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DESIRE - curated by Johan Conradie

  • Pretoria Arts Association 173 Mackie Street Pretoria, GP, 0181 South Africa (map)

“DESIRE” features the works of contemporary South African artists, known for challenging the ambiguity and paradox of ‘desire’ head-on. We were born from desire; it is desire that moves us, and, in moving us, gives our life direction and meaning. One provocative aspect of these artists is not their imagery, as such, but the manner by which many of them take intimate experiences and translate them into public expression.

Fundamentally, we are all bound to our desires like a slave to his master. Our intellect, in which we place so much faith, evolved to assist us in our pursuit of the desirable and avoidance of the undesirable. However much we may try, it did not evolve to enable us to resist our desires, still less to transcend them. Although our intellect is subservient to our desires, it is good at fooling us that it is in control.

The most powerful manifestations include desire as ‘life force’,  ‘symbol of sin’, ‘envy’, ‘gluttony’, ‘greed’, ‘lust’ and ‘pride’. Additionally, advertisers exploit the process of desire formation by sowing the seeds of desire into our unconscious, and then supplying some prosaic reasons with which our conscious can justify or rationalize the desire.

This show boldly explores how we engage, or fail to engage with desire. Artists include AD-REFLEX, Poorvi Bhana, Gordon Froud, Peter Mammes, Nhlanhla Nhlapo, Sikho Siyotula, Daandrey Steyn, Zelda Stroud, Jan van der Merwe, Jaco van Scalkwyk, Hannalie Taute and Diane Victor. It will include between 12 - 15 artists working in diverse media.