The exhibition offers an immersive live scene of the Iziko Bertram House, Old medical building, the sky, Mount Nelson’s façade and the Msisni tree – catalogued U406. These images, drawn from a camera obscura and framed by the many triangles making up the structure, are fleeting and do not repeat, so every encounter differs depending on the time of day or season.
The msinsi is significant because it brings to focus the idea of dingaka, who are placed by legend as liable to be buried under such trees, with all their technology/implements. At the same time across the garden from the timber pavilion, a Khelobedu material culture object associated with Dikoma, overlooks the scene, perhaps as a reminder that there are many ways to know and constitute a space of learning.
For the U406 installation, the camera obscura is not bound to a table surface like at Museum Africa and others in the country. Instead, it offers the audience a possibility to walk around a peephole camera obscura in an immersive 4m high cube, where they can find different images as if viewing multiple screens. As is the nature of a prototype, the pavilion will change and morph over the next few months as we troubleshoot and chase after productive tangents invited by the process of realising the pavilion. You are invited to keep visiting to see its progress. The exhibition is a work in progress site and caution is advised when visiting the installation.