Bone Deep: Joined by pelvic thrust

13 October 2015 - 02:01 By Mary Corrigall

You might say that all art is made in response to what's come before, but in Bronwyn Lace's Response, a tight conversation curated by Koulla Xinisteris, is a contemporary mirroring of the sculptural work of the late Neels Coetzee. Coetzee's work has been on exhibit under the title Crucible , though in a different configuration with Lace's titular responses to it.Where Coetzee's sculpture is defined by the interlocking of two skulls, which tend to be distorted into abstract forms, Lace works with the bones of women's pelvises.Unlike Athi-Patra Ruga's critical responses to the art of Irma Stern, Lace is less concerned with a critical reappraisal of Coetzee's work and more interested in responding from her point of view.She's added a gendered twist that takes us to a lighter place.Her work is "light" in many senses - like the light that illuminates the fish gut lines that extend to the ceiling from the installation.Working with the skull motif, Coetzee shows his concern with death and mortality.Lace is preoccupied with these themes too, though she approaches from the perspective of a woman confronting the subject via childbirth.She continues his fixation with the juxtaposition between the body and the immaterial quantities tied to it.Response and Crucible are showing at the Circa Gallery in Johannesburg until October 29

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