Show simple item record Dreyer, Elfriede 2022-04-29T13:01:22Z 2022-04-29T13:01:22Z 2021
dc.identifier.citation en
dc.description Solo exhibition, Matrix, 2021-2022. en
dc.description.abstract In the Matrix series of works, the idea of an ‘other’ space is presented: Simulated, embodied and different to the experienced, physical real. The idea of a matrix is connected to simulation and illusion, and it is presented here as a construction, space or a place (mostly fictional). On one hand, matrixial space could be virtual space that we inhabit as human cyborgs; on the other hand it could be any other kind of ‘world’, dream or condition; or it could even be utopian space. Sometimes a constructed matrix can become so real that it becomes intertwined with the physical real. It is constituted by relationships, wishes, emotions and connections; it is volatile and can change from moment to moment. New things are constantly birthed there, but it also intersects and interacts with other matrixes and the physical real. And we continue to create matrixes within the matrix of time. On René Magritte’s The Treachery of Images (La Trahison des images, 1929), the words ‘Ceci n’est pas une pipe’ (this is not a pipe) are written. The artist sets up play with illusionism through a representation that is not an actual pipe but an image of a pipe; so reality and certainty become questioned. Presenting an illusion of the real is probably art’s most fundamental ontology, since an image is nothing more than an illusion presented in such a way as to disguise its fictive status. Magritte‘s work brings into play the fusion of the real and illusion. Jacques Derrida has gone so far as to argue that both presence and self are illusions (dealt with in my Ceci n’est pas … series). In matrix creation, the boundary between the projective illusion or virtual matrix and the physical real mostly disappears. Jean Baudrillard (The Perfect crime 1996:109) writes the following: With the Virtual, we enter not only upon the era of the liquidation of the Real and the Referential, but that of the extermination of the Other… . The otherness of death - staved off by unrelenting medical intervention. Of the face and the body - run to earth by plastic surgery. Of the world - dispelled by Virtual Reality. Of everyone - which will one day be abolished by the cloning of individual cells. And, quite simply, of the other, currently undergoing dilution in perpetual communication. If information is the site of the perfect crime against reality, communication is the site of the perfect crime against otherness. Donna Haraway expresses the view that by “the late twentieth century, our time, a mythic time, we are all chimeras, theorised and fabricated hybrids of machine and organism; in short, we are cyborgs. The cyborg is our ontology; it gives us our politics. The cyborg is a condensed image of both imagination and material reality, the two joined centers structuring any possibility of historical transformation.” Grounded in the physical real, the concepts of observation, reproduction, invention and representation underlie the drive to create other and artificial reals, including simulations of the real. A matrix has to do with connected worlds in the sense of the physical real inspiring the creation of virtuality or it being created as an attempt to escape the physical real. Several works deal with this notion, such as Two worlds, Connected, Reflected and Matrixes. Although arguably there are ‘many worlds’, in this body of work the focus is on ‘two’ worlds, a physical real and another constructed or manufactured real, which I call ‘matrix’. Utopia, in essence, is also a fictional matrix, an imagined design in space, time and place. In utopian construction there is a constant pull of the dichotomy between the real and the positing of an alternative reality, a fictional, imagined 'other' world or state, mostly ideal in nature. As entities all forms of alternative reality, including illusion, any matrix has validity only in its relationship to the sensory or physical real. Inherent to matrix construction is the fact that it is created adjacent to another more presiding space. In Good place (2020), utopian space as matrix is presented. The work confirms the utopian dream of a good place as matrix. In No place (2020) the shattered and blurred island imagery speaks to utopia as a construction of place that does not really exist. Pinder argues that utopian views of place are fueled by the imagination and that visions of an ‘other’ place are spaces of hope. Utopian matrixes are connected to the socialisation of place and as the meta-arguments thereof dystopian and heterotopian constructions of space emerge. My concept of matrixial space is also vaguely related to Michel Foucault’s notion of heterotopia, describing non-hegemonic (equal) places that exist simultaneously. Although Foucault defines heterotopia as an approximation of an imaginary utopia – and this is certainly built into my conception of the matrix – it remains fundamentally a parallel space that functions in co-option and anticipation of the other more ‘presiding’ space (the real, mostly). Distinctive emerald green is evident in most of the works, conceptually representing an ideal or utopian green place of betterment (as in Up there is a green patch and Beyond) but also a neon-green virtual space. A red palette is used hand-in hand with nuances of green in order to reference human flesh and blood (as in Bodies in space), but also fire (as in Matrix of fire and Shifting) as allegory of transformation, process and transition. In the matrix of a virtual world the anchor remains the physical human body and mind: making up visions of other worlds and engaging with virtual worlds. A real, temporarily occupied space induced by circumstantial conditions – such as being in hospital; waiting at an airport; or waiting for something to pass – could be labelled as an existential matrix. Then the matrix becomes a kind of anteroom, often filled with emotions of anxiety, fear or anticipation. Associated words evoked here include buffer, containment, isolation, liminality and projection. In several of the works on exhibition there are areas of separation, dividing lines or grids as anterooms. The image of boat recurs, allegoric of human life as a vessel on the sea of life, as in Drifting, Transshipped and Sail, sail away. The latter work deals with the longing for a faraway, different place that is viewed as utopically 'better' than the current place. As a transportation mechanism the boat as matrix is interwoven with the teleology of human carriage and the self-inscripted and self-inflicted autobiography of a proposed ‘good ending’. A boat occupies a liminal position between places, being neither here nor there, and represents human life between birth and death. In Foucault's Of other spaces (1986) he points to the boat as a "heterotopia par excellence", since " … the boat is a floating piece of space, a place without a place, that exists by itself, that is closed in on itself and at the same time is given over to the infinity of the sea." Transshipped speaks to the readjustment to another matrix or rerouting taking place throughout one's life while pursuing our individual teleological 'good endings' that one is hoping for. There are two vessels in this work: one is floating and the other is caught up in a cocoon of transition. Like the 2017 Great Fire event when I lost my home resulting in adjustments and changes, covid-19 also brought about a sense of the fragility of human life and the innate transience of material goods. Shifts in matrix occurred and new ones were created. Besides a large grid-like matrix occupying the visual space in the video production Life in the matrix and the Time series, imagery of everyday flâneurs is found. Their flânerie takes place non-stop against the backdrop of the rhythm of life. The flâneurs stroll the city with handbags, backpacks and parcels, and there are bicycles, cyclists and musicians. Caught up in a matrix of linear biological time, the strollers engage in individual pursuits of daily ritual. Their bodily walking movements indicate physical life, existing in time and place on an existential stage. The movement of the flâneur in an enclosed or demarcated setting is also applicable to personalised matrix creation in a contemporary sense. Movement and activity take place within the bounded space of a matrix, whether a dream, virtual reality or physical delineated space such as a room or house (as during covid-19 lockdowns). Matrix construction as bordered space is related to utopian construction in the sense of the individual's place within the collective, that is, within a larger whole, similar to flânerie with a specific space. Although the idea of matrix is not Romantic per se, it does contain reference to transcendence and desire for another reality. The next two Perspex works are quite Romantic in character by suggesting a wish for escape (Sail, sail away) and searching for a ‘better’, idealised place (Up there is a green patch). The irregular formats of the two works suggest random matrix formation. Other works such as Beyond and Winged also have Romantic undertones. In matrix construction, the concept of time is of utmost importance. It relates to both the idealised and the real worlds since the ideal construct is mostly a response to the historical horizon of the real. Matrixes are inspired by the present real, a situation that brings on a type of time-schizophrenia in which the pull to the future is unrelenting. In the Time works the flâneurs are present again, operating and active in their individual time zones. They are in a matrix of time, but a matrix can also be a twilight zone of memory – good or bad – or a dream or fantasy or a projection of the virtual self in digital space. All of these relate to time. And so the never-ending cycle of matrix creation continues. en
dc.publisher Gallery at Glen Carlou; Pretoria Arts Association en
dc.relation.ispartofseries Matrix;
dc.subject Solo exhibition en
dc.subject Mixed media en
dc.subject Multimedia en
dc.subject Digital art en
dc.subject Video art en
dc.title Matrix en
dc.title.alternative Solo exhibition, 2021-2022 en
dc.type Other en
dc.description.department Art and Music en

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