Archive: Issue No. 121, September 2007

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Pierre Fouché

Pierre Fouché
Love & Misery, 2007
Performance

Pierre Fouché

Pierre Fouché
Love & Misery, 2007
Performance

Pierre Fouché

Pierre Fouché
The distance between us III (detail), 2005-6 13-count canvas, 9 stranded cotton thread
pen, pencil, marker
105 x 107cm Photo: H. Swart

Pierre Fouché

Pierre Fouché
The distance between us III, 2005-6
13-count canvas, 9 stranded cotton thread
pen, pencil, marker
105 x 107cm
Photo: H. Swart

Pierre Fouché

Pierre Fouché
The distance between us I (detail), 2003
acrylic and pen on found cardboard puzzle
135 x 195cm

Pierre Fouché

Pierre Fouché
The distance between us 1 (detail), 2003
acrylic and pen on found cardboard puzzle
installation view
135 x 195cm
Photo: H. Swart

Pierre Fouché

Pierre Fouché
The distance between us II, 2003-4
6000 ready made dice, label stickers
cardboard, tape, pen
84 x 109.5cm

Pierre Fouché

Pierre Fouché
The distance between us II, 2003-4
(work in progress)
6000 ready made dice, label stickers
cardboard, tape, pen
84 x 109.5cm

Pierre Fouché

Pierre Fouché
The outline of my lover, 2003
Craft paper cut out
54.8 x 69.8cm

Pierre Fouché

Pierre Fouché
Dreaming of Jeff Buckley, 2007
Crochet cotton
50 x 80cm

Pierre Fouché

Pierre Fouchée
LVJ+MJB XXX 200
Detail of the personals ad
in the Oudsthoorn newspaper


PIERRE FOUCHÉ
by Sue Williamson (September, 2007)

MODUS OPERANDI

The work of young artist Pierre Fouché is a coded exploration both of the desire of society to classify its members into categories, and of his own homosexuality. Fouché conducts this exploration largely through an examination of personal relationships, often using images based on photographs from his own and his family's photo albums.

The different processes by which Fouché deconstructs these visual representations to remove them from the immediacy of the photographic suggests a cool analytic approach to images that depend for their potency on body language. The homo erotic is always suggested rather than explicit, presented at a careful remove from the viewer.

Fouché achieves this distance by engaging in processes which break down his chosen images into small building blocks, only to be reassembled into a screened version of the original according to strict rules devised by the artist. This working method is often revealed by framing the work so it hangs free in the space, showing Fouché�s production notations, as it were, on the reverse of the image.

This method suggests, perhaps, the random yet precise selection process by which our DNA determines our essential natures.

ARTIST'S STATEMENT

In the place of an artist's statement, Fouché chose to send a series of quotes.

'I resolved to start my inquiry with no more than a few photographs, the ones I was sure existed for me. Nothing to do with a corpus: only some bodies. In this (after all) conventional debate between science and subjectivity, I had arrived at this curious notion: why mightn't there be, somehow, a new science for each object? A mathesis singularis (and no longer universalis)?' - Roland Barthes

'[I]dentifications belong to the imaginary; they are phantasmic efforts of alignment, loyalty, ambiguous and cross-corporeal cohabitation; they unsettle the "I"; they are the sedimentation of the "we" in the constitution of any "I". Identifications are never fully and finally made; they are incessantly reconstituted and, as such, are subject to the volatile logic of iterability. They are that which is constantly marshalled, consolidated, retrenched, contested, and, on occasion, compelled to give away.' - Judith Butler

'It is seeing which establishes our place in the surrounding world; we explain that world within words, but words can never undo the fact that we are surrounded by it. The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled' - John Berger

'I see only from one point, but in my existence I am looked at from all sides' - Jacques Lacan

'These pictures from my real life, are supposed to make me believe that my real life is somehow something more, lighter, that is has more beautiful moments than it actually does. I have to convince myself of that' - Jack Pierson

'Our lives are now entwined' - Patti Smith

CURRENTLY

Fouché is this year's winner of the prestigious ABSA L'Atelier award, given to a young artist. The prize includes a six month stint at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, where Founche will go in 2008, an air ticket, and a cash award of R100 000 for living expenses.

The work for which this award was given was a tapestry canvas entitled The distance between us III, worked in stranded cottons in 110 colours. The image is one of his father and a friend, taken by his mother when they were on honeymoon. It is a beach scene, the friend is holding a surf board and has his elbow on Fouché senior's shoulder. The image appealed to Fouché because it recalled a stereotypical homo erotic scene of the boys on the beach - the iconography is almost stock - 'and then it's my father. It cannot be, but the photograph shows that it is. It seems as if my dad was just shying away, very slightly.'

The intricacy of the stitching, the fine colouration, the time-consuming and traditional nature of the handwork, which took months to execute, invest the piece with a classic timelessness that invites a much closer examination of its nuances than if it had been simply a blow up of an old photograph.

BEFORE THAT

As a performance during the Cape '07 visual art festival in March this year, Fouché presented Love and Misery at the Bijou Art Studios. Fouché lipsynched the words to harrowing love songs, dealing with the breakup of a relationship. The songs chosen were those which had been important to the artist in an ended affair, and by acting them out again and again, he attempted to purge the songs of their power to move him. 'The songs functioned like snapshots in their effect on me'.

AND BEFORE THAT

Two earlier pieces in The distance between us series, I and II, again used the technique of deconstruction. No I was executed using a found cardboard jigsaw puzzle, with the image of two men painted onto every second puzzle piece. For II (2003-4), presented at the Bell Roberts Gallery in Cape Town, Fouché used 6 000 red dice with white dots, using the faces with sixes for the lightest areas, and those with ones for the darkest.

The element of chance, of putting together the pieces of a puzzle and leaving blank rows are all integral parts of the artist's conceptual framework.

NEXT UP

In November 2007, Fouché will take part in a group show curated by Jackie McInnes which will coincide with 16 days of activism against women and child abuse. The curatorial focus of the exhibition is an engagement with the campaign from an all-male perspective. he venue is the Johannesburg Art Gallery.

Following his residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts next year, Fouché will hold a solo exhibition at the Bell-Roberts Gallery in Cape Town.

CURRICULUM VITAE

Born 1977 - lives and works in Cape Town
Education: University of Stellenbosch: MA in Fine Art (cum laude) 2006

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2006 'The distance between us', Bell-Roberts, Cape Town
2005 'Excluded & Unsaid', blankprojects, Cape Town

PROJECTS

2007 'Love & misery', Bijou Art Studios, Cape Town (A non-gendered drag performance-art project)
2006 'Take it like a man', blankprojects, Cape Town (Workshop and exhibition of Polaroid photography by male sex-workers)
2004 'LVJ+MJB XXX', Klein Karoo National Arts Festival, Oudtshoorn (as part of the D.I.E.N.S-collective: a personals ad asking people to send the pet names of their lovers via text message for a terms of endearment-lexicon written on bunting.)

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2007 BSA L'Atelier regional finalists exhibitions, Art-B, Bellville
ABSA Gallery, Pretoria
2007 'Portrait/Landscape', Bell-Roberts, Lourensford, Somerset West
2005 ABSA L'Atelier regional finalists exhibitions, Art-B, Bellville
ABSA Gallery, Pretoria
2005 'Paper never lies', VEO Art Warehouse, Cape Town
2004 Klein Karoo National Arts Festival, Oudtshoorn (as part of the D.I.E.N.S-collective)
2004 Sex & Kultuur Queer Arts Festival, AMAC, Cape Town
2000 'Softserve 2: Art at play', National Gallery, Cape Town
1999 'Softserve multimedia art event', National Gallery, Cape Town
1997 District Six Public Sculpture Festival, Cape Town (as part of the Stellenbosch Paper Project)

AWARDS

2007 Overall winner: ABSA L'Atelier Award
 


ARTBIO

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(Sept 2005)


Alan Alborough
(July 2000)


Jane Alexander
(July 1999)


Siemon Allen
(June 2001)


Bridget Baker
(March 2006)


Emma Bedford
(March 2007)


Willie Bester
(Aug 1999)


Ralph Borland
(Jan 2006)


Willem Boshoff
(Aug 2001)


Conrad Botes
(Dec 2001)


Andries Botha
(April 2000)


Wim Botha
(April 2003)


Kevin Brand
(June 1998)


Candice Breitz
(Oct 1998)


Lisa Brice
(Jan 1999)


Jean Brundrit
(March 2004)


Angela Buckland
(Mar 2003)


Pitso Chinzima
(Oct 2001)


Marco Cianfanelli
(Aug 2002)


Julia Rosa Clark
(July 2005)


Peter Clarke
(Sept 2003)


Steven Cohen
(May 1998)


Keith Deitrich
(July 2004)


Paul Edmunds
(Feb 2004)


Leora Farber
(May 2002)


Bronwen Findlay
(April 2002)


Bronwen Findlay
(Sept 2006)


Tracy Lindner Gander
(April 2004)


Kendell Geers
(June 2002)


Linda Givon
(Dec 1999)


David Goldblatt
(Dec 2002)


Thembinkosi Goniwe
(Oct 2002)


Frances Goodman
(Aug 2006)


Dan Halter
(July 2007)


Brad Hammond
(Jan 2001)


Randolph Hartzenberg
(Aug 1998)


Kay Hassan
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Matthew Hindley
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Nicholas Hlobo
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Stephen Hobbs
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Robert Hodgins
(June 2000)


Pieter Hugo
(April 2006)


William Kentridge
(May 1999)


Isaac Khanyile
(Nov 2001)


David Koloane
(July 2003)


Dorothee Kreutzfeld
(Jan 2000)


Terry Kurgan
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Moshekwa Langa
(Feb 1999)


Chris Ledochowski
(June 2003)


Kim Lieberman
(May 2003)


Mandla Mabila
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Churchill Madikida
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Veronique Malherbe
(June 1999)


Mustafa Maluka
(July 1998)


Thando Mama
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Senzeni Marasela
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Colbert Mashile
(May 2006)


Brent Meistre
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Santu Mofokeng
(July 2002)


Zwelethu Mthethwa
(April 1999)


Samson Mudzunga
(Oct 2004)


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(Dec 2006)


Thomas Mulcaire
(April 2001)


Brett Murray
(Sept 1998)


Hylton Nel
(Feb 2002)


Karel Nel
(Oct 1999)


Sam Nhlengethwa
(Oct 2003)


Walter Oltmann
(July 2001)


Jay Pather
(Dec 2004)


Malcolm Payne
(Nov 2002)


Tracy Payne
(March 1998)


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(Dec 2000)


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(Mar 1999)


Robin Rhode
(Nov 1999)


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(Aug 2003)


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(March 2001)


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(Oct 2006)


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(Jan 2003)


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(May 2001)


Penny Siopis
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Cecil Skotnes
(July 2006)


Kathryn Smith
(Dec 2003)


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Doreen Southwood
(Sept 2002)


Nathaniel Stern
(Feb 20006)


Greg Streak
(Feb 2001)


Mikhael Subotzky
(Aug 2007)


Guy Tillim
(Jan 2005)


Clive van den Berg
(Nov 1998)


Hentie van der Merwe
(Mar 2000)


Strijdom van der Merwe
(Jan 2002)


Storm Janse van Rensburg
(June 2005)


Minnette Vári
(Feb 1998)


Nontsikelelo 'Lolo' Veleko
(Feb 2007)


Andrew Verster
(May 2007)


Diane Victor
(Feb 2003)


Vuyile Voyiya
(Aug 2005)


Jeremy Wafer
(Nov 2000)


James Webb
(Aug 2004)


Sue Williamson
(Nov 2003)


Ed Young
(Nov 2005)


Billie Zangewa
(June 2007)


Mlu Zondi
(Nov 2006)

 
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