Indepth Arts News: |
"Float: Berni Searle - Standard Bank Young Artist 2003"
2004-02-03 until 2004-02-29
Iziko-SA National Gallery
Cape Town, ,
Complex notions such as the fluidity of identity and gender politics are
common themes in the artworks of Cape Town-based artist Berni Searle.
Winner of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for 2003, Searle utilizes
both photography and video to engage the desire for agency and
self-representation in an environment historically associated with
superficial classificatory systems. By inserting her body in the artworks,
Searle plays with the effects of presence and absence, constantly shifting
and constructing new selves.
FLOAT is Berni Searle's first major South African solo exhibition. She has
exhibited and held residencies locally and throughout Europe, North America,
Africa, and Australia. The Standard Bank Young Artist award has afforded
Searle the opportunity to mount her most extensive exhibition to date,
specifically for South African audiences. FLOAT features three of Searle's
video installations and related two-dimensional photographic work. Snow
White (2001), which was exhibited at the 49th Venice Biennale, is Searle's
first video work. In A Matter of Time (2003), commissioned by the
University of California at Berkeley Art Museum, Searle metaphorically
explores the challenges of personal identity by navigating a slippery and
uncertain terrain. Searle's most recent video work, Home and Away (2003),
was filmed in the 16km oceanic divide between Spain and Morocco. Floating
with the tide, Searle's body evokes the overwhelming feelings associated
with a journey, including isolation, expectation, and displacement.
FLOAT is a travelling exhibition accompanied by a 72-page catalogue.
Berni Searle: A Matter of Time, 2003
photo courtesy of the artist and Axis Gallery, New York