Folly, Frailty and Fear
Opening: 14 April 2021 - 19 May 2021
Victor will explore the notions of folly, irrationality and stupidity in a compelling new body of work: FOLLY, FRAILTY AND FEAR, with experimental works and different processes beyond her traditional approach. Through drawing, printmaking and blackboard chalk drawings, drawings on stone, and smoke drawings printed on cloth, Victor alludes to the ramifications of foolish actions on individuals and their society.
The exhibition references Desiderius Erasmus’ text ‘In Praise of Folly’ (1511) and ‘Das Narrenschiff’ translated as ‘Ship of fools’ by Sebastian Brandt (1498) as well as more recent explorations of foolish actions, untruths and misinformation in an attempt to understand the history of stupidity. Foolish behaviour can have, as Erasmus parodied, the potential to offer a seemingly lighter side to living.
Victor is intrigued by Erasmus’ approach to satire and the way he used satirical writings to critique the powers of the time, especially since her work has always been strongly underpinned by humour.
Fools are happy, while those who think and question tend to gravitate towards dour depression. However, with fool’s envy, fool’s paradises and fool’s pride abounding, the danger of falling victim to unwise choices flourishes. Wealth, pleasure and popularity are favoured over greater critical thinking. This self-centred blindness leads to societal injustice and anger and ultimately to intolerance and violence. In a society with an abhorrent tendency to classify and divide, we exist within a legacy of violence and aggression towards humanity.
“Frailty and fear are part of our existence too,” says Victor, “Frailty, the vulnerability that has affected me physically in my own body and the frailty in our own society, when we realise how vulnerable we are and how easily one serious viral infection can quite literally freeze the world. The fear comes with it – globally people are afraid. Fear is about how we negotiate the world around us,” she continues.
Triggered by the strong emotional response to contentious conditions– sometimes, disgust, disbelief or anger, Victor responds visually: “I do not pre think whether it is criticism, but that, hopefully, is a self-reflective response to a situation.”
She camouflages problematic subject matters with a technical visual aesthetic that draws the viewer in. “This is a more effective strategy for me rather than a blunt, direct or aggressive approach. Also, the technical component allows for multiple readings that should transcend the didactic statement of criticism,” she says.
“I am interested in the material development, the ambiguity that the technical interaction brings to the work. It is not about illustrating the cause, but the process and the medium that bring in other unexpected readings.”
RSVP for the virtual walkabout opening via Zoom on 14 April at 18:00.
Participating: Diane Victor
UJ ART GALLERY
Address: UJ APK Campus, Cnr. Kingsway/ University Rd, Auckland Park
Tel: 011 559 2099
Gallery Hours: Mon - Fri 09:00 - 18:00 Sat 09:00 - 13:00
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