Corrupt power the theme of exhibition
Goodman Gallery owner Liza Essers said yesterday the artwork The Spear should be viewed in the context of the entire Hail to the Thief II exhibition
She said the artist, Brett Murray, was not commenting on the actual person Jacob Zuma but on the role of a president and the notion of power and patriarchy in government institutions.
"This has always been one of the subjects explored by Murray," she said. "Sex is frequently referenced in relation to powerful people and is prevalent in international discourses."
The title of Murray's exhibition, Hail to the Thief II, was inspired by a piece of viral marketing Murray saw on a New York street that he felt fitted with his commentary on what he regards as South Africa's kleptocracy (rule by thieves).
According to a review by Lucinda Jolly on Murray's website: "The exhibition is a comment on corruption among the star-studded firmament of our current leaders.
"By invoking Soviet kitsch, bling and memorabilia, it provides a chic, sharp criticism of the powers that be, all stylistically colour-coded in revolutionary red and black, with lots and lots of gold."
The exhibition consists of paintings, bronze sculptures, mutated protest posters, plaques and plastic on board.
Only one of the works depicts Zuma.
Some of the works depict the ANC emblem and colours. Reproductions of the emblem have "For Sale" and "Sold" superimposed on them.
The exhibition provides powerful social commentary.