Artist Description

My work investigates the totemic quality of statues within a contemporary South African context. As part of the generation that cast their first vote during the 1994 democratic elections, I find myself in the position where I must question everything that I have been taught regarding these statues that grace our public spaces. I’ve come to realise that the Fallist movement and specifically the fall of the Rhodes statue offer a unique opportunity to examine and question the monolithic liberal humanist ideals that underlay our upbringing and inform our thinking. Liberal humanism describes the ideal human as being European, male and heterosexual. Just as posthumanist thinkers have adopted Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian man as symbol for the liberal humanist mindset (Braidotti 2013; Haraway 2008 ), the Rhodes statue has become a metaphor within my creative practice as the symbol for the fall of such monolithic systems of imperialism and colonialism.

The work depicts the Rhodes statue Pre-falling. The painting practise in this piece takes the form of acrylic underpainting executed in ala prima, high chroma, rendering the image in pop art fashion. This alludes to pop art’s criticism of consumer capitalism and is echoed in the Checkers’ plastic shopping bag wrapped around the statue’s head. The graffiti reads “Sixole Kanjani?” and was taken from site specific graffiti at the Rhodes statue. This loosely translated reads as “How shall we find peace?” and necessarily begs the larger question of the changing social climate.

Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum

Oil Painting by Laurette De Jager
Materials used
oil on canvas, framed
Size
W:70cm x H:100cm x D:3.5cm (framed)
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  • Artist Description
    • Artist Description

      My work investigates the totemic quality of statues within a contemporary South African context. As part of the generation that cast their first vote during the 1994 democratic elections, I find myself in the position where I must question everything that I have been taught regarding these statues that grace our public spaces. I’ve come to realise that the Fallist movement and specifically the fall of the Rhodes statue offer a unique opportunity to examine and question the monolithic liberal humanist ideals that underlay our upbringing and inform our thinking. Liberal humanism describes the ideal human as being European, male and heterosexual. Just as posthumanist thinkers have adopted Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian man as symbol for the liberal humanist mindset (Braidotti 2013; Haraway 2008 ), the Rhodes statue has become a metaphor within my creative practice as the symbol for the fall of such monolithic systems of imperialism and colonialism.

      The work depicts the Rhodes statue Pre-falling. The painting practise in this piece takes the form of acrylic underpainting executed in ala prima, high chroma, rendering the image in pop art fashion. This alludes to pop art’s criticism of consumer capitalism and is echoed in the Checkers’ plastic shopping bag wrapped around the statue’s head. The graffiti reads “Sixole Kanjani?” and was taken from site specific graffiti at the Rhodes statue. This loosely translated reads as “How shall we find peace?” and necessarily begs the larger question of the changing social climate.

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