Elfriede Dreyer is an arts 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.
2018 - 2019
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
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
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 beyond. Elfriede 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
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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