How to slay an unexpected devil.

In the daily activity of warding off devils, I am sometimes caught off guard and was recently surprised by a particularly potent evil. This was a sneaky one – disguised as a long lost family member who had suddenly become concerned with the well-being of my partner after an absence from his life for almost three decades.

We must have seemed really happy in those Facebook posts that announced our almost ten years together!

Shortly after arrival, I was advised clearly by the assiduously groomed and meticulously well-informed visitor that she had come to assess my legitimacy. (Whatever that may mean!).

Thank goodness I specially cleaned the house, cooked a great meal, decanted the dooswyn, set the table and warned the children to be on their best behaviour. I even hired somebody to help me clean-up outside a little. Yes, it certainly is no longer a cheap round to attempt a good impression.

I remember thinking after they departed that I will never, ever do this again for anybody, ever again in my life – you will find me as I am from now on. And for any future seekers of ‘legitimacy’ – I sure hope you find me when the house is clean and there is actually food in the fridge.

Fortunately, our devil was not one of those heavyweights who capture unsuspecting victims, reduces them to a pulp over many years and then leaves them to die at the side of the road. She was a walk in the park in comparison but nevertheless extremely forceful; a one night only coup d’etat.

The carefully constructed façade came undone slowly in the flickering candlelight at our impeccably curated dinner table. At first it was only the protruding claws and long dirty nails that became visible as it started picking at plasters and scars of recent and historical wounds; specifically aimed at overthrowing my authenticity but harming my loved one instead and my empath kicked into autopilot. I checked my sword. It was however not our first ever onslaught of this kind so I remained playful and continued to tend to the comfort of our dragon, graciously ignoring indiscretions and allowing the benefits of fair play while eagerly anticipating any signs of love.

It was not long before the perfect conditions constituted for a complete and full unveiling of the demon. Light bounced off salivating fangs, gleefully licking scabs and grazed skin from monstrous claws, beady eyes darting with excitement; challenging my good-natured reaction after every abrasion in order to gain ultimate power through shaming, guilt-tripping and embarrassing her hosts.

From the experience of being an accidental survivor, I luckily no longer wonder about people who enjoy creating drama and exposing dark secrets and stories about others for narcissistic gain and I follow a single simple rule – KILL IT (THERE AND THEN).

So when I detected a shift in my partner’s eyes, almost like storm clouds moving over a bright full moon, (after a particularly victimising comment with overtly sexual undertones), I prepared for battle. He growled softly as he left the table and I responded with deep loud laughter to avert the attention which threw the devil off guard for a bit, just long enough for my partner to recover and gather his weapons, returning calm and composed to the table armed with a bottle of tequila and four embellished Moroccan tea glasses.

The advent of the looming battle made me shiver as the adrenaline kicked in. He filled the glasses only half with the strong clear liquid and toasted me first. Our eyes met in silent accord, I winked, he nodded and simultaneously blew the last of the day’s guardian angels off his shoulder while lifting his glass. The shooting star faded as it hit the ground and we entered the abyss of darkness in full force, alone.

I took one sip to calm my nerves and then used the attention of the other toasts to bump the content of my tea glass into my water glass (knowing my weaknesses all too well) and unleashed a personal set of weaponry. My partner smiled surreptitiously at my first choice, not at all startled by the sudden earsplitting volume of Earth Wind and Fire’s ‘Fantasy’ while he swiftly led the dance and in unison we removed obstacles from the battlefield in preparation, returning to his own weapons in-between songs to fill the tea glasses.

Our devil had become confused from the sudden transference and my deceit went unnoticed as I regularly emptied my water glass in the kitchen. In defence mode now, the long claws and heavy armour had become clumsy in a battle that required a lightness of being.

The playlist started in the 70’s and by the 80’s the enemy was still frozen from shock and noise, unable to inflict any pain in the face of so much fun and laughter – ‘Get(ting) Into the Groove’ – and resorted to gaslighting; shooting fireballs from an ugly forked tongue.

I was hit in the 90’s and my partner in the 2000’s but we persevered and sometimes taunted – ‘Strong Enough to Live Without You’ – while fueling the dragon with alcohol to the point of gradual self-combustion as a result of the bewildering circumstantial forces which caused the swallowing of words, or rather fireballs.

By 2017, ‘Starboy’ concluded the battle in our favour at around 4:00 am.

Wounded and tired we dusted off the ashes and swept the last of the burned-out devil into the early morning dawn of a new day and whispered softly to each other: “stay in the light baby”.

Van LSD tot SMAC by die Woordfees

Op die tweede laaste dag van die Stellenbosch Woordfees ry ek Kaap toe nadat ek ou vriende uit Pretoria by die lughawe afgelaai het. Dis nog vroeg en ek vind maklik parkering in Kloofstraat en drink koffie terwyl ek wag vir Salon 91 om oop te maak.

Die kunstenaar Cathy Layzell wat tans ‘n solo uitstalling daar aanbied lê my na aan die hart en ek wou perspektief kry oor die manier waarop haar werk saam met ‘n paar ander wroeg in ‘n wollerige pienk storie by die Museum in die Woordfees uitstalling ‘Deur die bome die bos nie sien nie’. Dalk was ek te krities.

Ek volg haar loopbaan vandat sy destyds met die bekwame aanmoediging van Ignatius Claassen (van Luvey ‘n Rose faam) begin opspraak maak het en is verbaas dat iemand soos hy wat ‘n groot bydrae lewer met sy insig, wysheid, waardevolle en groeiende privaat versameling en vaardigheid om kunstenaars te bemoedig en bemark, (én wat ‘n streng maatstaf stel vir die waarde van hul werk), nog nooit in aanmerking gekom het in ‘n raadgewende hoedanigheid by afrikaanse feeste nie (in elk geval nie sover ek weet nie).

Die Wes-Kaapse landskap is droog en gebuk onder veldbrande; damme is vrottende modderpoele as gevolg van die hitte en droogte en die roete stad toe (van Stellenbosch af en terug) word aangedui met vreesaanjaende waarskuwings oor waterbesparings op flikkerende elektroniese borde wat apokaliptiese beelde van hongersnood en dors by my opjaag.

Cathy stel nie teleur nie. “I am transported into a utopian wonder-world with magical botanical elements and spheres of extreme beauty and craftsmanship, engulfed in the cool pleasures of dark forests and natural pools that were sensitively and even playfully constructed with delicate fragments of light and brilliant colour.  This transitional exhibition graciously introduces her exciting recent style and thematic developments with excellent curatorial insight and support”.

Vir my plattelandse oog is die monumentale nuwe industriële en kommersiële eiendoms-ontwikkelings afgewissel met groeiende “townships” opvallend op pad terug Woordfees toe alleen in die motor – die jukstaplasing van armoede en welvaart is onheilspellend maar mens raak dit seker gewoond as jy dit elke dag sien. #diekreefraakgewoonddaaraan

Jenny Parsons se uitstalling ‘Weed’ by die Museum neem die ekologie binne ontwikkelende verstedeliking waar en beeld die uitdagende verhouding tussen mens en natuur knap uit in haar stedelike landskappe. Ek wens skielik dat ‘n paar van Collen Maswanganyi se beeldhouwerke ingesluip het uit die vertrek langs hare, wat soos baie van die solo uitstallings by die woordfees gesegregeer was van ‘n wyer-reikende verhaal as gevolg van kuratoriese tekortkomings. #hotproperty

Die uitlokkend doeltreffende salon-styl plasings hier en daar wat die temas verskerp van Banele Khoza se goed deurdagte en inklusiewe groep uitstalling ‘Khula Ukhokobe’, word aanvanklik as effens onder druk ervaar asof spasie suinig aan hom toegestaan is waarmee hy met ‘n omvattende verskeidenheid elemente en inligting ondersoek ingestel het in ‘n omgewing waar transformasie, gelykheid en verdraagsaamheid steeds langsaam groei. Daarinteen is die sukses van die uitstalling juis dalk te danke aan Allen Laing se gesette in-stallasie ‘Tree Gantry’ wat intieme interaksie en selfs konfrontasie, afgewissel met betowerende skilderwerk (albeit met hardekern temas), tot gevolg gehad het en selfs baie slim forseer het. #ster

Henk Serfontein se ‘Winterslaap’ langs Banele in die Museum, was in konteks en visueel in plasing vreemd uit plek uit en het ook die natuurlike vloei en ineenskakeling van die ander uitstallings in die opeenvolgende ruimtes gestuit  – ‘n aparte spasie in ‘n meer literêr gefokuste omgewing sou dalk ‘n meer gepaste opsie gewees het.

Daar is geen twyfel dat Henk homself tegnies oortref het nie. In ‘n wereld waar blitsige digitale ondersteuning oorheers, het hy die traditionele tekenmedium outentiek en meesterlik vereer, maar konseptueel skiet die versameling werke tekort en kommunikeer visueel as ‘n reeks ambisieuse selfbevredigende figuurstudies – die magdom van moontlikhede wat die gedig en die karakter van die onderwerp bied onaangeraak as gevolg van die nougesette konseptuele beperkinge wat deur die kunstenaar gestel is.

Die groot aantal soortgelyke werk het eentonig geraak en dis jammer dat ‘n foto installasie wat die proses dokumenteer (of ander) nie ingesluit was saam met ‘n kleiner aantal werke om meer van Wilma Stockenström (en die kunstenaar) se menswees te ontbloot nie. Dalk het sy vir die kamera geloer terwyl sy veronderstel was om te slaap? #theopportunitieswereendless #dontbetooprecious #havesomefun #letyourhairdown #spillsomeink #tearacorneroff

Konseptuele verduidelikings wat aangebied is was onoortuigend, selfs pretensieus en soms soetsappig persoonlik en ontgin nie die moontlikhede van ‘n projek van hierdie aard nie. Geen verbale versiersuiker soos die publiek se emosionele reaksie regverdig die konseptuele tekortkominge nie – dit is wat dit is en die uitstalling het my letterlik en figuurlik koud gelaat. #Youkilledwilmaforme

Bring asseblief die regte ou Henk terug. Waar was al daai wonderlike steel-fotos?

‘n Kort ‘Blou Pot’ tussenspel was keurig aangebied so tussen al die solo’s. (By die foto’s is ‘n glas-en-keramiek werk van Janette Anderson ingesluit uit die PJ Olivier Sentrum.)

Vir perspektief en afleiding het ek tussen die fees uitstallings ook Stellenbosch se galerye besoek en in Dorpstraat Galery toevallig ‘n massiewe landskap van MJ Lourens ontdek, eintlik net mooi wat ‘Deur die bome…’ nodig gehad het. #deurdiebomedieligsien

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Die ‘Property’ reeks werke van swaargewig kunstenaar Anton Karstel wat binnekort ‘n retrospektiewe uitstalling by die Pretoria Kunsmuseum aanbied, sou ook ‘n puik bydrae tot die temas op die fees kon lewer, maar is saam met baie ander belangrike (en ook afrikaanse) kunstenaars nie oorweeg nie, of net weggelaat.

Kunstenaars Hanien Conradie en Hannelie Coetzee was ook afwesig – beide se werk is omgewings-ondersoekend (ook met verwysings in die direk omliggende wyn-landbou gebied rondom Stellenbosch) wat “connectedness”(HC) tussen die mens en sy onmiddelike omgewing aanmoedig. #lookwider

En waar was Richard Strydom?

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In die Stellenbosch Galery vind ek wonderlike werk van ou meesters en ook tydgenote soos ‘n kleurvolle klein olieverf skildery van Walter Battiss, Jan Vermeiren, Walter Meyer en ‘n vrolike werkie van Conrad Theys. ‘n Pragtige stillewe deur Gail Catlin in ‘n interessante medium (onduidelik aangedui op die kaartjie) en ‘n kunstenaar wat onbekend is aan my, Candice Dawn Blignaut, wie se grafiese werk ‘The Dog’ ook my aandag getrek het by die PJ Olivier Kunssentrum. #theframingsucked

Christiaan Diederiks se uitstalling ‘Die Brandende Biblioteek’ was waarskynlik een van die mees intelligente bydraes wat Stellenbosch nog ooit gesien het en spreek van ‘n briljante en georganiseerde intellek wat ook slim inklusief verwys na die verstommende talent, bydraes, samewerking, ervaring, eerlikheid en toegewyde harde werk wat vir Suid Afrikaanse grafiese kunstenaars internasionale bekroning verwerf. #ster

Sarah Pratt en Marinda du Toit het vlietend  geskitter in die meestal amateuragtige daaglikse ‘Opskiet’ uitstallings met kreatiewe karakters en kits-klets narratiewe, maar ek sou hulle graag wou sien in ‘n meer ‘respektabel’ verhaal en ‘n kragtiger, komplimenterende produksie in bv. die Hoffmeyr-saal, dalk saam met Bianca Brand en Sthenjwa Luthuli, wie se werk ek vir die eerste keer laasjaar by die Grahamstad fees opgemerk het met dieselfde kuratoriese uitdagings wat konseptuele insig in die werk gekortwiek het.

Al die werk in die in die Hoffmeyr-saal was hedendaags en opwindend. Die enigste kritiek is dat gevoellose plasing van hoë kwantiteit soortgelyke werk in sommige van die solo aanbiedings nie individuele werke gekomplimenteer het nie.

Die enigste solo uitstallings wat werklik geboei het, was onder andere Adele Potgieter se ‘Hernu’ vir die interessante ritme waarmee die werke gegroepeer en gespasieer is. Adele, het beindruk met die donker ondertone in van haar werk wat deur die medium onderstreep is al is dit speels aangebied – gepluisde tuimeldroer felt/stof en borduurwerk vermeng met skilder en beeldhou-mediums. #witchcraftistrending

Haidee Nel se ‘Groeipyne’ – haar installasie en konseptuele verwysings na sprokies-teater is briljant en foutloos uitgevoer soos net Haidee dit kan doen. Ek het tog individuele interaksie met die werk gemis om haar uitmuntende skeppingsvermoee en die ontwikkeling van elke beeld se karakter, persoonlikheid en onverwagse detail gemakliker te ontdek.

Hier in die Hofmeyr saal tussen Haidee en Adele het ek skielik na Stellenbosch kunstenaar Paula van Coller Louw se bloeisels verlang en kan nie verstaan waarom sy alweer nie hier is nie, veral inaggenome dat sy al jare met die tema ‘Groei’ werk en daar dramatiese groot werke deesdae uit haar nuwe studio kom wat ondersoekend ook fynbos begin insluit.

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Waar die Museum tekortgeskiet het in opwinding, het ‘Bosch in Afrika’ voor opgemaak. Dit was ‘n belewenis van talent wat gespog het met van ons voorste kunstenaars en het my aanvanklik laak snak na my asem. Sandra Hanekom het ‘n natuurlike vermoëe om stories te vertel met kunswerke uit alle genres – sy is vreesloos en elke kunswerk is met pynlike akuraatheid nie ‘n sentimeter uit plek of konteks geplaas nie. Sy meng en pas ou en nuwe ‘bloed’ met gemak en selfvertroue in die groter belang van die groep-uitstalling maar ook respekvol in die beste belang van elke individuele kunstenaar.                                 Ou gunstelinge wat getrou gebly het aan ‘n persoonlike estetika te midde van die oordadige  psigotiese landskap sluit onder andere in Elizabeth Balcombe, Liza Wilson, Bastiaan van Stenis, Marlise Keith en Ruhan Janse van Vuuren – om slegs ‘n paar te noem wat toevallig almal saam was in een vertrek.

Nog ‘n baie aangename herontmoeting was die digitaal geanimeerde ontwikkeling van Henning Ludeke se ‘skoenlapper’ werk binne die Bosch konteks.FullSizeRender_15

LaritFullSizeRender_14ha Engelbrecht het verras met ‘n vars meesterstuk nadat ‘n eksplisiete Bosch geinspireerde werk van haar ‘n paar jaar gelede deur ‘n noemenswaardige internasionale versamelaar opgeraap is, kort nadat sy as bloedjong kunstenaar by Stellenbosch gegradueer het.  Komplimenterend uitgestal saam met Danelle Janse van Vuuren (wie se sprokiesboek geinspireerde beeldhouwerke weer beindruk het by CTAF en sy het ook sopas ‘n indrukwekkende solo uitstalling in Pretoria by Fried Contemporary gehad) en Jaco van Schalkwyk.

Professionele kunstenaars wat buite karakter duur projekte aangepak het wat nie noodwendig in hulle belang was nie en sonder die spesifieke konteks van die uitstalling selfs vreemd dekoratief en waardeloos daar sal uitsien, kan gerus wees dat die blootstelling en hulle toewyding raakgesien is en op die lang termyn sal baat. ‘n Brokkie goeie raad aan kunstenaars kan dalk wees om altyd visueel en intellektueel eerlik te wees en nie te ver uit mens se spoor te trap nie, maar niks fout met ‘n bietjie feespret nie! #sjoeditwasnounduurstorie

Die uitstalling mag dalk oordrewe gewees het met visuele inligting maar met ‘n week tot mens se beskikking was dit moontlik om die aksie belaaide wetenskap-fiksie-gril-feë-verhaal onder die knie te kry.

FullSizeRender_10Bekende stillis, kunstenaar, kurator en kulinêre kenner Lientjie Wessels het nadat ek die Bosch uitstalling die eerste keer gesien het, vir my lig gewerp op die omstandighede waaronder die oorspronklike Bosch werke in die middeleeue geskep is en in ‘n neutedop dui navorsing aan dat waarskynlik klam weer verantwoordelik was vir ‘n alternatiewe gistingsproses in gemeenskaplike rog–meel meule wat ‘n hallusinerende bedwelming soortgelyk aan LSD inname tot gevolg gehad het. Lientjie verwys en put reeds sedert die 90’s inspirasie uit Bosch in haar eie werk (wat ongelukkig nie te sien was op die fees nie).

Die kunstenaars en kurator verdien ‘n addisionele pluimpie omdat hulle oënskynlik heel nugter bygedra het! #banting

Ervare professionele beeldhouers was maar skaars in Alex Hamilton se ‘Deur die bome die bos nie sien nie’ om vir Hennie Meyer en Hannelie Taute geselskap te hou, en dit was weer teleurstellend dat ‘n doelgerigte kunstenaar soos Ruhan Janse van Vuuren nie groter blootstelling op ‘n meer ernstige aktuele platform gekry het nie.

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‘n Reuse portret van Alice Toich met ‘n deurdringende blik en die titel ‘I see you’ sou ‘n uitdagende gesprek kon ontketen met Hannelie Taut se meer aggressiewe ‘Wat kyk jy’ vir ‘Deur die bome…’. Die werk is in ‘n privaat versameling in Stellenbosch en die eienaars sou dit met graagte beskikbaar gemaak het. #research #friendswithbenefits

Kunstenaar/Kurator Gordon Froud of Dirk Durnez van Cape Town Art Agency, beide met ondervinding om grootskaalse beelde-uitstallings en “public invasion” projekte te ontwikkel sou kon raadgee met die beelde krisis by die Museum. #Collaborate

Riveting man Chromed plastic andpop rivets lifesize edition of 5 4available

Nog raad….onbekende nuwelinge het aanmoediging nodig om die mark te betree en geinspireer te bly . ‘n Fees is die ideale geleentheid om ons jong kunstenaars te ontdek, bekend te stel en te bemoedig. #doyourhomework  #sarahwalmsley #jonathanvanderwalt

Praat van verkope. Verlede jaar in Grahamstad het geselsende jong dames mens opgewonde verwelkom om die foto-gekopieerde katalogus by die Albany Museum van Zanele Muholi’s se ‘Somnyama Ngonyama’ (“Hail, The Dark Lioness’) aan te bied wat ‘n insiggewende oorsig oor die kunstenaar en haar werk saamgevat het, en wat haar eksperimentering met karakters en archetipes asook die portrette uit die reeks ‘Brave Beauties’ (wat lede van die swart LGBTI gemeenskap in Suid Afrika dokumenteer), duidelik uiteengesit het vir ‘n breër fees gehoor.

Die kunskaptein in die Stellenbosch Museum het my genader met die volgende: “Al die werk is te koop en ‘n pryslys is beskikbaar”. #eklaatditdaar

Toevallig het ek ook by Loop 99 in Kaapstad ingeloer vroëer die dag (nadat ek by Salon 91 was) en een van Robert Hamblin se werke raakgeloop wat gelukkig daar mooi verduidelik en ten toon gestel was met geen steurende visuele en tegniese installasie elemente nie.

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Die uitstalling waarvan hy deel was in die twee kleiner eerste vloer lokale by Loop was goed deurdink en inleidend tot ‘n wonderlike solo uitstalling ‘Surface Tension’ in die groter ruimte deur Karen Cronje, ‘n oud-Matie.

(“Surface Tension explores a dystopian view of the contemporary world as a dark site of disorder – as a complex system of man-made tensions that are inscribed on the surface of the landscape. It necessarily involves a fraught intersection of human interaction and the environment, and posits the landscape as a fragmented and constantly shifting entity removed from the sublime, contained visions that inhabit memory”)

Clare Menck (ook ‘n oud-Matie) se uitstalling op die grondvloer van Loop 99 was uitlokkend kleurvol en spontaan maar onheilspellend op plekke, uitstekend ge”curate” in die klein uitstalruimte, en ‘n insiggewende gesprek is gevoer met galery personeel rakende van die werk wat spesifiek op aluminium gedoen is en die invloed wat dit bv. op die intensiteit van haar kleurgebruik tot gevolg het. (“…on closer inspection and engagement with the medium to reveal a fresh vision…”).  #lovethecoloursclare

Terug by die fees later was die  PJ Olivier Kunssentrum soos altyd feestelik en toeganklik vir almal, met ‘n wye verskeidenheid werk en vriendelike ondersteuning vir die “cause” deur kunstenaars soos Clare Menck en Stephen Rautenbach asook met die insluiting van  noemenswaardige kleiner werke deur onder andere Lindi Sales en Robert Slingsby om enkeles te noem. Mens verwag agv die verskeidenheid en karakter van die sentrum wat op breë spektrum ontwikkeling en opleiding fokus, nie noodwendig kuratoriale wonderwerke nie, maar ek is nie seker wat op aarde met Stephen se werk gebeur het daar nie en plaas die blaam maar op onvanpaste raamwerk.

(“Framing”: ek kan ‘n hoofstuk skryf, maar ek voel hoe ek in die moeilikheid beland so ek gaan nie nou nie.)

Nietemin baie ander lekker pret goed en bekendes daar gesien onder andere Nanette Ranger, Heike Davies, Wilko Roon, Willie van Rensburg, Ruth Walker, Janette Anderson, Adriaan Ranger, Willeen van Rhyn ens.

Die genooide Feeskunstenaar Mohau Modisakeng se treffende uitstalling ‘Lefa La Ntate’ in die Monument Gallery by die 2016 Grahamstad Nasionale Kunstefees het met die intrapslag begeester. Sy diepsinnige blik in my oë talm steeds na maande by my nadat ek sy woordelose en nederige oop-hand uitnodiging aanvaar het om die uitdagende tog oor die steenkool vloer in die galery te onderneem om sy wêreld te verken. Rusplekke tussendeur was aangemoedig met spesifiek verligte areas van die kragtige installasie en met monumentale elektroniese beeldmateriaal in die skemerlig van die ruimte – afgesluit met ‘n effens emosionele buiging wat stil, maar met ‘n warm vergewensgesinde knik deur die kunstenaar beantwoord is. #mohaumademesee #nowordsnecessary #brilliantsilence

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Ek verlaat die Stellenbosch Museum teleurgesteld in my verwagtinge om meegesleur te word in die aanbieding van Athi-Patra Ruga se ‘Jong Oorsig’ uitstalling wat vir my gevoel het asof dit net neergesit is en laat staan is, toe ek die kurator  in ‘n geanimeerde gemaak geskokte en dramatiese vries aksie betrap, kompleet met ‘n teatrale  hoogdrawende sug – vermoedelik oor die onafwendbare stof situasie op die spiëel-vlak van die installasie agter my en ek hou toe maar liewer verby. (Tydens beide my besoeke het ek wel opgelet dat die klaskapteine fluks afstof so dis nie hulle skuld nie – in elk geval is daar groter bekommernisse as stof in Azania).

Met bietjie navorsing tuis kon ek wel later die indrukwekkende versameling werk op ‘n meer verstaanbare en verbeeldingryke wyse saamvat en ek was tog dankbaar dat ek die kunstenaar se werk eerstehands kon beleef en besef net weer hoe Grahamstad ons bederf (met die uiteindelike doel vir ons om almal mekaar beter te verstaan) en ek wonder weer of dit oor fondse gaan.

(National Research Foundation – Current and Completed Projects: Aspekte van die Afrikanerstereotipe in “Gerugte van Reën” en “Die kreef raak gewoond daaraan” (1991) van André P Brink – Deur LV Snyders 2016/09/22.

“In this study an eclectic method of research is used to discuss aspects of the Afrikaner stereotype as it is presented in “Rumours of rain” (1978) and “An act of terror” (1991) by Andre P. Brink. We first attempt to get a global picture of the slippery concept “Afrikaner” by means of a study of articles, books and other publications which have already appeared regarding this subject. Thereafter we look at stereotypes which prominently refer to the Afrikaner by means of (a) characterisation in the novel first mentioned and (b) a discussion of certain codes that appear in the novel mentioned last. With reference to the discussion of stereotypes that follows we look at which stereotypes are either confirmed, rejected or transcended. At the end of this study and with regard to what has already been discussed we try to differentiate between two main types of Afrikaners, which is the nationalistic / conservative / traditional Afrikaner and the liberal / moral-critical / modern Afrikaner which is sometimes called an Afrikaner dissident. In the final analysis we attempt to find out with what intention an Afrikaner writer like Brink writes as he does about the Afrikaner (his “own people”) – and also which ideology is implied in these two novels.”)

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Behalwe vir FILMVERSE wat my met ’n klankbaan gelok en toe betower het en Lien Botha se Film wat onmoontlik was vir my om te sien op die middag van die vertoning, maar wat ek hoop om te kan aankoop na baie positiewe terugvoer van vertroulike bronne, het ek besluit om my 2017 Woordfees ervaring af te sluit met ‘n avontuur by SMAC Gallery.

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Die galery was nie ingesluit op die fees-program nie en ek kon myself dus vir langer as ‘n uur stoksiel-alleen in die verlate stil galery verstout aan ‘n multi-sintuiglike waarnemings ervaring van al die ruimtes. Dis hier waar my fees verwagtinge gestalte gekry het met die aanbieding van ‘performance artist’ Lhola Amira se alles omvattende interaktiewe uitstalling ‘Looking for Ghana & The Red Suitcase’. Een vertrek was egter gereserveer met ‘n keur van talent wat deur SMAC verteenwoordig word – Alexandra Karakashian, Mongezi Ncaphayi, Ruann Coleman, Jake Aikman, Simon Stone, Asha Zero en Kate Gottgens. #homealone

So Much for Banting

I have never ever had problem feet – barefoot or covered, sunshine or rain, summer or winter – always the same and I have never needed any special creams or suffered any foot related skin-inflictions.

For this reason, I found my life-partner Aldo’s pre-occupation with his feet and the related dermatological challenges rather strange and often blamed all the creams and shit that he constantly applies for his problems – thinking that if he stopped irritating the feet, they would stop irritating him.

At times the skin on his feet is beautiful and smooth and I of course then wallow in the fact that it is because he is letting nature take its course. But then every now and then he again suffers from painful cracked skin on his feet and usually immediately calls each one of his three sisters for some foot-love, (ignoring my narrow opinion), and their latest advice on the best current magic foot products and cures, which sometimes work rather well, I have to admit!  😉

For some reason over the past year, the problem had become worse and recently painfully blistered and eventually bleeding, cracked feet have made his life a living hell considering that he is in the Hospitality Industry and on his feet most of the time.

It was so bad this morning that he could hardly walk, (also his last off-Sunday until May 2017), so I decided to Google the problem before prescribing a thumb-sucked natural remedy for some serious self-mis-diagnosed kind of viral foot infection….

Thank goodness! As I read, the truth hit me like a hammer… Allergic reaction to environmental factors aggravated by stress – Dyshidrotic Eczema affecting the soles of the feet in metal sensitive individuals. The culprits are Nickel and Cobalt – airborne and found in most soils but really concentrated in areas close to factories and a naturally prevalent element in an array of food groups. (We moved to our current home right next to the Rhodes Food Factory a little more than a year ago; our street name is Cannery Row).

About three months ago Aldo embarked on a low-carb diet and started bulking on dark green leafy veggies like spinach and lettuce, legumes and nuts – according to the available reading material online all the above are naturally very high in Nickel and Cobalt, Cashews contain the highest levels of Nickel out of all the nuts and is also Aldo’s favorite (added by him to dishes at least three times a week). Wholegrains and multigrain were the only ‘carbs’ that he allowed in his diet from time to time and turns out to be the worst choice for a metal sensitive soul due to an extremely high Nickel content.

Refined wheat, pasta, corn products and white rice contain very low levels of the metals.

All canned foods are an obvious no-no but currently consumed by us on a daily basis – tuna, tinned tomatoes for cooking, jams, canned fruit etc.

It is advised that Nickel plated utensils be replaced and that stainless steel pots are safe but could release nickel when cooking acidic food (like adding our daily tinned tomatoes to everything and loads of lemon for things like Aldo’s delicious lemony ginger chicken which is Theo’s favorite?).

What about all the wine we consume that are fermented in stainless steel tanks….Beer contains the highest levels of Cobalt as well as chocolate and are part of Aldo’s ‘rescue’ diet since he stopped smoking in January…(a beer or a piece of dark chocolate now replaces the ‘ciggie’ over weekends when a dire craving hits).

To inspire seasonal commitment Aldo recently received an incentive raise at work and ever since then the pressure from head-office has been on overdrive for each department to be in tip-top shape anticipating the tourist season – MAJOR STRESS.

I see him suffer, but mind-fucking himself that everything will be fine once the benefits of the low-carb diet start showing results…

(So much for Banting).

The Truth in the Wardrobe.

My life-partner Aldo works in the Hospitality Industry and whenever I suggest an evening out he looks at me as if I have gone bat crazy. I never insist, knowing well by now that it’s dangerous territory – Our non-existent social life combined with the killer industry hours and challenges of being constantly responsible for the seamless social luxury of others have resulted in a kind of personal social ineffectiveness; which sometimes ends with anonymously drunken tequila shots in sleazy bars in the early hours of the morning and then fighting when he declines to carry all my re-surfaced old baggage – no matter how grand the evening started out.

So, a nice evening out can generally be described as revenge for constantly pleasing a range of fault finding personalities – winning over brides from hell with matching mothers while pacifying fathers with whisky and man-talk to keep them swiping, or conference delegates taking advantage of free food and booze and freedom in general, who leave their manners at home and expect to be treated like royalty, which of course they are…

I was hysterical recently with Aldo’s rendition of a client who approached him with a sad face during a conference dinner and said – “I don’t see it”. Aldo, ready to please, immediately requested the specifications of the invisible requirement, to which the client responded at last with a verbal reply, offered irritably only after a show of pulling faces and silently challenging his ability to read her mind – “I don’t see any chopped fresh chillies on the table”.

Yesterday morning I was a zero on a contract after a delightful evening out with understanding friends who are able to forgive our social violations. The activity thankfully did not end with tequila but involved copious amounts of wine, the neighbor’s house, fabulous drunken dancing and philosophizing about how we need very little and how I am contemplating getting rid of all the stuff that I have accumulated in my life. (On a psycho-analytic level it obviously has to do with my baggage, but that is a whole exploration for another day).

I also exclaimed that the only art I have come to appreciate are perceptive, thought provoking installations and performances in beautifully simplistic public spaces and that I no longer care for things that require constant cleaning, dusting, vacuuming and organizing.  My conversation friend replied in turn that she could actually start seeing herself in the little wooden shack by the ocean, but knowing her happy, larger than life energetic passion for living, I suggested rather a big barn on the beach, to which we both laughed and clinked our glasses. We then proceeded to view the new studio of our artist friend and the hostess of the evening, where we reveled in our indigence and sincerely yearned to own a share of the beauty that she creates. Happy friend suggested that the only way to a simplistic life is to not ever go shopping. Well that’s easy enough for me.

Anyway, back to the hungover stupor; I woke up with a side view of our bedroom cupboards, Aldo’s on the left and mine on the right and lay there staring at them for a looong time wishing that the landlord would allow and sponsor us to paint the old-fashioned wooden finish wardrobes while dreaming up the most gloriously decorative doorknobs, when suddenly I realized what I was up against; and slowly returned to my senses.

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Vasbyt Mmusi

So, after more than 20 years of freedom, ‘Jacob and Julius’ have not been able to secure even one proper and positive innovation or project powerful enough to influence voters and they now resort to racism and hate-speech to corrupt voters and prevent social development.

What the fuck you two?! It’s called IN-TE-GRA-TION and while everybody in this country is on the bandwagon, the two of you just have to bring all progress to a halt with your ‘let’s trash white people’ campaigns. (We’re a marginalized minority shit-for-brains, not a threat.)

I’m confused….Are you rude and inspire hate because you want all white people to leave? What exactly do you want from ME? To track my 17th century ancestry back to a French village somewhere and put in a land-and/or-citizenship-claim with the French Government based on religious atrocities and with your racist vision as reference? And then in turn, as per your example, tell all the black people there that they are out of place? What about the racially integrated families in the world – will they be required to move to a special new country that will be identified by you? The concept unsuccessfully tried and tested by the National Party Government BUT “What do those dumb white people know about racism – ‘Jacob and Julius’ will show ‘em”… Again? Really?!

I almost feel like letting my Party down just to prove a point but knowing that it’s not yet their time to shine in absolute victory before ‘Jacob and Julius’ eat each other alive and take their followers down with them – leaving the mess for Mmusi to clean up, I will offer my support and hope that my poor white–ass survives the turmoil and makes Mmusi’s life not too difficult for too much longer.

Until my ‘white’ vote becomes insignificant due to progress and not racial animosity and we can all rise together from the ashes left behind by ‘Jacob and Julius’:

Vasbyt Mmusi!