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Galerie Jette Rudolph (closed, 2016)

Private Gallery
Wim Botha @ Art Forum Berlin, 31. Oct - 3. Nov. 2008
  Solo-Präsentation: Wim Botha

Hall 11.2, Booth 103

Professional Preview:
Thursday, October 30, 2008, 2 p.m.

Opening: Thursday, October 30, 2008, 5 p.m.

The installation by Wim Botha [South African, b. 1974 Pretoria; based in Johannesburg] entitled "Vanitas Toilette" displays a simulated room featuring a domestic but hovering interior. Opposing concepts are incorporated within a referenced Baroque style; modernity and the historical correlate in contradictions of the fallible individuals versus power mechanisms, in which figurative manifestations of power and religion by way of the idea of mortality are reflected.

A bath-like container is positioned beneath a mirror-sided vitrine, both suspended; the chandelier-like object is the source of dripping water into the bath. The water simulates on a symbolic level an elusive matter: the originality and finality in the meaning of passing time, the source and the nourishment of life, also in the meaning of the Divine word, alike spring: pouring or dwindling.

By use of some symbols their various cultural relationship is to brought to mind, the spontaneous decision is to avoid. The formulation and the register, the spectrum combined with apperception; the integration of associations, of image qualities and perspectives are means of expressions and lead the subjective view into an argumentative operation. The main colours- black and white- could be seen as references to the underlying motif of duality, of ambiguity.

The chandelier, made up of wood and mirrored glass, catches the (self-) reflecting moment in the present between reality and the created illusion of a room as a space, a body; subtly highlighting the boundaries between the material and immaterial; the moment of recognition, the enlightenment and that of the veiled.

More sets of opposites are to be found in the portrait bust: traditionally symbolising power, the iconic, mass-production and narcism. The bust is fashioned out of paper as fragile but physical matter, the transcendental eternal word. Now the room gets a sinister function: the bust suggestive of a stereotypic human carved from Bibles in South African languages and is placed above the bath with a lattice-like base- an agony?

In awareness of Janus, of the entry and the exit, servility of time becomes a reflexive matter in decay.

"This side is done, turn me over and have a bite" ["Assum est, inquit, versa et manduca."] (The Martyrdom of St. Lawrence)- All at once: the volatile water gets an ambiguity manifested and shifted into a more personal view. Bodily fluids like tears (emotional distress) and blood (bodily distress), sweat (outer necessity, as a result) and yes! urine (inner necessity) are some solutes of the circular flow that occurs continually, that will occur continually- theatrum mundi- the baroque stage.
The collection of objects: a reminder of shifting realities into the imminence of death, the "memento mori" concept pours out into a subtly disconcerting scene. They reveal a mirage and work to create a sense of ominousness and displacement: aspects of trust and belief in a logical passage of time, and the resulting narrative by constructed history and constellations are put into question by the artist.

SHOWS 2008/ 2009:
JAN KOCH, boeseistswennnichtweiter, Sept.5th- Oct.11th, 2008
DENNIS RUDOLPH, "Der Hlg. Krieg, Kap.II: Innerster Kreis (Nothwendigkeit)", Oct.24th- Nov. 22nd, 2008 (cat.)
WIM BOTHA, Nov.28th, 2008- Jan.31st, 2009
POIK II m. Greif & Hennig, Jari Silomäki, Nasan Tur u.a., Febr.6th- March 14th, 2009
MARCUS SENDLINGER, March 20th- April 26th, 2009
NN, May 01- June 13th, 2009
PHILIP LOERSCH, June 19th- JUly 31th, 2009
NATALIE CZECH, Sept.04th- Oct.4th, 2009
KLAUS- MARTIN TREDER, Oct.9th- Nov.14th, 2009

ART FORUM BERLIN, Soloshow with WIM BOTHA, Oct.31- Nov.3rd, 2008
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