The Showroom Mural Commission. Simnikiwe Buhlungu: Notes to Self (Intimate 1)

2 Oct 2019–31 Dec 2021


The Showroom Mural Commission is a unique project for artists to activate the building's emblematic facade. For this second intervention, artist Simnikiwe Buhlungu references strolling as a form of knowledge production and uses text, textile and interactive sound installations to communicate ideas of gathering through a call and response with local communities.

Departing from an intimate methodology of walking, for Notes To Self (Intimate 1) Buhlungu questions: how do we create structural spaces and communicate ideas of gathering within architectural, urban and public restrictions? How can one make visible personal reflections and poetics in the context of enduring collective ownership? Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the Mural Commission posed these questions through a site-specific installation where passers-by could record their own notes to self that would be listened to, manifested, and archived as a living ecosystem of local responses. We invite you to explore our online Library to listen to some of these archival recordings.


Before our doors temporarily closed in March 2020 in accordance with government guidelines and in support of our team, neighbours, and greater community, we gathered the public messages recorded up until that date to make Mixtape 1. This six-minute track serves as an archive collaging the recorded and exsting ‘notes to self’ of passers-by in a similar gesture as Buhlungu’s ongoing Mixtapenyana series.


Simnikiwe Buhlungu’s mural extends from an ongoing mixtape project, Notes To Self: A Mixtapenyana, whereby she explores the idea of self, s(p)lace and strolling as a form of knowledge production. Initially developed during her participation in a residency hosted by Future Assembly between Wysing Arts Centre in Cambridge and London in May 2019, the project follows recollections interrogating the idea of selfhood in relation to a constellation of encounters with distinct environments, people, narratives, happenings, and ecologies. These earlier and new site-specific mixtapes are structured around a thematic tracklisting of ‘self-historicising, self-determination, self-referencing and self-actualisation’. The Showroom Mural Commission will thus not only be a time-based personal reflection, but also a fluctuating surface for self-expression to radiate and resonate outwards.

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