We’d like to tell you a clean tall story. A story which is not ours to tell. But don’t worry, it’s only a story. Watch out, some might believe the story. That will make it the truth.
Counterspace collaborated with Denise Lim to produce a series of drawings towards Lim’s PHD praxis, centring Ponte City.
During the early 2000’s Ponte Tower was renovated and the extensive collection of ‘trash’ in its centre, cleared away—marking the end of its ‘dark period’. This clean-up was significant in its unspoken message that the period of ‘lawlessness’ was being replaced by the silently performed invitation for bodies of power to return to the space.
An archaeology of anthropological objects were discovered in the ‘trash’ – family photos, visa applications, tenancy documents dated to a 1980’s Apartheid South Africa. The drawings are intimates of anonymity. Weaving together visual stories, reconstructing lived moments. We don’t know the people connected to the objects. But their life in the building forms part of an undocumented history of tenure in Hillbrow when it was a grey zone. These stories and lives around this skyscraper have tentacles into deep worlds of city-making, bureaucracies, migration, pop culture, economies.