Elfriede Dreyer, No place, 2020. R18000.00
Elfriede Dreyer, No place, 2020. Archival digital print, 1200 x 900mm. AP. Edition of 3 + AP. Provenance: Obtained from the artist.
No place (2020) forms part of a series of event-based works relating to the traumatic experience of the loss of my entire home and personal belongings during the Great Fire of 7 June 2017. However, the work also reflects my ongoing interest in worldmaking discourses and the ideologies of place and space. Utopia, dystopia and heterotopia are 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. Utopian is an ambivalent concept; thus my two works on exhibition are presented as intertwined concepts and speak to the ambivalence of utopian space.
MORE ON THE ARTIST
Elfriede Dreyer is an academic, curator, writer and artist. She has held the position of Professor Extraordinarius at the 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. In 2012 she was awarded rating as a NRF researcher, based on international assessment of her publications and curatorial activities; this was renewed in 2018. Recent curatorial projects include the Art In the Embassy Programme at the American Embassy in Pretoria (2019-2020); Tribute/Huldeblyk (2019) at the KKNK; Home (2018), National Arts Festival, Grahamstown; Vuurdans (2018), Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees and Knysna Art Society; Recent works of Pascual Tarazona (2018), Belgian consulate, Pretoria; a programme director, Venice Architecture Biennale (2016), in conjunction with co-curating The city: a form of life at the Cool Capital Biennale (2014), Pretoria; Non-place (2016), Moór Gallery, Franschhoek; Nomad bodies (2014), Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Artesis University College, Antwerp; Terra (2015), Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein; Titus Matiyane’s Panoramas of the BRICS Capitals (2015), University of Johannesburg Gallery; and overall art curator of the KKNK in 2015. She has produced more than 53 articles, book chapters, exhibition reviews, book reviews and exhibition catalogues, and has published in journals such as Communicatio, Third text, De arte, Literator, Image & Text, International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, International Journal of the Arts in Society, Litnet Akademies, Art South Africa, Tydskrif vir Letterkunde, and with publishers such as Unisa Press, Cambridge Scholars Press, Les Presses du Réel and Inter-disciplinary Press. She presented papers at several international and national subject conferences. In 2005 she co-founded Fried Contemporary Art Gallery & Studio, Pretoria, and was its curator until April 2014. In 2015 she founded CAP, a national contemporary art mentoring programme and in 2020 she turned it into the CAP Institute for Contemporary Art Practice in Pretoria that includes curatorial projects, a gallery, and educational programmes in visual arts. More info: www.elfriededreyer.com
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