lunedì 30 giugno 2008

WIM BOTHA - 'Transmigrations'

by Sean O'Toole
Wim Botha grew up in a drowsy suburban neighbourhood on the eastern reaches of Pretoria. This fact might not necessarily be apparent the first time you view his work, but it is relevant. His work is rooted in the officious pretensions of the nation's administrative capital, and draws extensively from popular iconography closely associated with the city. Seemingly boring stuff like trophy mounts and government texts, bibles and religious icons have all at some time or another been the form and/or content of his visually arresting output.
Using the familiar, the everyday, the iconic, Wim Botha has succeeded in creating works characterised by their delicate blending of inter-acting themes. Take for instance his Wild Life series of sculptural installations. A relatively early piece from his career, Wim Botha used official government gazettes as source material for a carved bust of a Blue Wildebeest. As in much of the work that followed, the carved text of this piece became the physical substance of the work, the collective text informing both the representation of the work, as well as providing the work with its social context.

"My works are a process of distillations," the artist explains. "They attempt to reduce all-encompassing ideas and universal factors down to their core idea." Exploring along the way "intercepting variables" and "patterns", his work also offers viewers a curious glance at "the things people do, need, construct to make sense of things," be they grandiose and religious, or decorative and facile in a not so innocent fashion. (More...)

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