Exhibiton duration: October 28 – December 18, 2010
David Krut Projects, New York, presents Diane Victor – Recent Work. In her first New York exhibition, South African artist, Diane Victor, presents a group of etchings and smoke drawings fraught with social commentary and, at times, an eerie and lurid reflection of the world around us. Throughout Victor’s imagery there is a tension and play between strength and fragility. Both her mark-making and the narratives presented highlight the ephemeral, delicate moments of life while also reminding us of their raw, hard-edged counterparts.
Victor’s smoke portraits of South African prisoners awaiting trial reflect individuals caught in a precarious and transient space, an idea reinforced through the vulnerable and impermanent nature of the medium used. As Victor is quick to point out, the portraits are made using the carbon from the smoke of a candle and are exceptionally fragile. Victor is attracted to the direct correlation between the fragility of human life and the susceptibility of the physical image. The marks made on the paper may wipe away or disintegrate with the slightest physical contact.
Victor’s work is concerned with the inequalities she views in contemporary South African society, as well as the world at large, and her latest group of prints, Birth of a Nation, approaches colonial engagement in Africa with both a historical and satirical focus. This series of ten etchings takes a set of recognized classical myths and re-contextualizes the stories with African and South African themes and landscapes. For instance, in Romulus and Remus a hyena replaces the she-wolf from which the infamous founders of Rome suckle. In The Rape of Africa, Victor, alluding to the story of the abduction of Europa, replaces the white bull (Zeus) with a rhinoceros being controlled by a defiant huntress, thus morphing the story to address the ravaging of Africa’s natural resources.
Diane Victor’s exhibition will be on view at David Krut Projects from October 28 – December 18, 2010. Her work was also on view in our booth at the E/AB Fair, Nov 4-7.