Seeing red, feeling blue
2 May - 30 May 2013
Commune.1 is pleased to announce ‘Seeing red, feeling blue’, Greg Streak’s first solo exhibition with the gallery.
Streak’s sculptures present the illusion of possibility and hope, however through various interventions they proceed to pull the rug from under the viewer’s feet dispelling all former optimism. Inherently functional objects have their functionality removed: solid cast light bulb incapable of shedding light, a core-drilled set of Encyclopedia’s with it’s ‘core’ unusable, the removed parts suspended in an acrylic vial on the other side of the gallery, and a traditional library-style index card drawer cast in bronze and thereby rendered impenetrable. The ‘doodle’ thematic (and it’s sense of futility or lack of operation) runs throughout and ultimately manifests in several actual doodles, one being three-dimensional and constructed from 400 continuous metres of 4mm wire, powder coated to a royal ‘ballpoint’ blue and the other a colossal dense ballpoint drawing that appears as a solid block of colour. The latter artwork is a scale accurate homage to Barnett Newman’s 1951 painting, Cathedra. While on show at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam in 1997 Cathedra was vandalized and hence ultimately stripped of its own function. Streak’s works, although frank in their form, remain open-ended and complex in their intended meaning.
The exhibition marks Streak’s first show in South Africa since his critically acclaimed exhibition ‘Nothing Lasts Forever’ shown at Art Amsterdam and at the Soledad Senlle Gallery in 2010.
Greg Streak (b. 1971. Bulawayo, Zimbabwe) is an interdisciplinary art practitioner working in sculpture, video, installation and documentary filmmaking. His minimalist aesthetic is characterized by formalistic concerns and a preoccupation with the materiality of substance and things, but also space, both physical and psychological. Streak completed his MFA with distinction at the then Technikon Natal (1996-1996) before securing a coveted place, and becoming the first South African artist to be accepted into the two year residency at Rijksakademie in Amsterdam for two years (1997-98). In 2007 he was awarded an Ampersand fellowship in New York. He is the founder member and coordinator of PULSE – an artists run initiative linked to the RAIN Artists’ Initiatives Network. Under the umbrella of PULSE, he has organised numerous international projects including the critically acclaimed Hiv(e) project in 2004. Streak has exhibited extensively both internationally and locally and his work is held in numerous private and public collections. Streak lives and works in Durban, South Africa and Amsterdam, Netherlands.