Elfriede Dreyer  > Curating  > Art  > Publications 

Art Portfolio

Elfriede Dreyer is an Art Professor, curator, writer and artist. She has been affiliated with Unisa since 2015, after lecturing there full-time from 1990 to 2003. She also taught full-time at the University of Pretoria from 2003 to 2014.

Her recent work from 2017 onwards entails a series of event-based works relating to the traumatic experience of the loss of her entire home and personal belongings during the Great Fire of 7 June 2017.


Her main conceptual preoccupation is an ongoing interest in worldmaking discourses and the ideologies of place and space. Central concepts are utopia, dystopia and heterotopia as nuances of a family of constructions around place, such as a good place; a bad place; non-place; cocooning; displacement; and migrancy. Perceptions and projections of a good place as utopia are common, but exist mainly as fictions. Although many utopias have been conceived over the ages, few have worked out. Still they persist in appearing in a social and political sense; in addition, most people nurture personal ideas about a ‘good’ place. A non-place is a no-man’s land or space that belongs to no-one and everyone, such as, according to French anthropologist Marc Augé, a supermarket, airport or mall. Although a non-place then seems void of utopia, it is not, since these spaces have been conceived as ‘good’ places with good objective or teleology.

Except for works in public and private collections, the majority of my art production has been destroyed by the Knysna Great Fire of June 2017.



Overview of work in Design-Art (2011, 2(2)):190-194.



No place and Good place. 


2018 - 2019 

Bloot, 2019. Private Collection. 

Green fire, 2018. Private Collection. 

Unrooted and Rooting, 2018

Ash series, 2018


Gates opening, 2017. Commission for the Centenary of the Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria Collection. Mixed media (acrylic, oil and other painting media) on canvas, 1900 x 2850 mm. More details



Dystopian playground.   Group exhibition, Playground  Moór Gallery Franschhoek. Curators:  Corlie de Kock and Aidon Westcott. 23 July - 23 August 2016.   Review Cape Times


2013 - 2014  

Ship of fools 5 at The City: A Form Of Life, Open Window Institute, Centurion, Cool Capital Biennial, Pretoria, 29 Aug – 15 Nov 2014.


Ship of fools 1, 2, 3 , 4 at Metromusings, group exhibition for Andrew W Mellon research project of  Visual Technologies. Printed Catalogue, Rautenbach Hall, University Of Pretoria, 15 – 29 July 2013.


2008 - 2011  

Flood I & II. University of Pretoria Staff exhibition, and Fried Contemporary Art Gallery & Studio, Pretoria. Exhibition curated by Elfriede Dreyer. November 2010 – January 2011. More details


Hanging gardens, 2009. On An exploration of the Southern African Geography. Invited by SANAVA in collaboration with the Association of Arts Pretoria, various venues nationally and Berlin. July 2009 to February 2010


Utopia map; To be, both 2009. On Dystopia exhibition at UNISA Art Gallery, Pretoria. Museum Africa, Johannesburg. Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein. May 2009 – October 2010


From above and beyondElfriede Dreyer with Marlise Keith and Eric Duplan. 2 video productions and manipulated video stills. Fried Contemporary Art Gallery & Studio, Pretoria. 3 October – 114 November 2009. Private Collection. 


Verneem (2008). Group exhibition, UP Centenary: A century in the service of knowledge: Visuality/Commentary exhibition at the University of Pretoria. 11 to 23 May 2008. Collection of the Development Bank of Southern Africa.


Willem Boshoff (2008). Group exhibition, Media 24 exhibition, KKNK 2008, Oudtshoorn, Western Cape. Also on Muses 08 Investment Art, Cape Town


2004 - 2007  

02h05-02h27. Zoo city. 3 video productions and manipulated video stills. Solo exhibition at KKNK Festival, Oudtshoorn, Western Cape. Invited artist. 31 March – 8 April 2007


Little deaths. Traveling exhibition. Elfriede Dreyer with Wilma Cruise and Guy du Toit. Fried Contemporary Art Gallery, Pretoria, 13 February – 10 March and Bell-Roberts Gallery, Lourensford Wine Estate, Western Cape, 21 April – 31 July 2007


South African artists, Museé des arts derniers, Paris. February 2006


Delta. 2 video installations and 24 manipulated video stills. Solo ehibition at Gallery 2, Cité International des Arts in Paris.14 – 24 December 2005. View video


Real crime. Finalist in Brett Kebble exhibition, group exhibition, Convention Centre, Cape Town. National art competition. 2004. View video


5 Video stills from Real crime. Group exhibition, Visual Culture/Explorations conference on 9 & 10 July at the UP, group exhibition. Old Arts Gallery, University of Pretoria. 2004



exit enter. On Digital art exhibition (13 local and international artists), group exhibition at The Spacing, UNISA. 2002

(Absence 1997 - 2002 due to Management appointment at Unisa)


EARLY WORK: 1987 - 1996

Works from this period are in the public collections of the University of Pretoria, Telkom, First National Battery, The University of Pretoria. 

Spider-Man visits God’s Window. on opening exhibition of The Open Window Art Academy, 1996

Elfriede Dreyer with Keith Dietrich: Revisiting roads/recycling histories. 3 mixed media paintings. Centurion Gallery, 1995


Pretoria at the Johannesburg Biennale. 3 paintings. Title: North of the Jukskei, invited to participate. Museum Africa, Johannesburg, 1995


Group exhibition, opening of the new ABSA Gallery in Johannesburg. 1994


Bonne Année, Group exhibition, SAAA, Pretoria, 1994


Victims of war. Group exhibition at Jan Celliers school, Johannesburg. 1993   


Finalist at Momentum art competition, catalogue produced, group exhibition. ABSA. 1993


Greater Pretoria at UNISA. UNISA Gallery. Selected. National art competition, 1993 



MA(FA) Exhibition. 12 large mixed media paintings. Solo exhibition, UNISA Art Gallery, 1992


Exhibition and public discussion of work. Annual Conference of the SAAAH. UNISA. 1992




Group exhibition, Total Gallery, Johannesburg. 1990


Group exhibition, Development Bank, Halfway House. 1987


Exhibition of student work at lecturer's exhibition, UNISA Gallery, 1987


Finalist at Volkskas Atelier Art Award exhibition, ABSA Gallery, Pretoria. National art competition,




Finalist at Rolfes Foundation, Cape Town. National art competition, 1987


Finalist at New Signatures Competition exhibition, ABSA Gallery, Pretoria. National art competition,




Group exhibition, The Carriage House, Johannesburg, 1984



Video for TV for Afrikaans folk-rock band Klopjag for song Skree. Broadcast on national TV. 2006


7 Video productions on DVD of art exhibitions: Art From Two Metropoles; The Maswanganyi Family; The Missing Year, Philip Badenhorst; More (than) histories, Guy du Toit; LiveWire, Celia de Villiers; untitledongetitled, Andre Naude; Eye of the beholder, Adele Oldfield


10 multimedia productions for Afrikaans folk-rock band Klopjag: 24 uur; Stof; Ek wens jy wil; Boerseun, Die besemtannie; Karloos; Relatiwiteit; Koeëldoppies; Randburg tannie blues; Die kind.  For 5 performances at the National Arts Festival, KKNK, Oudtshoorn, SA. 2004


Fire. CD-ROM: Interactive Multimedia. Demonstration production for International Diploma in Interactive Multimedia, SCAN (now Frank Mohr Institute), Groningen. 1996




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