Empty Spaces

[singlepic id=13 float=center]

Empty Spaces

 

Date: 2008
Dimensions: 3.5m high x 2.5m wide x variable depth
Media: Digital images printed on diaphanous paper, backed with interfacing and sewn together to form a vertical piece. Polyester resin baggage cast from found objects (bags and suitcases, matt black in colour).

[nggallery id=36]


 “Our contemporary modernity has resulted in global human migration.  Survival, desire, romance, greed, tragedy are all metaphors that fuel the human imagination. Economic, social and cultural disparities persist and become a persistent theme of contemporary life. These inequalities underpin the human tragedy of many societies that results in the mass migration of human beings seeking better futures for themselves and result in the extreme risks that people tend to take in imagining different destinies for their lives.

 

My work explores the loss of self in the search for this new imagined future.”  Andries Botha, September 2008

 

Empty Spaces has been invited to be in an exhibition at the Museum Beelden aan Zee in Den Haag, 8 June to Mid September 2012. See www.beeldenaanzee.nl

 

 

Article by Bernice Stott, October 2008

 

“Andries Botha is currently exhibiting a work titled “Empty Spaces” in the Canary Islands (17 October 2008 to 4 January 2009).  It is a group exhibition held at Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno S.A. (CAAM) in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain). His work explores the loss of self as people participate in mass migration in search of new imagined futures.  Responding to a question about the work, Botha said: “Our contemporary modernity has resulted in a global pattern of human migration. Survival, desire, romance, greed and tragedy are all metaphors that fuel the human imagination.  Economic, social and cultural disparities persist and become recurring themes of contemporary life.  These inequalities underpin the human tragedy of many societies that results in the mass migration of human beings seeking futures for themselves and result in the extreme risks that people tend to take in imagining different destinies for their lives.”

 

Migration suggests movement from one place to another.  It also invokes survival and opportunity. This transmigration is of a physical or emotional nature.  Absence renders emptiness or alludes to life in the negative.  The identity or Visa photo in the negative affirms this metaphor in the work, a human quilt which reflects the amorphous body in transition.  The searching for the new global village implies the erasure of fixed identities and repositions them as shadows in transition.

 

The work invokes the melancholia of transience:  relationships and place which are transitory as part of our new modernity.  People are beacons or fixed points of reference from where our spatial relationships are defined and our humanities are registered.

 

Much global and South African research has focused on the cultural and human implications of the migrant labour system and its centrality in shaping our new modernity. Botha’s work submerges itself in this discourse and refers poignantly to a civilisation in the waiting or in migrational transition.

 

Labour and survival necessity intertwines with our notions of place, sustenance and household of origin.  Botha’s work has much ambivalence: travel suggests adventure and excitement, yet threatens with imminent loss, dislocation and “empty space”.  Migration is hugely informed by human survival, desperation in search of other futures and is as such a massive cultural catalyst.  Xenophobia remains a human metaphor underpinning territory, tribal conflict and expedient human labour needs of our Western market driven systems.  “This is the context that defines the extreme risks that people tend to take in imagining different destinies for their lives.”

 

A work currently exhibited as part of a group exhibition: “Travesia” (17 October 2008 to 4 January 2009) at Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno S.A. (CAAM) in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain).

 

Our contemporary modernity has resulted in global human migration. Survival, desire, romance, greed, tragedy are all metaphors that fuel the human imagination. Economic, social and cultural disparities persist and become a persistent theme of contemporary life. These inequalities underpin the human tragedy of many societies that results in the mass migration of human beings seeking better futures for themselves and result in the extreme risks that people tend to take in imagining different destinies for their lives