Under Construction 2014

The German artist Stephan Strumble stated that :  The feeling of being home and belonging somewhere is one of the strongest things that occupies peoples minds around the world. I think every human being aspires and searches for a place to call home. We all chase the feeling of security, love, friendship and happiness. To this list of feelings I would like to add the need for acceptance by others and by one self. Stephan continues by arguing:This bundle of feelings is the strongest drug in the world. Especially in our time, our world with its fast moving nature, internet and globalization, it becomes more and more important for people to know where they come from, their home and their family.

This internal and external space where you can experience security, love, friendship, acceptance and happiness is unfortunately never a completed home for us to move into, but rather a space under construction where we are the architects and building contractors. The most important tools in this process of designing and constructing a space of security, love, friendship, acceptance and happiness is the ability of an individual and a community to remember and to forget. In A meander through Memory and forgetting Richard Holmes wrote: There is a Goddess of Memory, Mnemosyne, but none of forgetting. Yet there should be, as they are twin sisters, twin powers and walk on each side of us, disputing for sovereignty over us and who we are, all the way until death.

We could argue that it is of the utmost importance that we remember everything and preserve every detail of our personal past as well as the diverse heritage of South Africa in order for us to create a personal and collective home where everybody could experience security, love, acceptance, friendship and happiness. The question therefore is; do we have to preserve all memories the way we protect our bio divers fauna and flora?

Rodney Harrison in his article .Forgetting to remember, remembering to forget: Late modern heritage practices, sustainability and the crisis of accumulation of the past, went as far as to say that we are in a crisis because of our inability to forget the past. Paul Connerton suggests that the excessive memorialisation of the late modern world can only exacerbate this obsession with social memory, as it ultimately leads to an inability to form collective memories. The French anthropologist Marc Aug is quite clear on this matter when he noted in his work Oblivion: Remembering or forgetting is doing gardeners work, selecting, pruning. Memories are like plants: there are those that need to be quickly eliminated in order to help the others burgeon, transform, flower. He said that we actually have a duty to forget: We must forget to remain present, forget in order not to die, forget in order to remain faithful.

Selective remembering and motivated forgetting is therefore not such a bad tool in constructing a space of security, love, friendship, acceptance and happiness. When asking people to tell you about their past you will never get a snapshot picture of what happened but rather a created reality made bearable through the process of remembering and forgetting. This is also true for our efforts to create home for everyone in South Africa; we have to accept that we cannot successfully form new memories and attach value to them without also selecting to forget some things. We are by all means not busy creating a nature reserve where memory needs to be protected, but rather a home.

With this exhibition I am giving form to some of the homes we are busy designing and constructing in our longing for security, love, friendship, acceptance and happiness.

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The young ones

55.5 x 36.2 x 7 cm

Goede Hoop

56.5 x 35 x 8 cm

Girl called Harmony

56.5 x 28.5 x 8 cm

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Blink Stefaans

56.5 x 35 x 8 cm

Vreugde

56.5 x 35 x 8 cm

Moedertjielief

56.5 x 22 x 8 cm

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Navigator

56.3 x 42.4 x 8 cm

Toe ons nog kinders was

56.5 x 28.5 x 8 cm

Generasies

56.5 x 48.5 x 11.5 cm

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Dream chasers

51 x 48.5 x 11.5 cm

Ewige Stryd

36.5 x 55 x 8 cm