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Indepth Arts News:

"Ian Waldeck: A CASA DOS CARVALHOS (10 YEARS OF DEMOCRACY)"
2005-10-03 until 2005-10-15
gordart Gallery
Johannesburg, , ZA South Africa

One night in March 1995, four men armed with knives broke into the Bezuidenhout Valley house of an elderly couple, Diamantino Baptista De Carvalho and his wife Edith. They surprised them in bed and demanded guns and money. Frustrated at finding nothing, they proceeded to strangle and beat the couple severely with a water pipe and left them for dead in the early morning. Their eldest son Diamantino Jnr. found them and after medical treatment moved them into his own home close by. He packed some essentials for them and locked up the house that he has grown up in, leaving all their furniture, clothing, documents and other personal effects in the house. His parents never again returned to their house, with Diamantino Snr. passing away the next year from his injuries. In 2004, Edith passed away. To date no perpetrators have been arrested.

The De Carvalho house, a historic mansion built in 1903 and occupied by the Bezuidenhout family was left intact by Tino Jnr. as a site of remembrance. For the past 10 years, since the date of this tragic event this house has been under sustained attacks by thieves and vandals with repeated violations resulting in all the personal effects strewn over the floors of the rooms and most furniture and fittings stolen. Tino has been a virtual prisoner of his duties to preserve the house and its memories and fighting a losing battle with the police. Day and night he chases away or arrests perpetrators and confiscates trolleys with stolen goods.

This project, of which the current exhibition is the first part, grew out of Waldeck's recognition of this site as a container of human experience, with the site, objects, images and memories compounded in a multi-layered manifestation of our collective experience of transformation in South Africa. Tino is collaborating as the curator of this project, as he has been acting as curate and caretaker of the site for 10 years. The works on show consist of images taken of the layered objects on the floor, printed on vinyl and interfaced with the presence and absence of certain objects. The exhibition is experienced as a walk through the house.

Ian Waldeck is known for his disturbing and incisive art-projects, including the rebuilding of a shack in the Newtown Galleries in 1992 and the showing of prisoners beds on the 1995 Johannesburg Biennale. His work is informed by philosophy and socio-anthropological issues.


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