171pp., b/w & colour illus., map, paperback, Johannesburg, 2017
August House in inner city Johannesburg was established in 2006 by Bie Venter and Maria Svane to provide studio space for artists. The building was sold in 2016 and during the transition more studio spaces were created. Currently there are over 50 artists housed in the building.
"With the eye of an urbanist, artist and resident, Kim Gurney [constructs] a compelling assemblage of individual, visual and urban narratives brilliantly illuminates the complex life of a building, August House, located in inner city Johannesburg. Her cast of characters - artists, workers, neighbours, August House and the city - lend poignant contours to the ebbs and flows of daily life, the pressures of gentrification, the ruthlessness of poverty, the radicality of the imagination and the ghosts of history." Mabel O. Wilson, Columbia University
"Kim Gurney’s biography of August House weaves together a diversity of … narratives that capture an intimate, layered view of a city in flux and the precarity of artists’ spaces in Johannesburg. August House is Dead, Long Live August House! sensitively explores the tensions between competing impulses in the city, and who ultimately gets to shape what Joburg is and who it is for." Mpho Matsipa, University of the Witwatersrand
Artist and writer Kim Gurney is a research associate at the University of Cape Town’s African Centre for Cities and the University of Johannesburg’s Visual Identities in Art & Design Research Centre. She is the author of The Art of Public Space: Curating and re-imagining the ephemeral city. She lives in Cape Town.