Archive: Issue No. 82, June 2004

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Feedback is an open forum for readers to share any comments and insights relevant to art practice in South Africa. We reserve the right to edit all submissions.

From: S. Lin
Subject: Barend de Wet's GOD work
Date received: May 26

Barend de Wet's GOD work has all the makings of an easy knee-jerk reaction for a conservative community - surely he was aware of this? The reaction was so predictable, I'm sure the same experiment would work worldwide. I don't doubt that he found the surroundings and the people who inhabit it highly aesthetic, but perhaps this "gift", and its predictable reaction, was not the way to show respect.

On the other hand, if you want to objectify the men with the white bakkies and the boat who took down the work - laugh at them, show them for the scary, crazed maniacs they are - by all means! But don't do it from behind the veil of political correctness of the Cape Town art scene. Did someone mention prejudice...?

Lastly, art, like fashion and any other consumer product, ages. Assuming you are leaving a heritage rather than something strange to be dealt with by the local municipality (God bless those boys!) is rather arrogant. Remember those 70's land-art horrors?

Colin Richards' obituary for Durant Sihlali was sent out to our mailing list. We received numerous responses:

Thank you so much for this. I have been checking all the online newspapers since his death hoping to find an obit and I recently wrote to Vuyile asking him to keep an eye out for one, or to let me know if the SANG/ JAG put one out. I am glad someone did.

Julie McGee

Thank you for sending me Colin's very moving piece.

Andrew Verster

I work as the art contractor for Telkom. I forward information to Telkom staff and interested colleagues regarding exhibitions and art happenings. I had approached ArtThrob a couple of years ago to ask for copyright permission to forward the list serve information to them, which was granted to me. Please may I have copyright permission to continue doing so and also to forward Colin Richards' obituary to my list?

Leanne Engelberg

I appreciate you sending me Colin's obituary for Durant.

Alet Vorster

Thank you for sending me this. I used to visit Durant in his home in Soweto from 1968-74 until I left the country, and was very fond of him. My memories of him as a lovely man and exceptional artist are rich.

Margaret Lipworth

Thank you for letting me know about Durant's untimely death. This sad news comes as a great shock to me as I knew Durant and spent many good times discussing "matters art" when he came to Grahamstown for the Festival. I will miss his warm laughter and wise words but thankfully continue to enjoy his wonderful work.

Noel Hodnett