Wednesday, December 24, 2008

USA: Claire Watson

"Claire Watson received a BFA from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MFA from Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Rome and Philadelphia.

With Kid Gloves (2001-2007)This series was created from a collection of ladies gloves. The gloves suggest to me the body (its fragility); preoccupations with revealing or containing it; and escape through role-playing and costume. They are altered, hand-sewn, fitted with skeletal wire armatures, and stuffed with sawdust to become discrete objects. Some incorporate doll parts or doll making techniques. In un-making them, I think of women's traditions of handwork, particularly in long hours of sewing, but they are also reminiscent of doll-things or toys.

Familiars (2008)In this series, I've combined wooden kitchen implements and sewing tools with a translucent "flesh-colored" doll maker's clay. I'm interested in manifestations of the human form in everyday objects that are designed to be grasped or touched. The objects are given clay features that are modeled and then scarred or partially erased. They have been aged, but they have also been diverted from their forgotten intended necessity to the more sensual realm of play. Part tools, part playthings of domesticity, they are the familiars and the relics of a scarcely remembered feminine past."

Great Britain: Damien Hirst: Life and Death

Damien Hirst
The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living
1991Tiger shark, glass, steel, 5% formaldehyde solution213 x 518 x 213 cm

Damien Steven Hirst[1] (born 7 June 1965) is an English artist and the most prominent member of the group known as "Young British Artists" (or YBAs). Hirst dominated the art scene in Britain during the 1990s and is internationally renowned. Wikipedia Dec. 2008

"The impulses driving Damien Hirst's work stem from dilemmas inherent in human life: 'I am aware of mental contradictions in everything, like: I am going to die and I want to live for ever. I can't escape the fact and I can't let go of the desire'. The materials he uses often shock, but he says he 'uses shock almost as a formal element . not so much to thrust his work in the public eye . but rather to make aspects of life and death visible'."

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Qauqaua Book: San/ Bushmen Kuru Art Project: ARTPRINTSA

"Qauqaua is a unique book, published by The Artists' Press and The Kuru Art Project.Lying on a pan of fragmented rock, close to the Botswana border in Namibia, is a small boulder, which looks so different from the surrounding jagged landscape that it appears as if it must have somehow been placed there. The Bushmen or San living in the nearby village of D'kar talk of this rock as being the body of Qauqaua. The artists of the Kuru Art Project have grown up with the story of Qauqaua, which has been told by parents and grandparents. With their traditional way of life changing so rapidly around them, they have decided to preserve this story in book form. "

"Until recently Naro was a spoken language only. Linguist's Cobi and Hessel Visser from the Netherlands have been transcribing the language. "

"The orthography that they have developed is understood by the San in D'kar, as well as by Setswana speaking people in Botswana. The Qauqaua story was written down in Naro by Hessel and Cobi and translated in English by the staff of the Kuru Cultural Centre."

Monday, December 22, 2008

SA: Mark Kannemeyer (Lorcan White) Solo

Another one of my past lecturers. He looks a lot like his brother Anton! "His drawing is a generative space of thought in which concepts are positioned in conflict and coercion to one another. Nature and natural forces are posited in opposition to hand-built and machine-made elements and environments such as boxes and box-like cityscapes. The creative clash between these is what makes Kannemeyer’s landscapes truly iconoclastic in contemporary drawing."
19 – 29 November 2008Opening of the exhibition and launch of 'Zombie' on Wednesday 19 November at 18:00 GALLERY AOP:

Friday, December 19, 2008

SA: Wim Botha Solo in Berlin

"The visual language of Botha´ s two- and three- dimensional objects assembles a world of references and symbols into a narrative, architectural concept, fed by sophisticated drawings and large-scale prints, mirrored and sculptural ensembles. They are installed likewise opposing positions into an encompassing space of subjectivism and objectivism, spirit and nature, the correlation of the aesthetic ideal and human fallibilities. The exhibition space is coloured, also metaphorically, in black and white- could be seen as references to the underlying motif of duality, of ambiguity and contradictions- thesis and antithesis. By typical ceiling suspensions of Botha´ s objects via steel cables the provoked meanings lose ostansible their traction combined with their respective assignments. Meanwhile formal recourses to the South African architecture and furnishing, also Calvinist coined church interior are made; hovering pillars made from black coloured wood are partially mirrored, a coffin-like bathtub, frames with golden edges, naturalistic drawings of animal skull studies, the paper busts carved from bibles representing the black, white and cardinals red. Like the coordinates of the space the whole installation becomes an epic narration by adding x plus y plus z: iconic and heraldic symbols, animal fables and depictions of stereotypic men, even the matter of the works deals with the question of power, religion, ideology and caducity as well as a scene-graphic mirror of societies and communities and the role of the individuals in-between.Botha´ s drawings are arranged to show human characteristics, all-in they give us some hints about the ambiguities in their different cultural using- they sing a canonical sinister music piece, addressed and answered by one of the busts, presented with wide open mouths.E.g. the python as a symbol for the Evil in Christian language, but also as the symbol for lore in Asian mythology; the Zulus (a South African ethno group) believes in the python as an ancestor, and even in ritual dances lay the depiction of man and woman, the obedience of woman to the man. It is a magical animal and killing a python during the rainy season would result to the end of nourishment and the end of the clan - it is the archaic symbol for men´ s sexuality."
Galerie Jette Rudolph GmbHZimmerstrasse 90-9110117 BerlinGermany
Wim Botha28. November 2008 - 10. Januar 2009

South Africa: Elizabeth Gunter

SHEEP II, Charcoal on Paper, 59.5" x 32", 2005.
One of my lecturers I had at Stellenbosch, I love her work. "The dead embryos, floating in their weightless medium of formaldehyde, represent both the miraculous beginnnings of life and the sinister fascination of death. The miniature limbs, perfect to the last fold and hair, uncannily mimic those of their adult progenitors - but the promise they hold as a blueprint of their species is false. The ambivalence of birth - as the joyful acceptance of a precious new life and the simultaneous rejecton of that same life by the maternal body - is evocatively captured in the theme of these drawings."

Saturday, December 13, 2008

South Africa: Michael MacGarry

"Michael MacGarry is a visual artist based in Johannesburg, South Africa. He holds a Masters Degree in Fine Arts from theUniversity of the Witwatersrand. His work investigates the ongoing ramifications of Western imperialism within the Africancontinent. Of particular concern are the mechanics of control and vested interest that inform the journey of culturally symbolic languages and products from the so-called ‘centre’ tothe ‘periphery’ (and vice-versa) via established global trade routes that define and manipulate the peripheral context through an insidious process of inclusion and exclusion." via

Born Durban, South Africa. 1978. Lives and works inJohannesburg.

South Africa: Wim Botha solo exhibition

"In the two-dimensional works, skeletal studies of human and animal figures in animated poses subjects the assumed finality of death as end of time to a longer time-frame. However, in ignorance of possible spiritual dimensions, these works remain in the material realm, hinting at another form of continuity. "

South Africa: Impossible Monsters

"Impossible Monsters’ explores contemporary interpretations and visualisations of who or what the monsters of today are. From the monstrosity of beastial bodies, to the monstrosity of transgressive identities, what conceptions of ‘the monster’ have in common is an understanding that the monster is perpetually understood as being something that does not fit comfortably within the normative behaviours or codes of society – an aberration and an object of fearful adoration all at once. "

Friday, December 5, 2008

USA: Jeff Eisenberg

Jeff Eisenberg "By choosing automatic writing as the ground for my work, my intention is not to comment on the inner workings of the mind as much as it's a strategy to use this tool of analysis as an intimate corollary, a model, for the inside/outside exchanges of the world around us."
Found via