International Videoart Festival Madrid Festival Internacional de Videoarte de Madrid New Media Festival La Neomudéjar


Negiste Yesside Johnson – AGWO


Sinopsis: My intention with this piece is to put forward the idea that organic matter and inorganic matter can fuse and co-exist as one, both possessing spirit which can be connected to and communicated with. Through this understanding we will have a greater appreciation, of all matter and see how they are dependent on one another. Shakespeare house was once a building that embodied South Africa’s rising place in the world, an upscale office building in the heart of Africa’s wealthiest city, Johannesburg. Nearly eight decades later, the slumped and broken building has become a symbol for a different Johannesburg, one blighted by negligence on multiple levels. “What’s more appalling is that the neglect of these buildings has for so long gone unnoticed by those with the power to stop it.” – Yazmany Arboleda. The neglect of the building and the neglect of the people in the city and the country speaks to the interconnectivity and the unspoken link between organic and inorganic matter. This gives rise to the idea of objectsexuality- The orientation to love objects. Just as certain people are attracted to different types of people,different qualities in people and develop strong feelings toward them. objectùm-sexuals develop strong feelings towards objects, particularly geometry and function. Often this attraction is regarded as an obsession, to such a degree that it provokes criticism. Love is a feeling that preoccupies one’s thoughts. This in its own right describes a degree of obsession where all focus is on the one desired. The love for the object is not based on a habitual psychosexual response. It is the object that captivates one on many more levels besides sexual arousal. Shakespeare House has become the obsession and the metaphor for self actualisation. The love affair with Shakespeare house began instantly as soon as eyes were set upon it. It’s abandoned and derelict state softened by vaginal pink hues generated immediate intrigue into what it once was and has presently become.The same state I find myself in after a toxic relationship.

Viewed as an inanimate object through the relationship, used to fulfill needs and wants, relevant when suited and disposed of and abandoned left with unanswered question. Through my interaction with the building I am addressing this trauma and through performance am healing. The piece explores suppressed memories through a physical sense.Through such interaction I hope to ease the pain of Shakespeare House by letting it feel and know that as mistreated, broken down and ignored as it has been, I still see it in its true splendor and potential to be healed and bettered as the people of the city can be healed and bettered.

The building being a metaphor for myself, can be viewed as most in the city, overlooked and uncared for unless serving a purpose that profits a small minority. It is my intention with this piece that we begin to look at the neglected building and people in this city as more than disposable items that can be thrown away after they have served their purpose. That we begin to look at the people of this city and the buildings of this city as integral parts of the whole, who need attention, healing and love. The use of “Holding Me” by Hlasko was decided due to the visceral narrative it creates in its haunting composition. A struggle and longing for intimacy.

Negiste Yesside Johnson_ Image by Nikki Zachas.

Bio: I am privileged and proud to claim a role within a new generation of the global creative. Born into the culture existing within Nigeria as well as the United Kingdom, my roots. Raised in South Africa, my home. Fluent with the people and the cultures that build up a land rich with diversity and ideas, to one day allow for the nourished and wealthy minds to display charismatic interpretations of life through varied mediums within the creative industry. Currently pursuing art practice full time as of August 2016.


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