Disrupt I

August 27, 2021 - September 29, 2021

Spier Arts Trust, Union House, Cape Town

Emma Willemse


Spier Arts Trust, Union House, Cape Town

Read the review by Melvyn Minnaar here

Artist statement



… (to) cause radical change … by means of innovation.


Disrupt comprised an exhibition and sound performance collaboration between the conceptual visual artist Emma Willemse and the New Music composer Michael Blake. Willemse is associated with large scale installations and handmade artist’s books which have been exhibited in South Africa, Europe and Dakar, while Blake’s compositions in a post-modern aesthetic and a range of different styles have been played on five continents.


Willemse’s exhibition incorporated her conceptual artworks exhibited at the 1:54 African Art Fair in London in 2018, which have been brought back to South Africa by Spier Arts Trust to feature in the inaugural exhibition of their new exhibition space at Union House in Cape Town. The focus of the exhibition was her installation of a hundred and one handmade artist’s books. After witnessing this installation, entitled 101 ways to long for a home, Michael Blake wrote a New Music piece for prepared piano and harpsichord, accompanied by an electronic soundtrack of found sounds, which includes sounds of the books being “played”, recorded in Willemse’s studio.