Right at the beginning I was asked by the owner of Deepest Darkest Art Gallery what my expectations are for the opening, and my answer was that I first of all hope people will show up and secondly I hope they will have fun, that we all may have fun especially after last year and now that we finally may have exhibition openings again.
And oh boy did we have fun. Thank you to each and everyone who came to the opening, or even visited the exhibition from the 17th of April until the 20th of May 2021.
Some people don’t like exhibition openings, but for me it is a real treat to meet up with friends I haven’t seen for awhile as well as meeting new people and make new friends.
After the opening I was asked by Christelle Webb-Joubert in a radio interview, why would I want people to come and look at the exhibition. I was a bit flustered but I answered back with a question, something along the lines of “what is art without the viewer?” and after stumbling over my own words I came to the conclusion that I wanted people to feel something, anything!
Since I was not at the gallery during the run of the exhibition, I could not see how people responded to the works, but wow I’m blown away from the feedback I received via social media eg:
ALSO I received and email from a student who shared his “Visual & Contextual Analysis” assignment he wrote for their Introduction to an African Art course at Michaelis university based on the following work:
“Apart / A part is not intended to explore the banality nor the cliche’ of lockdown art. The intention of this group exhibition is to delve into the human psyche, to explore the longing, the reflection, and the horror of living social distant lives: as artists we almost universally create in isolation. Solitude provides rich and fertile soil for creation, we are no strangers to it. However, what has become apparent over the past few months is an interesting manifestation of the longing of the human psyche for connection. Within the pandemic zeitgeist, three universal themes have emerged as indicators of where the human soul searches for connection. These themes: The Mundane, The Sublime and The Abject, are reflected in the work created by selected invited artists. Within these spheres, we see the reflection of the human condition as it manifests when connections are stretched, severed or temporarily suspended. As the artists submitted work for this exhibition and interesting phenomenon emerged: the themes overlapped, they intermingled, it became a beautiful organic process, completely unplanned. I have come to realize that all of life is essentially a dance on the precipice between the mundane, sublime and abject.”
I was invited by Laurette to submit work for the “Abject” Part of this exhibition…And this was what I proposed:
The Abject But that word, “fear”- a fluid haze an elusive clamminess- no sooner has it cropped up than it shades off like a mirage and permeates all words of the language with nonexistence, with a hallucinatory, ghostly glimmer. (Kristeva 1982:6) The Abject resides where the sublime meets horror, evoking a deep-seated fear, a dread of the incomprehensible, and the uncanny. The viewer cannot help but be enthralled by the abject, it is a part of human nature: Kristeva’s (1982) concept of becoming corpse as ultimate abjection, corresponds to Burke’s (1844) philosophical enquiry into the sublime in that the sublime essentially evokes overwhelming feelings of dread and melancholy in its terrifying infinity (De Jager 2019:85). The pandemic conjured up images of death, and destruction. From the works of Hieronymus Bosch, Peter Bruegel the Elder and more recently David Wojnarowicz, these artists grappled with making sense not only of our finitude, but of death on a grand scale. Artist’s working during the pandemic turned to the abject as a means of trying to make sense of the horror of global loss. The selection will refrain from literal masked ( be they gas or surgical masks) depictions, instead artists who invoke the uncanny, the strange as symbol for these strange times, will be invited to exhibit works which speaks to horror on a conceptual and symbolic level. David Wojnarowicz, Untitled (Falling Buffalos), 1988-1989
For more information or to RSVP to the opening, kindly contact the gallery directly.