De Arte - Volume 2010, Issue 81, 2010
Volumes & issues
Volume 2010, Issue 81, 2010
Author Eunice BassonSource: De Arte 2010, pp 2 –3 (2010)More Less
In this issue David Paton introduces the reader to 'The imagistic text in Jonathan Safran Foer : Tracing unconventional texts from Kerouac to the artist's book', in which he focuses his attention on the imagistic properties of texts in certain contemporary novels and the influence of artists who work within and around the conventions of the book. This article explores the relationship between Jonathan Safran Foer's novel Extremely loud and incredibly close (2005) and structural linguistic and visual conventions found in selected artists' books. Of particular concern are aspects such as the self-reflexive interventions made by the author to draw attention to the novel's meta-narratives. He also explores the seemingly random use of imagery as elliptical illuminations, the manipulation of the typographic conventions of the page for imagistic and affective purposes, and, lastly, the use of a flip-book structure at the end of the book, suggesting an alternative conclusion and the reader's collusion in averting history.
The imagistic text in Jonathan Safran Foer : tracing unconventional texts from Kerouac to the artist's book : researchAuthor David PatonSource: De Arte 2010, pp 4 –22 (2010)More Less
With Jack Kerouac's iconic scroll manuscript of On the road exhibited outside of the US for the first time in 2009, attention may once again be brought to bear on the imagistic properties of texts in certain contemporary novels and the influence of artists who work within and around the conventions of the book. By forging an argument for the importance of working outside of the accepted conventions of the novel's structure and form, Kerouac's inventiveness invites us to find other ways in which the novel may be informed by the interpretive acts of artists who use the form of the book in their work. This article explores the relationship between Jonathan Safran Foer's novel Extremely loud and incredibly close (2005) and structural, linguistic and visual conventions found in selected artists' books. Of particular concern are : the self-reflexive interventions made by the author to draw attention to the novel's meta-narratives; the seemingly random use of imagery as elliptical illuminations; the manipulation of the typographic conventions of the page for imagistic and affective purposes; and, lastly, the use of a flip-book structure at the end of the book, suggesting an alternative conclusion and the reader's collusion in averting history. The novel's unusual structural, linguistic and visual manipulations are analysed through the lens of selected earlier novels which exploited and undermined the literary conventions of their day, as well as selected artists' books in which texts behave as images. In this analysis, the article attempts to show that an awareness of both a history of the breaking of literary conventions, and of certain artists' books and their structures, might help a reader gain greater insight into Foer's narrative by understanding how he enunciates not what a book is, but what it does and how it does it.
Author Carolyn PartonSource: De Arte 2010, pp 23 –41 (2010)More Less
The traces a painter leaves in the process of living extend far beyond that of the painting or artwork. A consideration of the traces my personal art-making process may inadvertently be leaving, however anonymously, led to the research contained in this article. The result is an exploration tracking the issues involved in the environmental challenges we as the human species currently face. Paint and the act of painting is the focus, but the concept applies to any form of art-making. I propose that the application of creative thought by artists can contribute significantly to the evolutionary leap that certain writers, researchers, historians and scientists suggest is necessary in order to overcome the threat to the continued existence and survival of the human species upon Earth. Therefore, I conclude that the impact of the traces left by the artist can potentially be a positive one.
'God wants his people' : between retribution and redemption in Trevor Makhoba's engagement with HIV and AIDS : researchAuthor Gerald WestSource: De Arte 2010, pp 42 –52 (2010)More Less
This article analyses theological contestation in the work of Trevor Makhoba, focusing on his work on HIV and AIDS. The article locates Makhoba's work within the dominant theological orientation concerning HIV and AIDS, namely that HIV and AIDS are a punishment from God and/or the ancestors. The article argues that while Makhoba - as both social commentator and religious prophet - inhabits this theological perspective, his work interrogates and contends with this dominant theological orientation. Makhoba dares to question not only the dominant theology, but also God. In so doing, he mediates between retribution and redemption.
Author Robyn SassenSource: De Arte 2010, pp 53 –56 (2010)More Less
Wearing shoes spectacularly horrifying in size as well as social implications, Steven Cohen (b. 1962) flirts, as one might expect him to, with taboo in his latest performance piece, Golgotha. Deep sadness is also part of its repertoire. The work debuted by invitation in early November 2009 at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, as a part of the prestigious Festival d'Automne; parts of it were screened in 2009 at the curated travelling exhibition, Dystopia, at the Unisa Art Gallery and Museum Afrika, and in Cohen's retrospective exhibition hosted at the Michael Stevenson Gallery in Cape Town, during February and March 2010. It is a performance work about death and loss, as much as it engages with the traditions of art history and the possibilities of permissibility.
Source: De Arte 2010, pp 57 –65 (2010)More Less
Bongani Mkhonza is the first permanent curator to be appointed to the Unisa Art Gallery in two years. I met him at the gallery in February 2010 and was impressed by his energy and enthusiasm for the collection, despite the difficulties presented by the present site, on the fifth floor of the Theo van Wijk building, and the overcrowded storage facilities. Bongani joined the gallery in August 2009 and believes this collection has the major advantage of being shaped by a historically diverse acquisition strategy from its inception.
Source: De Arte 2010, pp 66 –68 (2010)More Less
This is a slim volume (72 pages in total) consisting mostly of full-colour illustrations of Phokela's works. It was published on the occasion of the eponymous exhibition, which was held at the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg from 3 February to 21 March 2009. Bronwyn Law-Viljoen, at the end of her introduction to the book (p. 10) states clearly that this is not a catalogue of the exhibition, but instead should be understood as a book to accompany the exhibition. This places the book in an awkward position, as the proportional difference between a limited written component (approximately ten pages in total) and the large number of illustrations would suggest a catalogue, rather than any kind of informative discourse on the work of Phokela. The point made by Law-Viljoen could be understood as a semantic decision, however, because not all of the paintings and sculptures that were exhibited appear in the book.
Author Elizabeth RankinSource: De Arte 2010, pp 69 –71 (2010)More Less
Steven Dubin opens his Acknowledgements at the beginning of Mounting Queen Victoria with an anecdote about a retired South African curator who was surprised to discover that Dubin was white, not black, when he arrived for an interview because, in the curator's words : 'You said on the phone that you were interested in talking about the "transformation" of museums in this country. I assumed that if you were white, you would have referred to the "deterioration" of museums' (p. xiii). The anecdote tells us much of what to expect from the book, regarding both the vast divergence of views about South African museums and the author's approach to the subject. Dubin is not nervous about grasping nettles (even the most prickly racial ones) and he relies a great deal on interviews (and does not refrain from recounting some of his subjects' more unguarded statements). The result is a highly readable account that exposes the cultural 'underbelly' of South African museum lore and is, like a good novel, hard to put down.
Author Anton KruegerSource: De Arte 2010, pp 72 –74 (2010)More Less
Handspring Puppet Company recently won three prestigious London awards (including the Olivier) for their design of the production War Horse, which is still running to great acclaim in the West End. This beautiful book has been released at exactly the right time, at a highpoint of an extraordinary company which has been producing astonishing work for 28 years already. It is an appropriate celebration of their many marvellous designs for 11 plays and two operas.
Author Jenni LauwrensSource: De Arte 2010, pp 75 –79 (2010)More Less
Since Dennis Cosgrove's monumental revision of the way in which landscape is theorised, in Social formation and symbolic landscape (1984), critical writing dealing with the landscape has been less interested in the way in which landscape as an object is decoded, than in the way landscape works as cultural practice. In that text, Cosgrove (1984:1) argued that landscape is 'a way in which some Europeans have represented to themselves and to others the world about them and their relationships with it, and through which they have commented on social relations'. The impact of Cosgrove's reassessment of the way in which landscape was written and thought about led to more than two decades of writing about landscape in ideological terms.
L'Afrique : a tribute to Maria Stein-Lessing and Leopold Spiegel, Natalie Knight (Ed.) : book reviewsAuthor Anitra NettletonSource: De Arte 2010, pp 80 –82 (2010)More Less
This book is intended as a tribute to one of the founders of the discipline of art history in South Africa. It aims to outline, in chapters by different authors, the impact that Dr Maria Stein-Lessing, a German immigrant, made on the South African art scene, largely after the Second World War, and the continuing contribution made by her husband Leopold Spiegel after Stein-Lessing's death.