Performance – Installation
The artist Lerato Shadi inscribes the white walls of the gallery with a pencil. On the following day, she erases the traces of the previous day, without being completely successful. Already in earlier works, Shadi confronted topics of presence and absence, subject and object, and their transformation through performance. The four-day performance ties into this, culminating in the opening of the exhibition, during which the artist undertakes the final erasures. What remains are traces of the event, the incomplete erasures, and subtle hints about past scenes from the performance. The fleeting quality of the work corresponds with the artist’s personal approaches and challenges the conception of the permanence of the artwork, which presents itself to visitors in the form of remnants of the process of inscription.
“The prevailing theme in my current body of work deals with absence and presence, subject and object and their transformation through performance. I use elements such as concentration, breath, tension and duration to reflect this research in my oeuvre. Knitting, installation, video and sound are some of the mediums I have used to record my current investigations. My new performance brings these concerns to the fore – involving a long strip of blank wall, and a step of the same length. The performance is a four day performance. For two alternating days, I will painstakingly write along the length of the wall using a charcoal pencil. The second and fourth days will be days of erasure in which I seek to rub out, but never completely successfully, the markings made the days before. What remains to be seen by the exhibition visitor will be traces of the event, imperfect erasures and subtle suggestions of what happened during the performance. The elusive nature of the work is entirely in keeping with both my personal trajectory, and in seeking to challenge the permanence of the art object.” Lerato Shadi