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The Koppies project / A walk with two dalmatians.


Auteurs / Authors : Jean-Christophe Lanquetin

Description : Photographic project and installation in urban space.

Axes de recherche / Research axes (Play/Urban)  : Theater of operations, common space – public space.


In situ (may include different times > time 1, time 2, time 3, etc..)/ peut inclure différentes étapes > Temps 1, Temps 2,Temps 3, etc..

Medium : photography

Genre : installation

Concept : promenades péri-urbaines agrémentées de photographies

Participants : Jc Lanquetin & two dalmatiens.

Durée / Duration : three weeks

Ville / City : Johannesburg

Questions : changements de paysage, indices de l’urbanité.



Medium : photographies & installation (maybe performative dimension).

Genre : installation

Concept : a dialog between the project and the skyline on the rooftop of the building (or in a open point of the city).

The project of installation on the rooftop of King Kong building (VANSA), sept 2012 – Johannesburg couldn’t be staged (the terrace was under construction) so the installation took place in the stairs of Vansa.

Participants : audience of the exhibition

Durée / Duration : exposition, 4h.

Ville / City : Johannesburg and overseas.

Date : 19 th september 2012

Questions :


Analyse critique / Critical analysis :


Protocoles (collectif) d’action / (collective) Action protocole : no.



It begins with walks, with two dalmatians…

 It is about koppies in Johannesburg

about what happens there,

about space is the place,

about parks…

It is about being an outsider, questioning…

I would say it’s a sketch of a meditation about this city, this city that is placed on this land. And, about the rest of the land that emerges like heads in the middle of the city. On these heads a lot happens about life: empty spaces, respiration, common space, sky…

Public space?



It is about Koppies which are also parks, in Johannesburg.
It is about public space.
It is about what happens there…
It is about

I would say it’s a meditation about this city, put down on this land, and about the “rests” of the land, emerging like heads in the middle of the city. About the fact, on these “heads” a lot happens about life. Empty spaces, respiration, common space, sky… Public space ?
Two dispositifs in dialog : the images glued on walls around Kin Kong building (where the exhibition will take place), and an installation, in dialog with the skyline on the rooftop of the building. (NB: in fact this is an older version of the final project).


The installation is a serie of large scale pictures (1,25m high), on cardboard, installed in urban spaces of Johannesburg, streets, rooftops, with a view on the city. Two levels of vision : one, sitting on bricks, at the level of the pictures, one standing, at the level of the skyline or the city.



Présentation du projet lors de l’exposition Play>Urban à VANSA, sept 2012 / Presentation of the project during the Play>Urban exhibition at VANSA, sept 2012.


COMMENTAIRE : important personal moment in the Play>Urban 2012 process. As I had the ‘obligation’ to walk these dogs, it became a free time, and the space where I was on a daily basis – the Koppies and parks – became the one of a project. I discovered, mostly via traces, that a lot happens there which is not visible in the city. I also discovered an interesting perspective on the borders and in between spaces of the city ; how this city grows, how the nature is still there (and nice nature sometimes) but mixed with the signs & situations of the urbanity, the best and mostly the worth : rubbish’s in the rivers whose water is not really clear, gated communities, poors or squatters living there – and also violent events like the killing of some of the miners during Marikana rebellion, which took place in a Koppie. In fact the Koppies are kind of the back/hidden side of the city (and always a back side is always interesting in terms of understanding of a urban space). But theses spaces are also where religious practices take place, for runners, walks, picnics… And this diversity of levels, the complexity which is there was obviously a very interesting perspective on the city as if it was revealing it beyond it’s appearances.

It came also around the idea of common space. As clearly these spaces are not only public space, many things happen there which wouldn’t be tolerated in what we call a ‘public space’. But they are necessary, like a space for breathing, in many ways. And this dimension – I was myself really breathing while I was there – made me think about the notion of common space, spaces where essential needs for life are possible.

Jean Christophe Lanquetin

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