Jessica Webster / Murderer / 2015

About

Goodman Gallery Johannesburg
2 July – 13 August 2015

In “Murderer” Jessica Webster situates her painting practice as a dark interface between the performativity of narrative and the (dis)order of perception. By stepping into the murky world of cinema, and by using the word “Murderer” in its parenthesised form, Webster appears to be placing herself in the midst of dramatic action: torture, revenge and triumph. Yet the title of the exhibition also implies culpability.

Using a ‘found’ Korean action thriller by director Kim Jee Woon, entitled A Bittersweet Life (2005), Webster works with paint and encaustic wax on large and small-scale film stills (computer-generated screenshots), which have been printed onto synthetic and slippery digital canvas. In the film, the narrative plays out a well-known sequence of events: the misbegotten hero who undergoes creative levels of torture by his enemies and thus goes out to seek retribution and revenge. For Webster, the story seems to lie close to the collective consciousness of South African society.

Doubly, it resonates on a personal level: as a survivor of extreme violence Webster is interested in levels of account and accountability. Layered micro-narratives add to suggestive subtitles, causing uncertainty about the authenticity of the story. Meanwhile photojournalism, photographs taken by the artist and the familiar presence of nature in an urban setting provide a real and sinister backdrop to something despairingly playful.

Jessica Webster is a Jo’burg-based painter and writer. Born in the Free State in 1981, her painting was included on the group exhibition [Working Title] at Goodman Gallery Johannesburg in 2013. Previously she held a recognized debut exhibition titled I Knew You in this Dark at David Krut Projects in 2009. She has had two more solo shows in the interim: Original Skin, an exhibition of print works and paintings at David Krut Projects in 2011; and Mainly Benoni at Nirox Projects in 2012.

Webster obtained her BA degree in Fine Arts from the Michaelis School of Art at the University of Cape Town, where she was awarded the Judy Stein Painting Award in 2005. Since 2011 she is working to complete her PhD in philosophy and painting through Wits University, in the progress of which she has received the Mellon Wits Postgraduate Merit, and Oppenheimer awards. She has published a number of critical and creative essays.

  • Sequence 2, (looking into dark space)

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 2, (looking into dark space), 2015

    oil paint and encaustic wax on digital canvas

    38 x 49cm

  • Sequence 3, (miniature portrait & standoff in the rain)

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 3, (miniature portrait & standoff in the rain), 2015

    oil paint with encaustic wax on digital canvas

    53 x 74 cm

  • Sequence 4 (Master, are the branches moving...?)

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 4 (Master, are the branches moving...?) , 2015

    oil paint and encaustic wax on digital canvas

    64.5 x 85cm

  • Sequence 5, (Shit, Fucking Rotten)

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 5, (Shit, Fucking Rotten), 2015

    oil paint and encaustic wax on digital canvas

    120 x 153cm

  • Sequence 6, (don't blame anybody)

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 6, (don't blame anybody), 2015

    oil paint and encaustic wax on digital canvas

    130 x 108cm

  • Sequence 7, (no one can tell what is coming next)

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 7, (no one can tell what is coming next), 2015

    oil paint with encaustic wax on digital canvas

    68 x 92cm

  • Sequence 8 (you know it can't be erased I)

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 8 (you know it can't be erased I), 2015

    oil paint and encaustic wax on digital canvas

    147 x 129.3cm

  • Sequence 10, (You Bastard)

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 10, (You Bastard), 2015

    oil paint and encaustic wax on digital canvas

    157.5 x 118.8cm

  • Sequence 11, (Tree with streetlight)

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 11, (Tree with streetlight), 2015

    oil on cotton duck on forex

    278.5 x 130cm

  • Sequence 12, ('Did you have a nightmare? No')

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 12, ('Did you have a nightmare? No'), 2015

    oil paint and encaustic wax on digital canvas

    123.7 x 146cm

  • Sequence 13, (Just be honest)

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 13, (Just be honest) , 2015

    oil paint and encaustic wax on digital canvas

    100 x 74cm

  • Sequence 14, (clown dancing at a mirror) - set of 7

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 14, (clown dancing at a mirror) - set of 7, 2015

    oil paint and encaustic wax on digital canvas

    49 x 38cm (each) (set of 7)...

  • Sequence 15, 'Alright now watch me and do what I do'

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 15, 'Alright now watch me and do what I do', 2015

    oil paint and encaustic wax on digital canvas

    35 x 60cm

  • Sequence 16, ('The sound of a hole being ripped out of life')

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 16, ('The sound of a hole being ripped out of life'), 2015

    oil paint and encaustic wax on digital canvas

    109.3 x 136cm

    ...
  • Sequence 17, (be smart)

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 17, (be smart), 2015

    oil paint and encaustic wax on digital canvas

    56 x 110cm

  • Sequence 18, (six little dancers) -set of 6

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 18, (six little dancers) -set of 6, 2015

    oil paint and encaustic wax on digital canvas

    19.5 x 24.5cm (6) (each)

  • Sequence 19, (Paisley - they're worse...)

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 19, (Paisley - they're worse...), 2015

    oil paint and encaustic wax on digital canvas

    64 x 83cm

  • Sequence 22

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 22, 2015

    oil paint and encaustic wax on digital canvas

    69.6 x 114.5cm

  • Sequence 20, (stripper I)

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 20, (stripper I), 2015

    oil paint and encaustic wax on digital canvas

    49 x 70cm

  • Sequence 21, (stripper II)

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 21, (stripper II), 2015

    oil paint and encaustic wax on digital canvas

    49 x 70cm

  • Sequence 23, The Deathproof Series

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 23, The Deathproof Series, 2015

    oil paint with encaustic wax on digital canvas

    33 x 49cm (40) (each)

  • Sequence 24, (How did this happen?)

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 24, (How did this happen?), 2015

    oil paint and encaustic wax on digital canvas

    61 x 74.5cm

  • Sequence 25, (basement & yellow stage)

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 25, (basement & yellow stage), 2015

    oil paint and encaustic wax on digital canvas

    104 x 142cm

  • Sequence 26, (memories that can never be erased)

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 26, (memories that can never be erased), 2015

    oil paint with encaustic wax on digital canvas

    28 x 42cm

  • Sequence 27, (I mean, the people who caused those memories)

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 27, (I mean, the people who caused those memories), 2015

    oil paint and encaustic wax on digital canvas

    79 x 100cm

    <...

  • Sequence 28, (girl falling in bedroom) - set of 5

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 28, (girl falling in bedroom) - set of 5, 2015

    oil paint and encaustic wax on digital canvas

    49 x 38cm (each) (set of five...

  • Sequence 29, (people don't matter for shit)

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 29, (people don't matter for shit), 2015

    oil paint and encaustic wax on digital canvas

    64.5 x 83cm

  • Sequence 30, (don't matter anymore)

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 30, (don't matter anymore), 2015

    oil paint and encaustic wax on digital canvas

    73.2 x 99.7cm

  • Sequence 31, (they're worse than we are)

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 31, (they're worse than we are), 2015

    oil paint and encaustic wax on digital canvas

    64 x 84.5cm

  • Sequence 32, (you can do 100 things right...)

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 32, (you can do 100 things right...), 2015

    oil paint and encaustic wax on digital canvas

    73.1 x 59cm

  • Sequence 33 (tree through trellis...Why?)

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 33 (tree through trellis...Why?), 2015

    oil paint and encaustic wax on digital canvas

    99.9 x 130cm

  • Sequence 34, (Act II. Same time, same place')

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 34, (Act II. Same time, same place'), 2015

    oil paint and encaustic wax on digital canvas

    32.5 x 50cm

  • Sequence 35, (you have no idea)

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 35, (you have no idea), 2015

    oil paint and encaustic wax on digital canvas

    49 x 38cm

  • Sequence 36, (why did you do that to me?)

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 36, (why did you do that to me?), 2015

    oil paint and encaustic wax on digital canvas

    72.5 x 105.8cm

  • Sequence 37, (man dancing & old mattress)

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 37, (man dancing & old mattress), 2015

    oil paint and encaustic wax on digital canvas

    49 x 38cm

  • Sequence 38, (you keep looking in the wrong places)

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 38, (you keep looking in the wrong places), 2015

    oil paint and encaustic wax on digital canvas

    73 x 84cm

  • Sequence 39, (It's okay - Pool I)

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 39, (It's okay - Pool I), 2015

    oil paint and encaustic wax on digital canvas

    49 x 69cm

  • Sequence 40, (lots of people have bad memories)

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 40, (lots of people have bad memories), 2015

    oil paint and encaustic wax on digital canvas

    32.5 x 48.5cm

  • Sequence 41, (It's okay - Pool II)

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 41, (It's okay - Pool II), 2015

    oil paint and encaustic wax on digital canvas

    49 x 69cm

  • Sequence 42, (you messed with the wrong guy, watch yourself)

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 42, (you messed with the wrong guy, watch yourself), 2015

    oil paint and encaustic wax on digital canvas

    68.4 x 119.7cm

    ...
  • Sequence 43, (cats' eyes shining)

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 43, (cats' eyes shining), 2015

    oil paint and encaustic wax on digital canvas

    37.5 x 48.5cm

  • Sequence 44 (Life is full of all kinds of shit)

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 44 (Life is full of all kinds of shit), 2015

    oil paint and encaustic wax on digital canvas

    72 x 99cm

  • Sequence 45, (you can't come this way sir)

    Jessica Webster

    Sequence 45, (you can't come this way sir), 2015

    oil paint and encaustic wax on digital canvas

    56 x 86cm

  • Sequence 46 (Deathproof Self Portrait)

    Jessica Webster in collaboration with Niall Bingham

    Sequence 46 (Deathproof Self Portrait), 2014

    oil and wax over tapestry screenprint on cotton duck sect...

  • Installation picture [Jessica Webster / Murderer / 2015]
  • Installation picture [Jessica Webster / Murderer / 2015]
  • Installation picture [Jessica Webster / Murderer / 2015]
  • Installation picture [Jessica Webster / Murderer / 2015]
  • Installation picture [Jessica Webster / Murderer / 2015]
  • Installation picture [Jessica Webster / Murderer / 2015]
  • Installation picture [Jessica Webster / Murderer / 2015]
  • Installation picture [Jessica Webster / Murderer / 2015]
  • Installation picture [Jessica Webster / Murderer / 2015]
  • Installation picture [Jessica Webster / Murderer / 2015]
  • Installation picture [Jessica Webster / Murderer / 2015]
  • Installation picture [Jessica Webster / Murderer / 2015]