The South African – Austrian Studio 2014


Final report

Between February 12th 2014 and February 25th 2014 two South African and two Austrian artists came together to work in a group on the subject "heroes".

Is was Stompie Seliwe, Sipho Gwala, Walter Stach and Wolf Werdigier.

The subject "heroes" should open the discussion on the socio-political background of South Africa in the widest possible sense. There are political heroes, but also political drawbacks and there are heroes of the everyday life, but also troubles and humiliation.

Stompie Seliwe developed a series of collage paintings, Sipho Gwala applied stencil like wall painting as used in street art, Walter Stach developed a screen with symbols and names of heroes and Wolf Werdigier concentrated on the documents of Truth and Reconciliation Commissions.

South African Austrian Studio 2014 a Stompie Seliwe


South African Austrian Studio 2014 i Sipho Gwala


South African Austrian Studio 2014 g Walter Stach


2 Wolf Werdigier


These different approaches have been presented in an exhibition in 208 Foxstreet, third floor, Maboneng, Johannesburg between Sunday, February 23rd and Tuesday, February 25th.

An overview of the exhibition can be seen in the video. During the opening of the exhibition a group of musicians and dancers were invited, to guide visitors from the arts on main place in Maboneng to the exhibition space.


A short vignette of the opening of the Walter Strach, Wolf Werdigier, Stompie Selibe & Sipho Gwala exhibition, "HEROES"

Situation East, 308 Fox Street, Maboneng Precinct, Johannesburg CBD.


Among the visitors were prominent people like those interviewed in connection with the TRC but also representatives of internet platforms participating to communicate the event to the public. So for instance Don von Orr.

The exhibition has been sponsored by the Austrian embassy.

Further photo and video material is accessible here:




Series 1



"the invisible other"
Sharpville 1960


"the invisible other"
Jerusalem 1998


"the layout of deportation"
Treason trial reopens, Johannesburg 1957


"the layout of deportation"
Vienna 1938


"you know it and you cannot change it"
Manike Moloise shortly before the execution of her son
Johannesburg 1985


"you know it and you cannot change it"
Kindertransport to England, Vienna 1938


Series 2



 one of the fundaments of integration is laid in the Constitition of Southafrica:

" We, the people of South Africa,
Recognise the injusties of our past;
Honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land;
Respect those who have worked to build and develop our country; and
Believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity."

the fight of the people of South Africa for a democratic state is a common history to all,
it is a agreed on by all system of values, comparable to the
agreed on values of the French revolution.


The Central Methodist Curch, Johannesburg
gives shelter every night
to 1000 to 3000 homeless and refugees.
The Bishop cooperates with the Islamic Community for installing a kitchen to
give these people meals. On this cooperation he says:
we have to confront the other:
"do you understand, what we think of you?"
To give an example:
"If you are known as a thief, I have to confront you with this"

 wolf werdigier south african european studio february 2014


OPENING OF THE EXHIBITION: Sunday February 23rd, at 3.00 PM
FINAL VIEW OF THE EXHIBITION: Tuesday February 25th, at 5.00 PM
VENUE: 208 Fox Street, 3rd Floor, Maboneng, Johannesburg

this exhibition has been sponsored by the Austrian Embassy


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