Andries BothaSouth AfricaVisual Arts1998

I keep scheduling some relief, as best I can, from my own preponderance, a geographical valve, if you want, from the preoccupation that South Africans have with themselves and the shock of their tentative release from their own undoing. Italy, Civitella, prefigured as some mythological retreat in a more ordered world, shaped by epic ruins and embracing sunsets, just like the European travel brochures beckoning, as they do in Africa.I could continue but Civitella provided me with a welcome synapse, a perfectly ordered but charged environment necessary to the business of creativity. I have tried often to describe its assets, but fall short. The ordered context; meals, trips, studios, materials, with the conducive pretext; conversation, conversations, uninterrupted with so many gifted individuals. All this helped so much to catalyze a lead in my imagination. I am still grateful for this perfect moment.

I treated the body as a terrain that revealed the process of experience, a sort of historical archive. The skin or membrane is a litmus of sorts where visible and intangible marks reveal themselves as history. The marked, gouged, bruised, stitched surface is the format where words, deeds are tattooed on to the surface. I made the skin like some paper cut out to invoke the memory of a playfulness now long gone.


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