Black Smoke Rising

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Visual Art
Park Behind Rhodes Theatre

Company: Berni Searle

2019 Featured Artist Berni Searle’s BLACK SMOKE RISING trilogy of videos consists of Lull (2009), Gateway (2010) and Moonlight (2010). Every evening, these are projected outdoors in a small public park adjacent to the Rhodes Theatre. In medieval times, the garden was associated with the idea of the locus amoenas (‘pleasant place’), an idealised place of safety or comfort, usually a beautiful shady lawn or open woodland with connotations of Eden. In this trilogy, the tranquility of the landscape is unexpectedly disrupted by tyres set alight, a potent and sinister symbol of political protest. The work was conceived at an earlier time of growing and pervasive discontent in this country, marked by xenophobia and service delivery protests – and takes on new layers of meaning a decade later, in a similarly volatile political landscape.

Gateway and Moonlight were commissioned for the exhibition ‘SPace: Currencies of Contemporary African Art’, South Africa, 2010.

Book now for an art walkabout with the artist and/or curator on 27 June, 1 and 4 July at 18:00


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