with. There is also a little train that takes you around the mall.

  • relations

    The seating in the mall is like at home. Just ad a tv and a bag of crisps. There are happy smiley people pictured.

  • transactions

    Most shops sell cloths or food. The problem is that there is hardly anything bought. In all the shops people are staring at their phones.
    There is also art for sale. Not the arty art but more the decorative style.

  • performance

    And of course now and then a real one minute sculpture pops up.

public space: WE THE DOCTOR

When walking through Willemstad all of sudden we noticed big pills lying by the side of the road. An artwork? They turned out to be big concrete public seats. And a perfect  subject for a project.

After the seminar teacher MJ wanted to continue on the topic of we and the public space so we introduced the pills as a starting point for students to work on.

  • 5 w's

    Now that every body has agreed upon working in public space we get to the next step: make it real. First is research with the 5 W's WHo what wherre when why and how of course.

  • What?

    Nodobody knows who made it, but everybody says it has been there their whole life. So at least 25 years old. Leomar wants to go to the National Archive to find out more: is ther a maker, is there a history.
    As well: who is the owner and does the maintenance. We decide to contact Danique from D.O.W, public services. WHo also was a valued member of the seminar.

  • in the wild

    Just behind Capriles Clinic where IBB is located there are many pills in the wild. Some pristine, some tagged: HLFBLD it says. Meaning halfblood. That already ties in nicely with the subject of one of the students. We notice that the gap in the pill is often used for storage.

  • 5 friends.

  • 6 people standing

  • and it has transformed to a pedestal for perrformance.

  • Size, metric

    The pill is carefullly measured up. It is about a 1.10 meter in size, 45 centimeter high. Has a circumverance of almost 4 meter and an estimated weight of 350 liters of concrete. It is lifted by sticking two pipes in the wholes in the side that go all the way through.

  • Size, social

    Three strangers of the same age/class

  • two complete strangers.

  • fIeld research

    Get to know the space and the object. We made a tour to Punda to have a trial run on what working iin public space is.

  • on topic

    Earlier the students had been working on the topic they would like to adress. These varied form 'slut shaming", 'religious hypocrisy ' to 'inter-racial racism".

  • different roles

    In turn the students took on different roles: doctor, making the pill.

  • ....

    Observer, watching how the action had effect on the life in public space.

  • Interviewer, asking people on the street how and what they liked to cure in Curacao

  • They were reporter, documenting the action, while taking care not to beccome part of the action.