To Be King
From May 13 to November 26, 2017, the GAA Foundation in partnership with the European Cultural Foundation will present To Be King by South African artist Christine Dixie. This installation will form part of the exhibition Personal Structures during the 2017 Venice Art Biennale at Palazzo Bembo and Palazzo Mora.
Christine Dixie has made a philosophical habit of juxtaposing one story against another, leaving the viewer with a sense that they are caught at the intersection of contending narratives. Her work is intent on drawing the viewer into a mesmeric yet disquieting space. A deceptively calm surface is disrupted by an undercurrent, a counter-narrative that threatens to disrupt a tenuous vision of logic and stability.
She explores the history of colonial landscape representation in exhibitions such as Front Tears (1997), Track (2000) and Hide (2002). Her unsettling depiction of the violence that lies below the surface of the land was the subject matter of her work on the exhibition, Earth Matters: Earth as Metaphor and Material in the Arts of Africa, curated by Dr. Karen Milbourne (2013) and Conversations: African and American – American Art in Dialogue (2014), curated by Dr. Christine Kreamer, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art.
The project To Be King is the culmination of a sustained body of work over a five year period. It is a multi-media installation that questions established ideas around structures of power and representation. The painting Las Meninas by Velasquez (1565) and a subsequent essay on the painting by Foucault (1966) have been the impetus in developing this project. It is the insights into structures of power, social and psychological, represented by Velá squez and analysed by Foucault that Christine Dixie used as entry points into this project.
Christine Dixie was born in 1966 and holds a bachelors degree from the University of the Witwatersrand and a masters degree from the Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town. She is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Fine Art Department at Rhodes University. Dixie has participated in several exhibitions both nationally and internationally including The Binding, Gallery AOP, Johannesburg (2010); Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington D.C.(2012); To Be King, The Cape Town Art Fair (2014); Home Truths: Domestic Interiors from South African Collections, Isiko National Gallery of South Africa (2016); and Rites of Passage, Between Light and Darkness, Irma Stern Museum, Cape Town. Christine Dixie’s To Be King, is presented by Sulger-Buel Lovell gallery in partnership with the GAA Foundation.