The Discomfort Zone: A Solo Exhibition by Karlien de Villiers
Worldart is pleased to announce a solo exhibition titled The Discomfort Zone by Karlien de Villiers to take place at the gallery from 21 October to 15 November.
De Villiers, who started working with Bitterkomix in 2002, has since had a graphic novel by her translated in three European languages, been awarded the 2011 UNESCO-Aschberg bursary for Visual Arts and shortlisted for a number of important art awards.
The title of this new exhibition of paintings and drawings is borrowed from the 2006 memoir The Discomfort Zone, by Jonathan Franzen. The book reflects the values and contradictions of the American midwest in the 1960s, and explores human existence as a site of connection and loneliness. The tragedy of such an existence, Franzen suggests, is our own inability to find comfort in the moment and in the people we share our lives with.
In a similar vein, De Villiers’s latest body of work explores the values and moral ambiguities of South African suburbia, and treats the human and its relationships as a site of aftermath. Despite the seeming simplicity of the subject matter and the straightforward titles (Die Gesprek, Wyfie, Mother of Two), these works suggest the human and his or her social existence to be anything but effortless. Whoreish wives, flaccid men, doomed affairs, devastated lovers, traumatised husbands and lonely spouses abound in these images. While a pervading sense of melancholy set the scene for these disastrous scenarios, De Villiers’s work is saturated with humour, suggesting an emotional landscape that is never as clear or stable as we imagine it to be in real life.
This exhibition opens at Worldart, 54 Church Street, Cape Town, on Monday 21 October and closes on 15 November 2013.