Lionel Smit, Varenka Paschke, Cat Ochulla, Jonathan Munnik

Nuance, opening at UCA Gallery on 6 May, contains work by four painters and a sculptor – Catherine Ochulla, Maricel Albertyn, Lionel Smit, Varenka Paschke and Jonathan Munnik – who speak to the body as a site of social and emotional politics. Cooperatively, the work suggests that beauty lies rather in a body’s subtle deviations from the physical ideal than in the ideal itself.

Art Exhibition previously on at UCA Gallery in South Africa.
From Wednesday 06 May 2009 to Saturday 27 June 2009
Launch Wednesday 06 May 2009, Hours: Tue - Fri 10am - 5pm, Sat 9am - 1pm

Drip Series 2 image

Event published by anonymous on Wednesday 29 April 2009.
Contact the publisher.

The human body is a double-edged concept: on the one hand, since Descartes, we have believed that the body is fundamentally separate – mere mechanical matter essentially split from the more complex machinations of mind or movements of soul. On the other, it is only by virtue of our bodies – even if they are only vehicles for the mind/soul – that we are able to experience the world around us. In this sense, taking the body as our interface with reality, every experience no matter how spiritual or intellectualised is fundamentally bound to our relationships with our bodies.

The body is a perennial source of subject matter to artists for reasons of common reference – everybody has a body; every body functions, like the most elegantly ordered mechanism, in similar ways. Each culture and historical period has its own idea of the perfect body, which is the definition of beauty in the physical sense. Contemporarily, a time in which mass communication is abundant, we are bombarded daily with constant streams of simulacra – the perfect man, the perfect woman occupy every billboard. We live also the time of the individual, or so it is said. However, despite some shared desire to be “unique” the unwavering torrent of perfect bodies becomes a collective physical goal.

In Nuance, these politics of the body are addressed. Appropriately, the etymology of the word ‘nuance’ reveals a connection to clouds, particularly to subtle shifts in form and colour typical of these atmospheric banks of mist. Nuance shifts the focus away from perfection (thought to be generally achievable through the purchase of a particular product or brand of clothing) and onto differences, blemishes, incongruities as the source of physical beauty, but also of potential psychological trauma.

Gallery Spokesperson: Jacqueline Nurse


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