THE HONESTY STALLED! Is a transactional, transitory exhibition and installation designed to invade sanitized and sterile commercial spaces and to juxtapose notions of high-end commodification and exclusivity with one of the most basic – and yet much maligned – contemporary expressions of economic activity.
The ubiquitous pavement stall is a symbol of individual motivation-against-all-odds, while simultaneously becoming an object of contempt and reprisal with its street-level accessibility and consequent vulnerability. This humble stall continues to be targeted by the State through increasingly hostile legislation that favours the profit motive of big retailers and the monopolistic tendencies of the formal economy over developing capacity amongst small-scale local traders. In Central Business Districts throughout the country, Municipalities are increasingly limiting the spaces where informal trade is undertaken while simultaneously profiting from traders through monthly permits and site rental.
The postcards on sale at THE HONESTY STALLED depict a selection of constructed images where the shelter is inserted into various locales across the country and juxtaposed with text to highlight inequality and to challenge skewed official narratives.
THE HONESTY STALLED! seeks to invert the officially subverted history of colonial theft and the subsequent normalization of the brutality and structural violence that remains a primary feature of contemporary South African society.
THE HONESTY STALLED! is constructed from hardboard, paper, plastic, metal, earth, stone and bone.
THE HONESTY STALLED (Stalletjie) installation was launched as an unsanctioned work that was included in an exhibition curated by a commercial gallery in Cape Town with the stated intent of invading a formal, institutionalized gallery space into which the Xcollektiv was invited to be part of a group exhibition by artists and collectives working in and around the genre of street art in Cape Town. The exhibition intended to bring into conversation some of the many voices of visual dissent taking place in the city.
On the opening night, The Honesty Stalled was inserted outside of the gallery space where it was for the most part ignored but when the ‘Stalletjie’ was taken into the formal gallery space the very same patrons spent time engaging with the work.
THE HONESTY STALLED being exhibited on a busy Saturday morning at the Biscuit Mill in Woodstock Cape Town. For the most part the stalletjie was ignored by pedestrians as well as private security guards who repeatedly chased a group of children who were begging on the pavement.
At one point, someone asked some of the security guards stationed in the Avenue what the stalletjie was about and they actually said that it was supposed to be there and went on to explain what the postcards were meant to represent.