the match

In my exhibition entitled ‘CON/FRONT”, National Arts Festival 2006, this work was installed in Fort Selwyn an old fort guarding over Grahamstown. The fort was built as a watch and signal tower during the frontier wars and today is a national monument. This evidently male created space with its function to protect against the ‘enemy’ inspired a body of work which dealt with confrontation. This instinctive human reaction to protect and look after served as the inspiration for the main installation entitled “The Match”. In this piece a big table hovered above the ground. It resembled a field and was inspired by games like soccer or rugby. At two ends of the table two figures mirrored each other. They were duplicates of each other but also opposites and based on the Kouros figure. The Kouros figure was used as it was the first embodiment of captured movement in Western sculpture and also showed emotion known as the Archaic smile. These nude studies were used as guards at entrances to temples and were usually seen as young male soldiers. In the piece they stood guard or became controllers of the game, the goalies for the match. The match was internal, confrontation of emotions. They thus looked after my interior space. On the field were four players on both sides three hand puppets or controls. The players on the field referenced some of my previous work. These pieces dealt with childhood memories, the inner emotions which we struggle with or fight against daily. They captured those innocent joys, playing with balls, holding balloons, being dressed up for a fancy dress. One wearing a teddy bear suit the other that of a bunny. These toys are comforters those objects we felt safe with as kids. Oneself as the soldier becoming the protector of that lost innocence. The puppets functioned as metaphors for the personal influence or input we have. But also asked the question of who really is in control? And to what extend do we have an influence on what happens around us through our ability or incapability to control inner emotions. And to what extend do we look after that childhood innocence, do we just replace them with grown up prejudices and differences?