Elfriede Dreyer, Good place, 2020. R18 000.00
Elfriede Dreyer, Good place, 2020. Archival digital print, 1200 x 900mm. AP. Edition of 5 + AP Two prints available of each. Provenance: Obtained from the artist.
MORE ON THE ARTIST
Elfriede Dreyer is an Art Professor, curator, writer and artist. She has been affiliated with Unisa since 2015, after lecturing there full-time from 1990 to 2003. She also taught full-time at the University of Pretoria from 2003 to 2014. Except for works taken up in public and private collections, the majority of her art production has been destroyed by the Knysna Great Fire of June 2017. She has participated in group exhibitions at major museums, galleries and festivals throughout the country; she was a finalist in most national competitions, including the Brett Kebble Award; and held solo exhibitions in Pretoria, Paris, Oudtshoorn and Johannesburg.
Her main conceptual preoccupation is an ongoing interest in worldmaking discourses and the ideologies of place and space. Central concepts are utopia, dystopia and heterotopia as nuances of a family of constructions around place, such as a good place; a bad place; non-place; cocooning; displacement; and migrancy. Perceptions and projections of a good place as utopia are common, but exist mainly as fictions. Although many utopias have been conceived over the ages, few have worked out. Still they persist in appearing in a social and political sense; in addition, most people nurture personal ideas about a ‘good’ place. Except for works in public and private collections, the majority of her art production has been destroyed by the Knysna Great Fire of June 2017. Her work from 2017 to 2020 dealt mainly with the dystopia of this event.
No place and Good place (2020) form part of a series of event-based works relating to the traumatic experience of the loss of my entire home and personal belongings during the Great Fire of 7 June 2017. However, the work also reflects my ongoing interest in worldmaking discourses and the ideologies of place and space. A non-place is a no-man’s land or space that belongs to no-one and everyone, such as, according to French anthropologist Marc Augé, a supermarket, airport or mall. Although a non-place then seems void of utopia, it is not, since these spaces have been conceived as ‘good’ places with good objective or teleology. Utopian is an ambivalent concept; thus my two works on exhibition are presented as intertwined concepts and speak to the ambivalence of utopian space.
Notions of a good place are explored through shattered and blurred island imagery, since the search for paradise in human mortal time remains a dream and a negotiated discourse. Yet the dream remains.
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