MASHABANE ROSE ASSOCIATES – architects & urban designers | MANDELA CELL

MANDELA CELL

CELL PARIS2
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THE CELL PROJECT HAS ARISEN OUT OF SEVERAL PROJECTS THAT ENCOMPASS THE LIFE OF MANDELA IN THE FORM OF EXHIBITIONS. IN 2013, THE EXHIBITION OPENED AT THE HOTEL DE VILLE AND WAS CALLED ‘MANDELA – FROM PRISONER TO PRESIDENT’.

A STEEL VERSION OF THE PRECISE DIMENSIONS OF MANDELA’S ROBBEN ISLAND PRISON CELL WAS PLACED OUTSIDE THE HOTEL DE VILLE TO GIVE VISITORS A CLEAR SENSE OF THE LEVEL OF CONFINEMENT. AT NIROX SCULPTURE PARK NEAR JOHANNESBURG, THE PROJECT WAS PRESENTED IN CONCRETE AND HAD A MORE SCULPTURED MASS AND WEIGHT. IT IS NOW BEING EXHIBITED IN SWEDEN AT A SCULPTURE PARK CALLED WANAS, ALONGSIDE ARTISTS SUCH AS MAYA LIN, YOKO ONO AND MARIA ABRAMOWICH.

THE PROJECT HAS GONE FORWARD INTO NEW ENVIRONMENTS AS A SCULPTURE. IT IS THE MOST POWERFUL AND SMALLEST PROJECT WE HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN. THE CELL IS FORMED IN CONCRETE AND THE WINDOWS ARE FILLED IN – THE ROOF IS REMOVED TO EXPRESS A CONNECTION WITH THE SKY AND A SENSE OF FREEDOM. THE CONCRETE SHUTTERS ON RELEASE ARE OFTEN NOT VIBRATED SMOOTH AND THE TEXTURE REFLECTS SURFACES THAT ARE DAMAGED, WHICH CONTRIBUTES TO THE EMOTIVE INTENT OF THE PROJECT.

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