Four artists exploration of man’s violent flux across the Earth in the cold glare of Nature’s eye can be viewed at the new location of the Brundyn Gallery, a magnificently opulent venue in the Bo Kaap.
Disparate in their approach yet uniquely coherent in their depiction of the crimson legacy of progress, the images fuse to lend both a humorous and a cautionary anthem to empires vanquished under the relentless spin of the Earth’s axis.
A profoundly diverse exhibition of sculptures, prints, photographs and drawings, Chad Rossouw’s The Planet’s Wake is a sumptuous, tongue in cheek gathering of heroic yet fated-to-burn war iconography, spliced together with mischievous references to the pagan god mythology of
H.P.Lovecraft and Tolkien, with the gothic romanticism of Edgar Allan Poe. The vellum and gold leaf substrates add a mock gravity to the broken swords and shields of past battles won and lost. Rossouw’s media release reference to Julius Caesar, who during his triumphal processions famously had a slave walk behind him whispering that “The glories of the world are fleeting”, neatly summarizes the spirit of all three exhibitions.
The Sunstrum/ Nkosi exhibition, Survey, reflects two artists in a dovetailed collaboration where the individual tangents are allowed breath to separate into their unique arenas in some works while being lured together in amorphous union in others. Nkosi concentrates on the power of dogma and the vulnerability of nature to the excess of human hedonism through the use of oils and video while Sunstrum softens the blow through a naturalistic feminine portrayal of night skies and nature via animated clips and watercolour dreamscapes.
Kia Henda’s As God wants and the Devil likes it utilises photography and video to illustrate the ongoing legacy of infatuation with symbols of power, where disused war machinery stands rusting amongst statues of medieval warriors, and lurid MTV icons are collaged in a diseased tapestry of shallow worship.
The combined impact of these exhibitions, these three forays into the world where paradise stands in the shadow of swords, is uniquely mesmerizing. This is a peeling back of the skin to peer into the corrosively carnal nature of man, where war anthems deafen the hero to the lessons of history while the earth, ever a cold lover, awaits his blood sacrifice.
Chad Rossouw, Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi, Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum and Kiluanji Kia Henda are exhibiting at Brundyn Gallery from 24 July until 30 August.