Wim Botha: Standard Bank Young Artist for Visual Art 2005

  • Location: South African National Gallery
  • From: January 1, 2005     To: December 31, 2005
Wim Botha: Standard Bank Young Artist for Visual Art 2005

Wim Botha’s traveling exhibition began its year-long tour at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown and will end at the Standard Bank Gallery in July 2006. Botha works in multiple media, with sculptures, etchings, paintings and drawings all forming part of his intricate installations. These reflect on and subvert the symbolic imagery of power, religion and art history. By visually interfering with venerated forms of art, artefact and decoration, the artist offers questions related to the underlying implications of systems and structures that attempt to define who we are. In several of his installations this subversion alludes to the systemic decay inherent in symbolic representations related to power. This is coupled with a reconstructive desire, simulating found imagery in an altered way that allows the possibility of a revision of our assumptions. Included in Botha’s Standard Bank Young Artist exhibition is the Mieliepap Pietà, a life-size mirrored replica of Michelangelo’s original, modelled in maize meal and epoxy resin. The sculpture was first exhibited at the Cathedral of St John the Divine in New York in 2004, as part of the group exhibition Personal Affects: Power and poetics in contemporary South African art, where it alternately offered subtle comment on western traditions and was appropriated by worshippers as part of the fabric of the church.

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