Fried Contemporary Art Gallery & Studio, Pretoria
ANGELS AND DEMONS, 7 – 28 JUNE 2008
DIANE VICTOR, FRANCOIS VAN REENEN, JOHAN CONRADIE
As South Africans we live in a twilight time of in-betweens, grey areas and transformation, but also of extremities and contradictions. A prominent international curator recently described our country as being in the ‘global gutter’ – maybe a dystopian place of survival and strain. It is moreover a place populated by memories and signs of hope and despair, angels and demons.
Diane Victor’s post-apocalyptic work presents human fragility in her fantasies of devastation, decay and disaster, depicting notions of cruelty as embossed into human consciousness.
Francois van Reenen deals with temporality and the absurd; the playfulness of his Pop style images belies their hidden psychology of fear, fantasy and memory. Although mischievous, there is a hint of mesmerising nightmare, almost as something known but not acknowledged. Although familiar and mundane, his objects become imbued with the banal to take on an iconic, almost archetypal status.
Johan Conradie’s work explores eschatological space through photorealistic paintings and painterly photographs. Beauty, ruin and spirituality are rendered in works that are both virtual and material, past and present.