Wim Botha
Speculum

4-26 November 2003
The word Speculum refers to 'a medical instrument for dilating the opening of a body cavity in order to examine the interior.' Serving as a common thread between the many facets of the works, it implies a process of invasion, scrutiny, inspection and introspection.

Botha's installations - which incorporate sculptures, paintings and prints - reflect on the individual's absorption into the encompassing hierarchical structures of statehood and society. By visually interfering with venerated forms of art, artefact and decoration, he offers comment on the distorted and ephemeral nature of grandeur and tradition. In several of his installations this subversion of symbolic imagery alludes to the slow but inevitable decay that edifices to authority and self-importance are bound to undergo.

Upon viewing Wim Botha's art, one is drawn into an environment of seductive yet ambiguous signals where art historical references and types create a sombre tension. The viewer's share in this experience is one of almost involuntary association whereby the various elements displayed acquire a personal meaning. If all of this sounds too serious, it needs to be mentioned that the work - both in terms of medium and imagery - is not void of humour or irony. These are in fact consciously considered adjuncts that often provide immediate access for uncovering rich seems of meaning.

Click here for the catalogue essay Ceremonial bodies inside-out | looking with Wim Botha's speculum by Frederick Eksteen.

Since graduating from the University of Pretoria in 1996, Botha's work has been widely acclaimed and garnered numerous awards (two of which were for Best Artwork (2001) and being selected as Festival Artist (2003) at the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival in Oudshoorn). Major sculptural works by the artist have been included in the Johannesburg Art Gallery, BHP Billiton, SASOL, ABSA and numerous university collections.

For more information contact +27 (0)21 421 2575 or fax +27 (0)21 421 2578 or email info@michaelstevenson.com.



Self- Portrait as a Common Ancestor

sold


Motherland

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Fatherland

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Mnemonic reconstruction (from memory)

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Untitled (Window)

not available


Scorched Earth

sold


Watermark/Oilslick (Remnant)

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Watermark/Oilslick I (Holland)

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Watermark/Oilslick II (Britain)

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Watermark/Oilslick III (Germany)

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Watermark/Oilslick IV (France)

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Watermark/Oilslick V (South Africa pre 1994)

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Dispute I

not available


Dispute II

not available


Dispute III

not available


(From Left) Generic self-portrait as a Statesman
Generic self-portrait as a Magnate
Generic self-portrait as a Landowner
Generic self-portrait as a Hero
Generic self-portrait as an Anti-Hero


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Mirage

Not available

2003 Michael Stevenson. All rights reserved.