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Op soek na visioenêre reste

2017 Competition entry

Louis Krüger

Digital photo montage on matt paper
115 cm x 77 cm
R5 000

Op soek na visioenêre reste (Searching for visionary remains) explores the relationship between the landscape and the visionary imagination. This digital photo montage consists of photographs of the landscape, which is filled with fragments of former visionary activities like a Khoisan rock painting located in the forlorn, arid Northern Cape landscape (taken at Wildebeest Kuil). This location alludes to spiritual practices of shamans and visionary experiences connected with the Southern African landscape.

The way in which people perceive the landscape is important in the artistic visualisation of the visionary experience of the landscape. The phenomenological way in which knowledge is acquired about the landscape serves as an adequate approach. The petroglyphs of animals, anthropomorphic figures and geometric shapes on rock bear testimony to the indigenous Khoisan people (or Bushmen) living closely connected to the landscape.

The artist hid certain figures in Op soek na visionêre reste. These figures bend forward, dissolve and even merge with the landscape making it seem as though they are inseparably attached to the landscape. Further, the figures were sketched using script. The text of the script consists of expressions that are related to the visionary theme, phenomenological exploration and the digital medium, combined with translation of these terms in the various Khoisan languages present in the region (it is not certain which Bushmen tribe created the rock art at Wildebeest Kuil).

In Op soek na visioenêre reste it seems as though space folds ‘back’ onto itself. This phenomenon is suggested particularly in the editing process of a digital image. Different spaces and times, through the different photos used to create the artwork, overlap to form untouchable layers. The intangible levels in the image are exposed to the viewer as well as hidden by traces of image editing (like overlapping in marks and photos), which are left behind. The manifestation of a vision on white paper is suggested by the soft almost fluid edges surrounding the image – in this case it is a vision of the past being evoked in the present.