Fritha Langerman and Marianne Meijer at the NSA
Next up at the NSA is Fritha Langerman's 'Black Boxes' - previously shown at the AVA in Cape Town - and 'Face to Face' - paintings and drawings by Marianne Meijer at the NSA
In the main gallery Langerman's mixed media work deals with issues around modes of cultural representation, specifically those of ethnographic display and the material manifestations of the tourist industry in South Africa. Cultural commodification and curio production reinforce a "freezing" of culture through the creation of artificial boundaries. Langerman makes visual reference to this both in the display of the exhibit and in the production of the individual units.
Misclassification, inaccurate translation and misunderstanding are inevitable consequences of cultural ordering and are inherent within the project. The definition of "black boxes", a technical term, provides the most apposite synopsis for the apparatus of cultural representation - a generic device with known characteristics but unspecified means of operation, with internal mechanisms mysterious to the user.
Langerman lives and works in Cape Town, and graduated from Michaelis (University of Cape Town) in 1991. She currently lectures there in the Print Media/New Media Department. She has taken part in many group and curated shows including several ABSA Atelier shows (she won a merit award in 1999), and 'Bloedlyn' at the KKNK in 1998. Her work is in several public collections.
In a less theoretical vein Meijer shows a series of "faces" in the Park Gallery. Since the beginning of time artists have attempted to capture and understand the nature of the human face to comprehend a person's character. Personality, individuality, self, soul, the other, the unexplained as well as the familiar - it's all found in, on and beneath the human face.
Meijer grapples with these notions and titles her work 'Faces' to differentiate her work from the conventional portrait. Often repeating themes and "types", inventing variations and exploring expressive effects, Meijer attempts to engage the demonstrative possibilities of the human face. She reinforces this with a manipulation of media that adds energy to the work. The mottling, achieved through mixing with solvents, blurs details, often taking the face to the point of abstraction but also allowing for a subtlety of expression to emerge.
Meijer states: "In some instances I use a pictorial type of 'shorthand' that is crude, but serves a specific purpose. It breaks the mental boundaries with which I observe a face - it also allows me to abandon the photographic image of a person and opens up many new ways of seeing - the inward eye."
Opening: June 11 at 6pm
Closing: June 30
NSA Gallery, 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood
Tel: 031 202 3686
Fax: 031 202 3744
Hours: Tues - Fri 10am - 5pm, Sat 10am - 4pm, Sun 11am - 3pm