The New Church Museum, Cape Town, South Africa
14 May 2015 - 29 Aug 2015
The New Church Museum presents a group exhibition with : AVANT CAR GUARD | WALTER BATTISS | WILLEM BOSHOFF | WIM BOTHA | FREDERIC BRULY BOUABRÉ | NORMAN CATHERINE | JULIA ROSA CLARK | CHAD ROSSOUW | CECIL SKOTNES | GERALD MACHONA.
The exhibition is Co-curated by Candice Allison and Kirsty Cockerill.
Come. We will tell you a story. It’s not necessarily true, but it’s certainly not false. It’s written in a book we can’t open, about a place we could map, if only we had visited it. If we imagine we could speak the language, we may be entitled to hoist the flag. Regardless, the postal system is remarkably good and we have sent you, the citizen, a letter. A letter saying come – we will tell you a story.
“Some look upon my art as a fun thing, but the fun is only the surface of something very much deeper… I’ll leave it to the future to discover that it’s much more than that.”
– Walter Battiss, SABC interview with Elaine Davie, 1981
An exhibition that reflects on sovereignty and world making. The inventive sovereign self, and the real, or imagined, contextual, social and political indicators of place and citizenship. Included in the exhibition are works by Battiss and artists whose production shares an affinity with the merging of reality and fantasy to build new personalised reflections on reality.
“Basically, Walter Battiss invented Fook Island because he wanted everybody, children as well as people his own age, to enjoy the freedom to create art, especially at a time in South Africa when there was serious censorship. I think he wanted to ‘liberate the inner child’ of all participants from the oppressive state of affairs that existed. He also wanted ‘the man in the street’ to be able to express him/herself freely, without being intimidated by the elitism of academic theories.”
– Norman Catherine
‘Walter Battiss and Fook Island | An interview: Karin Skawran and Norman Catherine’, in Walter Battiss: Gentle Anarchist (Standard Bank Gallery: Johannesburg), 2005.