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Lala Crafford with one of her installations


A stimulating exhibition of audio-visual works curated by Elfriede Dreyer will be located in different venues on the festival grounds.

A feature work on show will be Host II (2010), a video presentation of a performance of the South African born, international Performance artist, Johan Thom:
Artist statement: The video was filmed at the Anatomy Museum of the Royal Veterinary College, London. The viewer is witness to an intimate encounter between myself and the specimens contained in the glass display cases throughout the museum – mostly animal, some human.

Whilst turning my body in a clockwise motion I softly recite a 100-word text written specifically for the occasion: the text, engraved on ordinary razorblades (one word per blade), addresses the relationship between my body as a meaty living thing, and the stripped-down specimens on display. For me, this is a deeply violent encounter with the humanist systems of studying, classifying and displaying the fruits of its labour. I kept thinking about the relationship between flesh, bone and form in the artworks of English painter, Francis Bacon (1909-1992).

In Bacon’s work one often finds a single colour plane, or ‘form’ from which a figure is born. But, placing myself here, in the midst of the many reflective structural planes, my body explodes, no longer emerging from a single plane or held together by the structure of the bones. For a moment, I emerge both from and within a sequence of events: My body is fragmented into multiple reflections that take on a life of their own: Initially these reflections duly follow the central figure’s movement.

But, as the action progressively unfolds, the two reflections on the side go completely out of sync until, as if by magic, they all complete the performance at exactly the same time. The ‘words’ produce sound as each blade is thrown against the various material surfaces that surround me. Production assistant: Wayne Binitie. Special thanks: The Royal Veterinary College (RVC); Mr Andrew Crook (Senior Technician, Department: Veterinary Basic Sciences, RVC).

Another featured work is by Lala Crafford. Her work is mostly installation based, and concerns the relationship between the auditory and the visual, light and air, and shadows versus reflections.
Artist Statement: I am interested in the overlapping disciplinary fields of music, technology and fine art. My artworks strive to create immersive and atmospheric experiences or environments in an audio-visual manner.

Therefore I specialise in installation artworks that rely on the interaction with or reaction to one’s surroundings. Crafford has had her work showcased at both the ABSA Atelier- and Sasol New Signatures exhibitions 2012. During her two-month residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris (December 2011 – January 2012), she staged and exhibited an Open Studio installation.

Her work is represented in the collection of the University of Pretoria and in various private collections. She is currently lecturing at The Open Window.

Additional new media works will be provided by second-year Fine Arts students of the University of Pretoria, mentored by Loraine Beaton and Frikkie Eksteen.


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