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n Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies - Seemingly 'impossible' art forms : Strijdom van der Merwe's land art in the context of the South African art market : original research

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Abstract

This article explored the work of Strijdom van der Merwe, the concept of land art and the notion of the artist's book in the context of the historical and contemporary art market. The premise of the article is the view that if something can be called art, it can also be sold, even if it is an art form that seems 'impossible' to sell, such as land art. This article considers the position of Van der Merwe, the pre-eminent South African land artist, in the somewhat unlikely context, of the South African art market. Van der Merwe is a successful full-time land artist, which is a rare phenomenon in the South African art scene. Indeed in the 1960s, land art was deemed impossible to sell anywhere, and this article explored the extent to which this is still the case today. The research method of the article comprised semi-structured interviews and a literature review. It was argued, in view of Van der Merwe's work, that whilst it may be true that if something can be called art, it can be sold, then the proviso 'somehow' must be added when referring to seemingly 'impossible art'.


Hierdie artikel bied 'n ondersoek na die werk van Strijdom van der Merwe, die gedagte van aardkuns en die kunstenaarsboek in die konteks van die historiese en eietydse kunsmark. Die stelling dat 'indien iets kuns genoem kan word, kan dit ook verkoop word' word gebruik as vertrekpunt - ook in die geval van kunsvorme wat skynbaar 'onmoontlik' is om te verkoop, soos aardkuns. Hierdie artikel besin oor die werk van Strijdom van der Merwe, die bekendste Suid Afrikaanse aardkunstenaar, binne die ietwat ongewone konteks (vir aardkuns) van die Suid-Afrikaanse kunsmark. Hy is 'n suksesvolle voltydse aardkunstenaar; nogal 'n uitsonderlike verskynsel binne die Suid-Afrikaanse kunsomgewing. Aardkuns is allerweë in die 1960s beskou as 'n 'onmoontlike' kunsvorm om te verkoop, en hierdie artikel ondersoek die geldigheid van hierdie stelling vir vandag. Die navorsingsmetode van die artikel is semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude en 'n literatuurstudie. My argument is, met verwysing na Van der Merwe se werk, dat die stelling 'indien iets kuns genoem kan word, dit verkoopbaar is' waar mag wees, maar met die moontlike voorbehoud van 'verkoopbaar - op die een of ander manier'.

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/content/literat/33/1/EJC127711
2012-01-01
2016-12-03
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