Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Rat Installation with still-images of the projected animation.

Rat installation with animated projection as explained below
Ceramic Alumni UJ Exhibition; the end of an era (1966-2010) 
Islamic Prayer rug,
Anatolia 15 -16 century
Here are the first set of images showcasing the rat installation, complete with still-images of the projection, as exhibited at the FADA Gallery as part of the Ceramic Alumni UJ Exhibition - the end of an era (1966-2010). The exhibition was opened last week; follow the link to the Ceramic Alumni UJ Blog - images of the exhibition opening, the work of staff, students and alumni will be posted soon. To gain insight into the conceptual development of the installation, follow the relevant labels provided below (rat installation). A video will be filmed (next week) of the projected installation; to be edited for publication on this blog and relevant media in the near future.
Viewers experiencing the projected rat installation in the gallery
Carpets and textiles; their relevance and significance.
This particular post sheds light on the chosen textiles, their meaning and significance as well as still images of the display in the gallery. For the purpose of the projection, six carpets and or textiles were chosen, based on their cultural and or religious prevalence and or significance in society today.  The first carpet shown above and in projection (the first image) is that of an Islamic prayer rug; representing the impact of Islamic thought on contemporary society's conflicting views on issues of morality and values. 
Detail of textile Britannia; showcasing British colonies (far left is SA).
The second carpet / textile is from the Victoria era and represents the conservative views entrenched by a christian educational system (specific to South Africa and eventually the heresy of apartheid), inherited from being part of the British Empire; Britannia (British Imperial power and dominance). Religious conservatism and its manifestation in our entrenched prejudices towards 'the other', stems from our cultural and historical significant colonial past. The textile was designed by  William Morris.
Rat installation with animated projection referred to below.

The third textile is titled Mountain Splendour and was made by Carolyn Miller, Mc Kenny, in Texas (1996) - image on the left and projected above. The traditional design and title evokes an allegory from that staple of the nineteenth century home library, Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan.The journey refers to the "City of Destruction" ("this world"), to the "Celestial City" ("that which is to come" heaven) - the narrow spiritual road and the highway leading to hell.
Projected rat installation seen from above in the gallery.
Projected images referred to below

The fourth textile represents Catholicism and is represented by an Renaissance commissioned textile titled The Battle The Romaunt of the Rose - details of the iconography is to be incorporated soon.
Cherry Basket animated projection details provided below.

The fifth textile is titled Cherry Basket Fundraiser, made by members of the Sunday School, First Methodist Episcopal Church, Topeka, Kansas, 1883. Woman have long made quilts to raise money for charitable causes such as Indian missions or church building projects. Red and white were favourite collours for fundraising. The beautiful hand-quilted feathers are embellished with dozens of names. each person had to make a donation to have his name included. (Patterns of Progress; Quilts in the machine age; page 102).

Vigknantaka projected image described below.

The sixth textile is taken from a silk tapestry and depicts a Vigknantaka Thangka - tapestry below and projected animation above.
This icon is dominated by the fierce and powerful figure of Vighnantaka, a protective Tantric Buddhist deity who destroys obstacles standing in the way of spiritual enlightenment. He is dark blue in colour, holds a noose in his left hand with his forefinger raised in a menacing gesture, and brandishing a sword in his right hand.Beneath his left foot is the prostrate elephant god, Ganesha, and under his right foot the prone figure of Shiva. 

1 comment:

jim said...

hi eugene, the shots of the rats with the projected carpets are beautiful. your carpet selection is impeccable and no doubt to some serious research. i can't help but respond to the visuals and although i think the carpet that i find most compelling is the Vigknantaka figure, the projected image i enjoy the most is the Mountain Splendour textile. i'm not certain and wish i could see it in person but i think that because the rats don't have a deep undercut area and hence no large shadow from the projector, it has this kind of magical look of someone laying down a perfect patterned coat of paint over the surface of the warring rodents. really beautiful image and the on with the prayer rug is very nice too... kinda like they're in an inferno. no coincidence i'm sure. anyway, i'm sure the exhibition's opening must have been a success and congrats on a wonderful completion of the project