Maja Marx

Pile: Feint & Margin (Blankets, 20 x 100 x 100 cm)

Pile: Feint & Margin (Blankets, 20 x 100 x 100 cm)

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Artist's Statement

The work is an installation piece consisting of three large-scale sculptures. It takes the form of three large black exercise books, each assembled and bound using a selection of custom printed blankets. In South Africa, the blanket forms an intrinsic part of traditional culture and is seen as an important agent in most marriage ceremonies, processes of bereavement, the coronation of leaders, and initiation ceremonies. It also features prominently in the language of daily travel, and in historical or heritage citations such as those relating to the Basotho culture with its Seana Marena and Victoria England blankets, and to the Ndebele people with the Umbalo blanket. The traditional blanket’s origin can be traced back to early 19th century contact between local communities, Afrikaner pastoralists, Christian missionaries and European traders, when it was an object of trade and status. In linking this to the image of the empty exercise book, I wish to merge the traditional with the contemporary, and establish an investigation into present day South African agency, education and information. At the same time, the blanket and the book translate the simple presence of the body in its ergonomic relation to object and space. Using the South African tradition of the blanket as a cue, each page is printed by Aranda blankets, a wellknown South African brand specializing in traditional blankets.

Artist's Biography

Born: Pretoria, 1977. Lives and works in Johannesburg. Received her MFA (cum laude) from the University of the Witwatersrand in 2008. Major exhibitions: Absa L’Atelier, ABSA Gallery, The Premises Gallery and Goethe Institute, in Johannesburg; ELIA Exhibition, Cuenca, Spain and Gent, Belgium.