Gerrit Hattingh

Art 32 (Mixed media, size variable)

Art 32 (Mixed media, size variable)

Artist's Statement

Educating the Dead White Rabbit: In this self-portrait of the artist holding a dead white rabbit and dressed in a ceremonial gown, the artist comments on his own struggles for employment as an art lecturer at a higher education institution. The belief is, the struggle is because of skin colour. The ‘Crazy Store’ frame makes reference to financial implications.

Art 32: The computer language C# is used to create a feeling of paranoia and fear. The virus acts as a stealth virus that can be sent via the Internet to any artist or art institution. It stays dormant until your system is at its most vulnerable. It will delete all files with JPEG format. The work comments on our paranoia when in the presence of people who speak a language that we do not understand. By destroying all other artists’ work only this artist’s work will be left.

Fly on the Gallery Wall: The work makes reference to visual and auditory stimuli that influence the art judges’ experience. It questions the merit of honest cognitive responses when influenced by, for example, personality traits. In the end, diluted personal opinions and thoughts are processed verbally and the artist is left with the feeling of wanting to be like a fly on the wall of the gallery.

An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away: The work comments on the Caster Semenya saga. Rock salt was carved in the shape of apples and left on a hunting farm to be licked to completion by wild animals. The form and shape of toffee apples holds both male and female qualities. The definition of the word ‘hermaphrodite’ is spraypainted on a bazaar table. This, together with the eleven toffee apples (referencing the eleven official languages), aims to promote the acceptance and awareness of individual differences rather than place the focus on language alone. The whole issue leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

Dis-Funksioneel: This work refers to a white Afrikaans family, which becomes dysfunctional due to skewed priorities. Dis-functional or ‘this is functional’ invites the viewer to interact with the artwork, by moving a family portrait through the gallery. Using the images as assisting devices, the viewer becomes part of the family and becomes responsible for the alienation or closeness of family members.

Artist's Biography

Born: 1974. Lives and works in Bloemfontein. Received his BTech in Fine Art from the Free State University of Technology and his MA in Higher Education (cum laude) from the University of the Free State. Major exhibitions: Spier Contemporary 2007/08; William Humphreys Art Gallery, Kimberley; ABSA Gallery, Johannesburg; Sasol New Signatures; Pretoria Art Museum.