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divine (article first published : 2000-04-26)

In breaking with their normal two-week exhibition periods, the NSA Galleries will present a one-week only exhibition by Andries Botha and Greg Streak titled divine. There will be no opening and interested members of the public should make sure not to miss this rare opportunity to acquaint themselves with the work of two prolific local artists. Botha and Streak are both well known in a local and international context. Botha is one of four South African artists selected for the Dakar Biennale (DAK’ART 2000) which takes place next month. He will also take part in Continental Shift, a project involving five artists from the African Diaspora at the Bonnefanten Museum in Maastricht. He is represented in various public collections, and lectures part time at the Natal Technikon Fine Arts Department.

Botha will exhibit two recent works titled White Skin – Blue (Page One) and Pages from the TRC. The latter consist of aluminum sheets covered in lead and inscribed through a "branding" or etching process with text culled from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings. "White Skin – Blue (Page One) are a series of pieces made of latex and cotton paper, resembling skin – once again branded with markings reminiscent of tattoos or a scarification process. Both these installations evoke the subjectivity of the artist within a context of flux, mediation and change. Botha states that "for the last three years I have been interested in the archival process – rendering contemporary facts that become emotional signifiers that adjust my place in the South African landscape".

The NSA Gallery hosted Greg Streak’s first solo exhibition in 1996. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions in South Africa and Europe including Video Views at the South African National Gallery; The Mind on Scale: The Lava Edge at the Arti et Amicitiae, Amsterdam and Semi Detached in Toadsmoor Mill, Stroud, UK. In 1997 and 1998 Streak was resident at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. He is currently living and working in Durban, South Africa.

Streak’s video-based work on the exhibition consists of a triptych projection containing three distinct pieces – each incorporating liquid and one of the primary colours. These meditative pieces become metaphors for transition, introspection and uncertainty. Streak states that "I am interested simultaneously in aggression and introspection, bright light and dark shadows, muted tones and dreams, symmetry and chaos. I do not believe in ‘truths" as this would imply something finite and "truths’ vary from situation to situation and are usually enforced by one position of power. I do vacillate between the emotional extremes of disillusionment and faith, of irrationality and coherence and it is therefore difficult to categorize the work absolutely."

divine runs at the NSA Gallery from April 28 to May 5.




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