Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Diane Victor’

Johan Thom & Willem Boshoff Elephant Peepsite, 2014. Etching using elephant skull with lines made up of alphabet beads on extruded acrylic super 220 x 127.5cm

Johan Thom & Willem Boshoff Elephant Peepsite, 2014. Etching using elephant skull with lines made up of alphabet beads on extruded acrylic super 220 x 127.5cm

Prints from The Animal Series
@ The Collectors Room, Fried Contemporary
Johan Thom with Willem Boshoff, Diane Victor, David Koloane and Bevan De Wet.

Opens Saturday 24 October @ 12 – 2pm
Concludes Saturday 21 November 2015 @ 14:00

Fried Contemporary Art Gallery is pleased to present a body of work by Johan Thom created at the Nirox Foundation in 2014 and exhibited at its Project space in the Maboneng precinct, Johannesburg. The series of prints, titled: ‘Prints from the Animal Series’ is a series of etchings produced by Thom in collaboration with a number of well-known artists.

More info here: Fried Contemporary

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Artec1

Fetish: Traversing the occupied body.

1. The dark mass inscribed:
“There once was a lady from Ongar”

We approach the rough hued designation ‘Fetish’ with inveterate apprehension. The term marks a disturbed frontier between inside and outside, self and other, an elemental antagonism. Like the object it too is pocked and pitted with our near desires, fears and denials. The “Stereotype [Fetish]… is a form of knowledge and identification that vacillates between what is always in place, already known, and something that must be anxiously repeated (Bhabha in Hook, 2005, p13.),“the correct German word for the vicissitude of [this] idea would be ‘Verleugnung’ [‘disavowal’]’ (Freud, 1927, pp153.). It is through the subtractive synecdoche that the fetish gathers an excess of signification, desire providing the surplus in value and, thus, fantasy fills the anxious abyss between the self and the ‘other’. And yet; “as a power that transfers to beings, objects and agencies, it is universal and diffuse but it crystallizes at strategic points so that its flux can be regulated and diverted by certain groups or individuals for their own benefit” (Baudrillard, 1981, p88.).

2. Colonising fantasies or minding the business of others:
“Who had an affair with a Conger.”

The transference of this agency to the human body and its activities was first described in proto-psychoanalytical terms by Alfred Binet. (1887). Freud’s ‘fetish’, drawing heavily on Binet, functions both by constraining anxiety [through the activity of fantasy/ the anxiously repeated] and breeding anxiety through instability at the level of identification (there is, and, yet is not a phallus). Different objects and associate sets of practices become fetishised; the fetish must, however, be a construct, a fantasy that is frantically reinforced. “(‘I know that mother has not got a phallus, but still . . . [I believe she has got one]; ‘I know that Jews are people like us, but still . . . [there is something in them],)” (Žižek, 2008, pp12). Žižek further elaborates when he proposes that the prevalent Ideological edifice requires the fantasy of the ‘other’, a simple and concrete image to
constrain/fixate the imagination on in order for the image to become a mobilising agency. This valorised parody of our pleasures, the fetish, acts as an obscene bribe that coerces our oppressive and repressive drives into action. Performing a miraculous/fantasmic act of shifting signification, through disavowal, the fetishised makes the unknowable instantly identifiable whilst maintaining and even accentuating difference.
The contemporary commodity fetish acquires its magnified value through an analogous repetitive chant. For Marx the consumer’s ‘needs’ are mobilized within individuals by the strategy of desire and “although the commodity takes the shape of a physical thing, the commodity form” has “absolutely no connection with the physical nature of the article. (Marx in Stallybrass, 2011, pp184). The fetishistic resides in the illusory excess, an ideological agency, and not in any intrinsic value of the ‘thing’. The human body itself is thus codified and commodified, reduced to an abbreviated sequence of values that do not reside in the body itself. “The makeup of beauty, of the erotic body, is a process of marking it, [through the addition of…] jewellery, perfume, ornament, or through cutting it up, the hair, the feet, the buttocks. (1981, pp94, Baudrillard cited in Dant, 1996, pp13). The body is offered up as a series of significatory values which ultimately constitutes the ‘fetishised’ being/object/agency. It becomes clear that our ‘fetish’ oversteps the simple historical limit of the object and our investigation points instead to a metaphoric condensation, a process of inscription; “after all we have a passion for the code.”

3. An occupied snarl.
“They said; how does it feel to sleep with an eel?”

As Bataille re/marks; desire is usually closely linked with terror, intense pleasure and anguish (1998, 53). The fetish as occupying force personifies a narcissistic fantasy that attempts to sublimate the ‘other’ to the self, a volatile ‘value’ freely oscillating between the religious, economic and erotic. Fetishism, thus, is a refusal of difference; and “a perverse structure that perhaps underlies all desire” (Dant, 1996, P10-11). The whole metonymic apparatus marks the colonist as it marks ‘his’ ‘savage’. “It orders the world around the coordinates of fantasy (or magical beliefs) it thus makes possible… to structure and stabilise a world of ideology.” (Pp26, Hook). The ‘semiotic fetish’ points a crooked finger at the anxiety of all
(travellers) explorers, agents of colonies and ideologies, as they meet themselves on the foreign shore of ‘difference’ and fearfully grasps at fantasies with which to fill the abyss between the known and unknown dimensions their own reflection.

4. Deteretorialisation
“Well, she said, just like a man only longer.”

Surely cogitation, and play around the discursive formula of fetishistic disavowal allows us to “come to terms with this surplus (or, more precisely, leftover) means to acknowledge a fundamental deadlock (‘antagonism’), a kernel resisting symbolic integration-dissolution. (Zizek, 2008, pp24) By imitating the libidinal ticks and taking our pleasure sans the horizon of prevalent arch-ideological meanings that they are attached to, we may, as subversives and artists, agitate the seemingly implicit ideological excess and so provide a critique of hegemonic ideology by presenting continuous encounters with that radical other.
Following this artists are invited to submit work, in any medium, that reflect, critique or play around the contemporary and/or historic manifestations of the Fetishistic formulation as a means of resisting this symbolic dissolution/integration.
——————————————————————————————

(((((Let us be careful not to forget that the voice carries through a thin wall or door))))) Sees his faults, his mannerisms, and his appetites laid bare, by his complacent eyes they are reduced in size (((((Just as is: – who can deny it, the shadow towards the midday on the sundial, showing that the stomach can demand its reward;
– By the frost, who can deny it, the standard meter;
– Defying the mud, a rolled up trouser leg; …”
(Roussel. p75, 2011)

References
Bhabha, H. n.d. – The other Question – [Online]. Available at http://courses.washington.edu/…/bhabha_the%20other%20questi… [Accessed 3 January 2015]
Baudrillard, J. 1981. For a critique of the political economy of the sign. USA: Telos press LTD.
Dant, T. 1996. Fetishism and the social value of Objects. Sociological Review, 44 (3) [Online]. Available at http://eprints-test.lancs.ac.uk/33407/1/Fetishism_eprint.pdf
Freud, S. 1927. Fetishism (J. Stranchey, Trans.) The Complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud. (Vol. XXI, pp147-157). London: Hogarth and the Institute of Psychoanalysis.
Hook, D. 2005. – Paradoxes of the other: (Post) colonial racism, radical difference, stereotype as fetish. [Online] Available at http://pins.org.za/pins31/Hook.pdf [Accessed 3 January 2015].
Roussel, R. 2011. New Impressions of Africa. USA: Princeton University Press
Richardson, M. 1998. ed. Georges Bataille: Essential Writings . London: Sage Publications LTD.
Stallybrass, P. 2011. Marx’s coat. [Online]. Available at: http://davidmcnally.org/…/…/Marxs-Coat-peter-stallyBrass.pdf [Accessed 5 January 2015]
Žižek, S. 2008. The sublime object of ideology. London, New York: Verso Publications LTD.

Artec2

Read Full Post »

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Read Full Post »

New works from the Animal Series 2013 - 2014

New works from the Animal Series 2013 – 2014

Nirox Projects at Arts on Main presents a new series of works from the Animal Series by Johan Thom. Central to this series of works is Thom’s ongoing investigation of his own material encounter with an African elephant skull.

The exhibition is divided into three bodies of works: etchings; drawings and sculpture. Over the period of eight months Thom produced a set of five large-scale etchings in collaboration with Willem Boshoff, Diane Victor, David Koloane and Bevan de Wet. In collaboration with Thom, each artist was invited to create an aesthetic response to the elephant skull: Thom would first work on the plate by for example making a full body print or scratching the plate’s surface with the elephant skull. After this, the plate was given to the collaborating artist to work over and layer by adding further marks, visual or conceptual elements, drawing from the encounter with the elephant skull.

The exhibition also includes a set of charcoal and mixed media drawings that remind of Rorschach patterns. These observational drawings appear almost ghost-like in their rendering of the three-dimensional shape of the skull in shades of white upon blotches of ordinary blackboard paint.

Also showing as part of this exhibition is a bronze and mixed media sculpture produced in collaboration with Guy du Toit.

The artist wishes to thank the Nirox Foundation for their generous support throughout this project and the Artist Proof Studios.

Opening Sunday 16 February @ 12:00

Exhibition runs until 9 March 2014

Dimensions: 42 x 29,7 cm

Dimensions: 42 x 29,7 cm

For more information, please contact Neil Nieuwoudt on T: +27 (0)11 7887902 | M: +27 (0)72 350 4326 |

E: neil.nieuwoudt@gmail.com

______________________________________________________________

Nirox Projects | 264 Fox Street | Arts on Main | MABONENG PRECINCT |

Johannesburg

www.niroxarts.com

______________________________________________________________

ALSO SEE: Animal – a new series of works | May – July 2013

Read Full Post »

press_release_image_3c
Johan Thom,  on residency at the Nirox Foundation (http://www.niroxarts.com) from May –  June 2013, is producing a new series of works around the theme of an elephant skull.

He explains: ‘I have long been fascinated by English sculptor Henry Moore’s series of artworks drawn from his observations of an elephant skull. A biologist gave the skull to Moore after a visit to Africa in the 1960’s. Moore was fascinated by the complex form and it became his favourite natural object. Recently I had the opportunity to study the series first-hand at the Tate Britain in London and now wish to rethink the material encounter with the elephant skull by producing a new series of artworks in different media (including video; photography; printmaking and drawing).’

For the etchings/ printing project four large-scale etchings of approximately 2m x 1m will be produced in collaboration with some of South Africa’s most prominent artists (Willem Boshoff; David Koloane and Diane Victor). According to the Artist’s Proof studios, this may well be the largest project of its kind ever in South Africa.

Photos will be posted on Twitter as the project evolves @JohanThom

Thom Studio

______________________________________________________________

ALSO SEE: Nirox Projects presents: New works from the Animal Series, 2013 – 2014 by Johan Thom with Willem Boshoff, David Koloane, Diane Victor, Bevan de Wet & Guy du Toit

Read Full Post »

An exhibition entitled Map – South Africa with works from a broad spectrum of artists and genres will be hosted by the UJ Art Gallery from 11 May to 15 June 2011. In addition to showing new work by 39 artists who have participated in Map, the exhibition documents the diverse spaces utilised for the Map projects all over South Africa.

These spaces include restaurants, hotels, homes and Map’s own Karoo residency. The show also records Map participation in the 2007 Innibos arts festival and an architecture conference: African Perspectives 2009: ‘The African City Centre (re)sourced’, hosted by the University of Pretoria, as well as publications relating to these projects.

The founders of the project, patron of the arts, Harrie Siertsema and Abrie Fourie, well known artist and curator, brought a fresh and innovative approach to the domain of visual arts through this ongoing project and through their unwavering trust in and support of South African artists.

The multifaceted Modern Art Project (Map) originated in 2005 out of the impulse to combine the works of established and emerging artists and to show such works in unexpected spaces outside the traditional gallery context.

Map is emblematic of a new ‘empathetic economy’ in which the artwork is taken from the white cube gallery for more democratic dispersement, and brought back to the white cube for documentation and integration. Map also points to the destruction of the division between high and low culture.

The Map endeavours are documented in an exceptional series of “black books” available for public perusal. This informative resource is also a collector’s item as a limited edition “black box” set.

Enquiries:  Annali Cabano-Dempsey +2711 559 2099

Web:

http://www.uj.ac.za/EN/artsacademy/Gallery/Exhibitions/Pages/CurrentExhibition.aspx

http://www.mapzar.org

Read Full Post »


Fried Art presents: Games People Play (a group exhibition of South African Artists)

Preview on Thursday 17 June at 18h30 by Dr Franco Colin

Music by Bongi Nthombeni

June 2010, the ears are numbed by the cacophony of vuvuzelas in the crowded South African soccer stadiums. What’s happening on the field is what does justice to the idea of GAME. Yet, such formalised games are often only a mild version of the kind of games that are played out in the human arena of political, social, personal and business games, agendas and encounters.  These games are ongoing; there’s plenty at stake and much tug of war.

During the 1960s, game theory became a popular study of the way in which human beings operate and compete especially in the fields of computer science, politics, agriculture and economics. Game theory has proven instrumental in understanding how and why decisions are made. Games People Play (1964), a groundbreaking pop psychology book by Eric Berne, introduced the notion of such human gaming based on Freud’s psychodynamic model, particularly the ego states, as a psychology of human interactions called “transactional analysis”. According to Berne, games are ritualistic transactions or behaviour patterns between individuals that can indicate hidden feelings or emotions.  In a general sense it can be argued that human encounters involve mind games in which people interact through a patterned and predictable series of “transactions” that are superficially conceivable, but sometimes could mask hidden agendas.  Berne (Butler-Bowden 2007) came to the view that within each person were three selves or “ego states” which often contradicted each other. They were characterized by the attitudes and thinking of a parental figure (Parent); the adult-like rationality, objectivity and acceptance of the truth (Adult); and the stances and fixations of a child (Child). The three selves correspond loosely to Freud’s superego (Parent), ego (Adult) and id (Child). Berne (Butler-Bowden 2007) further argued  that we teach our children all the pastimes, rituals and procedures they need to adapt to the culture and get by in life, and spend a lot of time choosing their schools and activities, yet we don’t teach them about games, an unfortunate but realistic feature of the dynamics of every family and institution. The book spawned a well-known song by the same title written, composed and performed in 1968 by singer/song-writer Joe South.

During the eighteenth century, a game called “stag hunt “was developed by philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. This game, also known as the assurance game, involves making a choice between individual safety and risky cooperation and involves the idea that two hunters who must decide whether to hunt a hare alone or a stag together.  ‘Arguably, the stag hunt describes the ethical dilemma of the scientists who built the atomic bomb. Roughly: The world would be better off without the bomb, but we have to try to build it because our enemy will. Better we have the bomb than our enemy; better both sides have the bomb than just our enemy’ (Poundstone [s.a.]).

In an interview with Arthur Holmberg, Milan Kundera (1985) stated: ‘ … playing games is an important source of pleasure. Real life is linked to a series of deceptions. It disappoints us with its futility. But when we consciously play games, as on stage, we already know that the game is not serious. Thus, the tragic futility of life becomes the joyous futility of play. In totalitarian regimes one quickly learns the importance of humor. You learn to trust or mistrust people because of the way they laugh. The modern world frightens me because it’s rapidly losing its sense of the playfulness of play.’ The playing of games can provide various satisfactions: aggressive and masochistic; expectant readiness with contempt of danger and consequent mastering of situations; repeated endurance of symbolic castration with resurrection of potency when one wins (Stokes 1956).

Accordingly, the “games” people play form the core of the subject matter in the works on display in Games people play.  The artworks on exhibition comment on the playing of games through a patterned and often predictable series of “transactions” that might not be superficially conceivable, but mask secret motives, feelings or emotions. Similarly, there are many word games, echoed in the game of the “language” of the artwork that is open-ended and  often cloaked in metonymy. The philosopher Wittgenstein maintained that words have a “family” of usages and resemblances: the word “game”, for example, could indicate board games, card games, virtual gaming or soccer games. Such games do not hold a single critical mutual attribute, but rather possess common characteristics and similarities.

Fried Art

http://www.friedcontemporary.com/

430 Charles St Brooklyn, Pretoria, South Africa 0181

TEL/FAX:   +27 12 3460158

E-MAIL

General information and art courses: info@friedcontemporary.com

Exhibitions and artists: art@friedcontemporary.com

Sources quoted

Butler-Bowden, T. 2007. 50 Psychology Classics: Who We Are, How We Think, What We Do: Insight and inspiration from 50 key books. Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2007 . [O] Available: http://knol.google.com/k/games-people-play#. Accessed 14 June 2010.

Poundstone, W [s.a.]. Excerpts from Prisoner’s Dilemma. [O] Available: http://www.heretical.com/pound/staghunt.html. Accessed 14 June 2010.

Stokes, A. 1956. Psychoanalytic Reflections on the Development of Ball Games, Particularly Cricket. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXVII:185-192.

Kundera, M. 1985.  Interview with Arthur Holmberg. Performing arts journal, Volume 9, 1:25-27.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »