Turbine Art Fair 2023: Duo Exhibition 'Medium'

July 27, 2023 - July 30, 2023

Hyde Park Cnr, Hyde Park, Sandton, South Africa

ESCAP3 Gallery is delighted to announce our participation in the forthcoming Turbine Art Fair (TAF) 2023 with the presentation of the Duo Exhibition 'Medium', featuring new Series by Octavia Roodt: 'Prayers to swallow' & Neo Theku: 'Asylumism'. 

Join us at Booth 8 of TAF which celebrates its 11th Edition taking place at the Forum Company’s upcoming Venue at Hyde Park Corner, Cnr Jan Smuts Avenue and William Nicol Drive, 6th Rd, Hyde Park, Johannesburg, South Africa, South Africa, 27 - 30 July 2023.

'Medium' presents the combination of two Series’ in which both Artists attempt to soothe, question and confront trauma. With the use of their own physical body in their work, they themselves become conduits or intermediaries between the corporeal and the unseen. 'Medium' not only alludes to an in between or middle, but also references the materials used in the creation of artworks.

Neo Theku will activate the exhibition space with a video Performance, in which he will further blurr the boundary between his two dimensional portraiture by inviting the audience to be included in his creation process, and the rituals of his practice. Octavia Roodt’s autobiographical 'body' of work presents us with an Installation which further perpetuates the interconnectedness between the Artist and their sacred work.

Octavia Roodt 'Prayers to swallow'

Throughout French and Flemish folk tradition, thousands of delicately illustrated “prayer cards'' ('images pieuse or bidprentjes') have been bought and sold. Which prayers do we exchange and reject? What does a prayer look like?

Historically, prayer cards acted as talismans to uplift and indulge the collector. They were known for their protective value against accidents, illnesses or minor ailments. Some cards were even meant to be lovingly swallowed (Boyadjian 1986:15). Roodt is creating a series of prints that are wonderfully sentimental and superstitiously functional.

A series of drawn prayers are exhibited alongside a large, contextualising work. The prayers consist of 21 A6 (15 x 10,5 cm) original colour pencil drawings combined with Screen print and gold ink accents. They stand in direct and playful opposition to a large contextualising screenprint.

The large work aims both to support the cards conceptually and render them commercially unintimidating. This commodification of prayers is intentional, functioning similarly to the historic tradition of the prayer card. The printing revolution of the 14th century opened the collection of functional iconography to all, alongside those who would buy original master works (Verspaandonk 1975:9). The cards are therefore always placed in context of a larger, grander work.

'Prayers to swallow' argues that the art object’s first function has remained similar to that of religious iconography. To draw is to pray a prayer and images are therefore always supporting the viewer's wellbeing, whether through their rejection or integration. While consumer models may evolve, the artist and the artistic consumer follow historic patterns.

1. Verspaandonk, JAJM. 1975. 'Het hemels prentenboek: Devotie- en bidprentjes vanaf de 17e eeuw tot het begin van de 20e eeuw'. Hilversum: Gooi en Sticht.
2. Boyadjian N. 1986. 'De L'Image Pieuse... Aux Saints Guérisseurs. L'Image De Piété Du XVIIe Au XXe Siècle', Esko Books, Antwerp.

Neo Theku 'Asylumism'

Theku presents a selection of works from his 'Asylumism Series', accompanied by a video Performance. By using a personal diction of ritual and symbols in which his physical form becomes a signifier, with the use of his own body as a gesture of self-actualization and acknowledgment of subjective experience.

This Series reflects on Machismo and its impact on the mental health among young black male society. The Artist contemplates the conflicting societal influences which inform morality and emotional wellbeing. Theku recognizes the harm of being raised without a father figure, and that masculinity may indeed also be fragile.

Installation View of 'Medium' A Duo Exhibition. Image Credit: Art.co.za

For more information about the Turbine Art Fair 2013 please navigate to their website here

To book your tickets please navigate to Webtickets here

To view the our Exhibition please navigate to the Fairs page here