Gerhard Marx: Near Distant
In his fifth solo exhibition with the Goodman Gallery, Gerhard Marx continues the project of transforming visual certainties into new spatial imaginaries as he engages his interest in the construct or idea of ‘distance’.
“If an encounter with an object is an encounter of presence, then the idea of distance would in some way propose an opposite encounter, an encounter with absence. Of course, there is an emotional root to an encounter with distance; distance is an open space for longing, an architecture for loss, a space of blurred certainty, an entry point to the sublime. The question, however, is to engage distance without it turning into nearness.
I have started to see this project as being inherently political, a project of undoing; of unmaking categories; of unmaking the viewer’s centrality as implied by perspective. Distance would dissolve the crisp outlines of things seen up close. In distance things can become awash, there is no clear point where one thing begins and another ends. Perhaps, I thought, I can undo the artifice of intimacy, build distance into objects, and let things become feral.” – Gerhard Marx
Gerhard Marx (b. 1976, South Africa) develops his projects through an engagement with pre-existent conventions and practices. This process entails careful acts of dissection and rearrangement, which allow Marx to engage the poetic potential and philosophical assumptions of his chosen material, developing original drawing, sculptural and performative languages. Marx completed his undergraduate degree at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, UCT and received his MA (Fine Art) (Cum Laude) from Wits School of Art, Johannesburg.
Marx’s work is shown regularly at international art fairs, held in numerous public and private art collections and was included on the South African pavilion at the 2013 Venice Biennale. He has been involved in the making of numerous public sculptures, including The World On Its Hind Legs, a collaboration with William Kentridge (Beverley Hills, LA), Vertical Aerial: JHB, (the Old Ford, Constitution Hill, Johannesburg), The Fire Walker, in collaboration with William Kentridge (Queen Elizabeth Bridge, Johannesburg) and Paper Pigeon, in collaboration with Maja Marx (Pigeon Square, Johannesburg). In 2018, Marx participated in the third season at the Centre for the Less Good Idea with his project Vehicle, in collaboration with musicians Shane Cooper and Kyle Shepherd.
Gerhard Marx also has extensive experience in theatre, as a scenographer, director, filmmaker and playmaker, including REwind: A Cantata for Voice, Tape and Testimony (directed by Marx, interactive film by Gerhard Marx and Maja Marx, composed by Philip Miller), performed at the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank, London (2010), the Market Theatre, Johannesburg (2008) and the 62’Centre, William College, Massachusetts (2007).
Marx is a fellow of the Sundance Film Institute, the Annenberg Fund and of the Ampersand Foundation. He lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa.
Gerhard Marx: Near Distant runs until 8 September 2020 at Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg.
May 18, 2021
May 14, 2021