Blackout Exhibition – Maboneng Precinct (Arts On Main April 2012)

Posted: June 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

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Blackout was an exhibition that did not make noise but certainly raised eyebrows for those who managed to lay their eyes on it.  It told about the other life; but the life that has been left seemingly with the remains – bones. It was like telling the history of the rural folks. The exhibition which was at Main Street Life – Arts On Main, described itself as intimate, and this was certainly true: comprising just 10 images, all taken within the space of twelve months. The exhibition’s title is derived from the thought that the images would mesmerise those who lay their eyes upon it.

These images were created with the aim to blackout the audience – a metaphor. People find it difficult to travel in the blackout – darkness. It meant temporary loss of conscious. Seeing them for the first time, the images would create a mirage in their mind, but become clear as time goes and they regain their consciousness.

On seeing the breakfast nest it was not surprising that among the audiences on the opening night one commented that, “I could not imagine that the eggs in the nest could be boiled eggs. It must be the nest they are rested on. The nest is too alien in this set up. One might think there is no way you can eat those eggs with a knife …and fork. My mind raced into the idea that the picture communicates modernity delimited by its existential axioms, how modernity wreathes itself trying to extricate itself from the binds of its concrete roots into pluralistic nebulas of abstraction. For some reason you’ll think there would be something amiss in reading that the eggs have been in the same kitchen whence forth came the fork and knife. Its just that the imagery “as is” has this first striking thought effect that the sum total of the fragments on the table (eggs for food, and knife & fork for eating utensils) do not belong together. Something that goes against the grain of our “it goes without saying’ habits. Something that says, yes I know eggs; fork & knife belong in a breakfast entity set, but something in this formulation, something in this imagery has broken ranks with that logic. There is something about the picture that just doesn’t communicate the possibility of breakfast. The fragments on the table have now been made foreign to each other, and the underlying unconscious coordinates of culture in the way that culture silently carries ideology in our everyday events has been radically exposed. it has been exposed that this is not breakfast as we know it. The unconscious is radicalised and exposed in that you see an impasse where you should “naturally ‘see the logical conclusion of having eggs, say, for breakfast.”

Strangely, the artist behind the work had no art school background. The reason for starting this abstract photography was to create a book with a unique art that could also add narratives to. A book which is still on the cards aim to create a new debate on art. This work is fascinating, provocative but uniquely encompass the rural settings. It has narratives – it is educational and addresses social issues. It recognizes the constructive role that art can, and does play in the lives of young people, particularly the youth. All the images are created to accompany a voice with – the voice never been heard before.

The exhibition did however include work that marries moments of spontaneity with creative merit. Taking a journey through the exhibited images you’d have realised indeed, the images goes far beyond just simple film stills, showing the artist’s deep appreciation to communicate the scenery imagined around him. With the exhibition, small stories were indeed not only heard but shared as well.

*****To everyone including those who showed up for this exhibition, follow me as I take Blackout to Cape Town later this year.

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