I really enjoy this quote:

“Being an artist is not just about what happens when you are in the studio,” Teresita Fernández said about being an artist, “the way you live, the people you choose to love and the way you love them, the way you vote … will also become the raw material for the art you make.”

This is what it means to be artist and people in an artist’s life should proceed accordingly. As the great Jack Nicholson, in his role as Irish gangster, Frank Costello, in The Departed says:

Frank Costello: How’s your mother?

Man in Bar: She’s on her way out.

Frank Costello: We all are, act accordingly.

I am at the moment preparing for my next exhibition…well, it is actually a performance piece and is a one-night deal, so perhaps exhibition is the wrong word, a performance then. It is in response to my work on my Master’s dissertation. Although I love the process of researching, reading, analyzing and writing, for me it is just the beginning of my practical work, it merely informs my making. First and foremost I am an artist and therefore I am taking all the cerebral and translating it into action, making it visual.

This is my artist statement for my performance:

40RTY by swany

What is the significance of the number 40?

In Western ideology forty is closely linked to Christianity and its beliefs. In Christian scriptures Christ is driven into the desert wilderness by the Holy Spirit where he is tempted three times by the Devil while he fasts for the period of 40 days and 40 nights. The number appears numerous times in both the Old and New Testaments and has come to symbolize a period of testing, trial or probation. In addition, forty years is considered to be a generation. For the men of my generation forty days was the ritually celebrated day of the commencement of our final 40 days as conscripts in the South African Defence Force.

These various readings of the number 40 inform this performance piece. I am at present busy with my Masters in Visual Arts for which I am researching white South African masculinities, specifically those of my generation. This performance is a practical realization of some of that research. In 40RTY I will interrogate masculinity and our perceptions of it utilising a performance within an installation and within a gallery space. To prepare myself I will fast for 40 days and 40 nights prior to the performance. The work will be documented by both photographer and videographer and viewers are welcome to do the same.

40RTY – masculinity as a performance.

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40RTY invite