This piece was originally done for an exhibition entitled "Speechless," curated by Su Opperman and shown at the Erdmann Contemporary from 26 May 2015 - 11 July 2015.
We were asked to create artwork in reaction to the State Of The Nation Address of 2015. While watching the SONA, I cried a lot. My gut reaction oscillated between despair, disbelief and anger. I felt that I was looking at a roomful of people who had no regard for the nation they addressed, focusing instead on furthering themselves financially and politically. It was a complete farce. I watched as several people, including president Zuma, laughed in the face of horrifyingly grim situations. They reminded me of a cackle of hyenas, whooping and slavering over the richest parts of a country which is trying desperately to find its feet after being mauled by previous political institutions. They tear apart the weak in favour of self-enrichment, leaving those who are vulnerable completely broken.
There is also a play on words in the Afrikaans title "Koukus." The word itself means "Caucus" but in Afrikaans "kou" also means to chew, and "kus" means kiss, while the homophone for "kus" is "kis," which means chest or coffin. I enjoyed the way these connotations played into the feel of the piece.
Keywords: politicians, caucus, SONA, hyenas,