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Investec Cape Town Art Fair

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17 February 2023


19 February 2023

Installation shots

Installation views: Investec Cape Town Art Fair 2023. Photographer: Paris Brummer

Exhibiton text

For the Investec Cape Town Art Fair 2023, RESERVOIR presents a group booth consisting of four contemporary artists from South Africa: Inga Somdyala, Bella Knemeyer, Dale Lawrence and Anna van der Ploeg.


Inga Somyala ‘Pompa Funebris’ 2023 Soil, ochre, oxide and ash on canvas 170 x 250 cm “‘Pompa Funebris’ - A funeral procession, conducted for aristocrats or nobles, is an ancient Roman ritual. Deceased figures of political or religious significance would be paraded through the streets for the collective grief of the nation prior to the burial. The mapped routes of these processions were usually strategic, its memorial aims were commemorative entertainment with elements of performance to involve attending crowds. Using ash, oxides and ochres on black soil collected in the Gaansbaai mountains, Pompa Funebris suggests a disfigured view of the present South African political landscape – muddied by a tragic colonial history, the houses of parliament burned, the glitter of its gold dimmed, the blue of its seas blackened. Through the title I wanted to play on the pomp funeral costume dictated by this procession tradition, while invoking elements of colour and the triangle design from the South African flag. The vertical lines on the twin canvas panels also echo the custom dictates of rich dress; in the robing of the ecclesiastic fashion, often a long garment wrapped over the chest and tied at the waist. Here the triangular centre of this three-piece flag reminds me of a robe collar, one side crossing over the other; while making further reference to the current South African flag in the black triangle converging in parallel black, green, white and red colour bands. I am interested in the robe quality of this work, and further attracted to the tension between garment and flag, body and land. “ - Somdyala ‘Things take time, and time takes things’ 2023 Mulched paper shelved on painted MDF board 141 x 186 x 5.6 cm “Continued field-notes; A catalogue of the constituent pieces that shape, dilineate, mark out and stake claims on place. A shelved garden with features that offer cues on the transformation from land to landscape: a stone collection, a dry-wall terrace, a field, a hedge and a forest. Markers of making and maintaining, breaking and repairing.” - Knemeyer 'Someday (It May Be Tomorrow) I' 2023 Packaging tape, digital print on paper 99 x 69 x 11 cm 'These works are made from layering transparent box tape in thousands of strips, eventually forming a solid mass. In the end each work contains between 8 and 13km of tape, approximately, depending on the size. Embedded in the tape is a text – a list of phrases drawn from various sources. The lines in ‘Someday (It May Be Tomorrow) I–III’ are sourced from song lyrics (mostly gospel) as well as news articles (mostly News24) and internet searches (mostly Google) from late 2022. ‘In the End’ draws its content entirely from a single source, Nelson Mandela’s ‘Long Walk to Freedom’. “It is curious to note, when searching through texts, how certain authors (or industries) tend to lean on certain phrasing. Certain inane phrases will pop up in the work of some writers with unusual frequency, while being completely absent from others. Drawn into a different context, the language itself can be surprisingly insightful.”' - Lawrence Anna van der Ploeg ‘The transformation of the greatest story never told into the greatest letter never written gate’ 2023 Acrylic on carved plywood 208 x 97 x 14 cm ‘Learn the guitar today. Puppies for sale. A moving company. Computer and phone repair. Homme à tout faire. Domestic worker. Trailer to rent. Reiki. English tutor. Missing papegaai. High school choir concert. Open house this Sunday. Driving lessons, guaranteed success. Plow rental. Housekeeper. Have you seen this man? Wanted by police. Roll-on lawn. Babysitter with years of experience. Apartment for rent. Running club. Warning! If you see him call 083870244. The dog’s name is DJ Chien. Donate your eggs. Have you seen this woman? REWARD’ - van der Ploeg

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