Minnette Vari / Parallax / 2010

About

Minnette Vári presents a range of new work in her latest solo show at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg. Titled Parallax (from the Greek for ‘change’ or ‘alternation’) the exhibition meditates on the question of mutability, particularly the changing nature of perceptions of women, and the shifts in perception and attitudes brought about by aging and by changes in intergenerational position. In 1999, Vári produced a hard-hitting and highly successful video piece entitled ‘Oracle’, based on Francisco de Goya’s famous painting ‘Saturn Devouring his Children’. Vári’s sensibility shows an affinity with Goya’s visceral treatment of supernatural subject matter that allegorises socio-political realities.

A new series of anamorphic images on paper, which can be viewed straight-on, but assume a different perspective when viewed from side-on, references Goya’s ‘Los Caprichos’, a collection of obscure moral parables on the follies of humankind. Vári’s images can be read as sinister landscapes, which she has populated with ‘decoys’ that relate to more contemporary conflicts and moral dilemmas, such as ecological disaster and xenophobic violence.

A particular focus of the exhibition is a meditation on the way history and myth consider the different ages of woman. From temptresses to hideous crones and imbecilic innocents, they are often viciously, but just as often tenderly, portrayed. The triadic figure of the Fates, appearing in many different guises in different cultures, weaves its way through this exhibition in diverse forms and media. The eldest of the three, the death-dealing Crone called Atropos, gives her name to the Death’s Head moth, around which superstitious lore abounds. This compelling motif moves through the video work on the show, drawing out a personal recollection for the artist through her entomologist grandfather. The genus of the moth, Acherontia, draws its name in turn from the mythological river Acheron that souls must cross into the underworld. There is also an actual river Acheron in north-western Greece, and this play between mythical and real landscapes is a further theme of the exhibition.

Vári has had a long-term interest in the idea of fantastical and allegorical places and creatures, and in this show presents virtual and impossible scenes featuring real cartographic material. Prominent in these constructions are various star maps showing the seasonal migration of constellations such as that featuring Sirius, the Dog Star, which symbolizes a bridge between higher and lower consciousness. All these interwoven themes were developed during extensive research periods that Vári recently spent in both the Southern and Northern Hemispheres.

Vári is well-established locally and abroad, and her new body of work elicits both careful intellection and an intuitive, visceral appreciation. In demonstrating the artist’s enormous talent and technical skill across different media, the show works on many levels. It is historically-informed and highly contemporary, intellectually rigorous, yet emotionally charged. As her work matures and diversifies, it confirms her reputation as one of South Africa’s foremost contemporary artists.

/files/upload/exhibition/3343Exhibitionworldonitshindlegs.pdf

  • Outset

    Minnette Vari

    Outset , 2010

    Oil on paper

    34.5 x 46 cm

  • Rendered

    Minnette Vari

    Rendered, 2010

    Archival pigment ink and Indian ink on Fabriano paper

    27.5 x 95 cm

  • Dog Star II

    Minnette Vari

    Dog Star II, 2010

    archival pigment ink on cotton rag paper

    50 x 50

    Edition of 5

  • Dog Star III

    Minnette Vari

    Dog Star III, 2010

    Archival pigment ink on cotton rag paper

    50 x 50 cm

    Edition of 5

  • Dog Star IV

    Minnette Vari

    Dog Star IV, 2010

    Archival pigment ink on cotton rag paper

    50 x 50 cm

    Edition of 5

  • Dog Star Night IX

    Minnette Vari

    Dog Star Night IX, 2010

    Archival pigment ink on cotton rag paper

    50 x 50 cm

    Edition of 5

  • Dog Star Night VIII

    Minnette Vari

    Dog Star Night VIII, 2010

    Archival pigment ink on cotton rag paper

    50 x 50 cm

    Edition of 5

  • Dog Star Night VIII

    Minnette Vari

    Dog Star Night VIII, 2010

    Archival pigment ink on cotton rag paper

    50 x 50 cm

    Edition of 5

  • Dog Star V

    Minnette Vari

    Dog Star V, 2010

    Archival pigment ink on cotton rag paper

    50 x 50 cm

    Edition of 5

  • Dog Star VI

    Minnette Vari

    Dog Star VI, 2010

    Archival pigment ink on cotton rag paper

    50 x 50

    Edition of 5

  • Dog Star XI

    Minnette Vari

    Dog Star XI, 2010

    Archival pigment ink on cotton rag paper

    50 x 50 cm

    Edition of 5

  • Dog Star XIII

    Minnette Vari

    Dog Star XIII, 2010

    Archival pigment ink on cotton rag paper

    50 x 50 cm

    Edition of 5

  • Dog Star XIV

    Minnette Vari

    Dog Star XIV, 2010

    Archival Pigment ink on cotton rag paper

    50 x 50 cm

    Edition of 5

  • Dog Star XIV

    Minnette Vari

    Dog Star XIV, 2010

    Archival Pigment ink on cotton rag paper

    50 x 50 cm

    Edition of 5

  • Dog Star XIII

    Minnette Vari

    Dog Star XIII, 2010

    Archival pigment ink on cotton rag paper

    50 x 50 cm

    Edition of 5

  • The Discovery of Writing (Skein)

    Minnette Vari

    The Discovery of Writing (Skein) , 2010

    Indian Ink on Fabriano

    175 x 138 cm

  • The Discovery of Writing (Weft)

    Minnette Vari

    The Discovery of Writing (Weft) , 2010

    Indian Ink on Fabriano

    174 x 138 cm

  • Wisdom of the Impious (Spun)

    Minnette Vari

    Wisdom of the Impious (Spun), 2010

    Indiam ink on Fabriano

    100 x 183 cm

  • Wisdom of the Impious (Strewn)

    Minnette Vari

    Wisdom of the Impious (Strewn), 2010

    Indian ink on Fabriano

    120 x 302 framed

  • Vault Series (Equinox North)

    Minnette Vari

    Vault Series (Equinox North), 2010

    Archival pigment ink on cotton rag paper

    77 x 58 cm

    Edition of 5

  • Vault Series (Equinox West)

    Minnette Vari

    Vault Series (Equinox West) , 2010

    Archival pigment ink on cotton rag paper

    77x 58 cm

    Edition of 5

  • Vault Series (Solstice East)

    Minnette Vari

    Vault Series (Solstice East), 2010

    Archival pigment ink on cotton rag paper 77x 58 cm

    77x 58 cm

    Edition of 5

  • Vault Series (Solstice South)

    Minnette Vari

    Vault Series (Solstice South), 2010

    Archival pigment ink on cotton rag paper

    77x 58 cm

    Edition of 5

  • Installation picture [Minnette Vari / Parallax / 2010]
  • Installation picture [Minnette Vari / Parallax / 2010]
  • Installation picture [Minnette Vari / Parallax / 2010]
  • Installation picture [Minnette Vari / Parallax / 2010]
  • Installation picture [Minnette Vari / Parallax / 2010]
  • Installation picture [Minnette Vari / Parallax / 2010]
  • Installation picture [Minnette Vari / Parallax / 2010]
  • Installation picture [Minnette Vari / Parallax / 2010]
  • Installation picture [Minnette Vari / Parallax / 2010]
  • Installation picture [Minnette Vari / Parallax / 2010]
  • Installation picture [Minnette Vari / Parallax / 2010]
  • Installation picture [Minnette Vari / Parallax / 2010]
  • Installation picture [Minnette Vari / Parallax / 2010]
  • Installation picture [Minnette Vari / Parallax / 2010]