This limited offer consist’s of Dineo Bopape’s Chat-Scat and Candice Breitz’ Ex Libris South Africa. Immediately linking these two prints are the colourful vertical lines that anchor the compositions, TV colour bars, a relic from older technology in the case of Bopape, and the spines of the books in the case of Breitz.
These works invest in the idea of mediums imbued with meaning. Breitz’ print is a collection of books taken wholly from a second-hand bookstore, and they collectively express the anxieties and expectations of a century of South African literature. Bopape’s work consist of the test pattern and a snippet of an online chat, showing ephemeral moments in technological use.
Linking these two works further is purposeful distancing from content. Breitz’ books are unopenable, relying on fragments to produce meaning, while Bopape’s funny story is left untold and the test pattern is empty of references beyond itself. The onus is on us as viewers to construct a framework of understanding, to generate our own content from these partial signifiers.
Dineo Seshee Bopape, Chat-Scat
Silkscreen print on archival cotton rag paper
66 x 50.5 cm
Edition of 25
Dineo Seshee Bopape (b. 1981) is based in Johannesburg, South Africa.
This remarkable many-coloured screenprint has been commissioned especially for ArtThrob. It was printed at Caversham Press by Malcolm Christian, assisted by Alex Shabalala, in KwaZulu-Natal where Bopape worked in residence. Bopape’s work is characterised by an evocative and deeply personal interest in locating herself in space and time. This manifests as a dance between surface and screen, personal history, and the banality of ordinary objects and moments. In Chat-Scat, the television test pattern and quote from an online chat forum explore a particular immaterial aspect of the virtual techno-scape, whilst simultaneously claiming that space for the artist’s personal history.
Candice Breitz, Ex Libris South Africa
24 x 60 cm
Edition of 60
Candice Breitz (b. 1972) is based in Berlin, Germany.
The books photographed for Candice Breitz’s Ex Libris South Africa were all found by the artist on the same dusty and neglected shelf within Bikini Beach Books, Gordon’s Bay (South Africa), during a single book-browsing session in January 2009. Collectively they catalogue a diverse range of anxieties, fears, hopes and expectations pertaining to life in South Africa over nearly a century.