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FADA Home Preface About Artists

Valeria Geselev



Type of book work: Editioned / printed work
Dimensions: 220 x 160
Media: Paper

Artist's / designer's statements

Behind the scenes of White Curtains public art project: interviews with artists, contributing texts, exhibition images and archival documents.

2014: One sunny Saturday, as I was drying my umbrella on the balcony of my room in Sea Point suburb of Cape Town, I was told by my housemate that Body Corporate regulations forbid hanging anything from the windows. "They also dictate the colour of all curtains must be white" she added. Since that day, every time I walk the streets of Sea Point I notice that all the curtains, in thousands of windows, are white. I found this social custom to be fascinating in the post apartheid context.

I researched if there is a municipal regulation uniting all buildings in the suburb. But I found none. Instead, my search led me to a poem. On a public forum I found 'My White Curtain' by Nokulunga Zondo. The poet reflects gently and critically on the philosophy of living with a white curtain.

2015: In collaboration with Nokulunga and illustrator Frank Lunar, supported by VANSA, we published the first edition of White Curtains colouring book. We use the trend of adult colouring books to question the social construct of hyper regulation of public spaces.

The book was a sold-out item on the shelves of Checkers Sea Point, inserting critical art into the mainstream of local consumerism.

It inspired three group exhibitions and two interventions in public libraries.

2016: White Curtains Diary is published - telling behind the scenes story of this socially engaged curatorial project. The new publication features interviews with artists, texts by academics and Sea Point residents, images of the exhibitions and archival documents.

The book is available at selected libraries in Cape Town and online on ISSUU (Yalla Shoola Publication). Designed by Carlos Marzia and co-edited by Naz Saldulker.

Artist / Curator / Educator


2013 Honours BA in Curatorship, UCT, South Africa
2008 BA in Journalism and International Relations, HUJI, Israel


2016 Uyaphi? Imagining a New School, UCT Michaelis Galleries, Cape Town
2016 White Curtains group exhibition, The Drawing Room, Cape Town
2016 White Curtains group exhibition, UCT Michaelis Galleries, Cape Town
2015 White Curtains group exhibition, Adelphi Centre, Cape Town
2014 To Home Affairs with Love, Tagore's, Cape Town

Educational Projects

2016 Introducing the Public Art Curriculum, Iziko National Gallery, Cape Town
2016 Social Engineering for Beginners, UCT Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town
2015 The Harare Academy of Inspiration, Khayelitsha, Cape Town
2015 Social Engineering for Beginners, Westerford High, Cape Town
2015 Halfbread Technique DIY Post capitalism for Beginners, Greatmore Studios, Cape Town

© Jack Ginsberg Centre for Book Arts (JGCBA). All rights reserved.