DORIS BLOOM | SOD – myth of origin and other african stories
In this solo exhibition Doris Bloom shows a new series of paintings and photographs, which witness and highlight the complex and continuing relation of the artist to deeply different contexts and cultures.
The ten photographs (1995) on show explore violence, that the artist lives as a memory from her childhood in South Africa: images arranged in tableaux vivants – which might as well be mistaken for real documents – witness the fragments of an experience that Bloom carried within herself since her early childhood and that only now, after many years in Denmark and the fall of the apartheid, she feels ready to reveal visually.
The memories concern fissures in that iron grip of order which the regime sought to enforce upon the culture, but which cracked even more violently when the control weakened. It is not simply the violence of Whites’ against Blacks, but also the violence which has spread among the Blacks themselves. For Bloom these brutal events are not limited to the human domain alone, but are part of a strange pact with the South African nature as a whole. It is nature itself which in reality reveals its violent face when the old order collapses.
In the three large paintings (2003, Columbia in Texas, cm.160 x 205; Good hope in a bottle, cm.160 x 205, Welsh Bell II, cm. 200 x 300), the recurring themes in Bloom’s creative universe emerge: memory, chaos, decadence and rebirth; they take shape through classical and archaic sets of symbols that belong to the two cultures between which Bloom’s artistic and cultural experience develops.
This show is part of FotoGrafia, the Third International Photography Festival of Rome. Doris Bloom ‘s work is also included in the group show about contemporary South African photography Sugar in the Petrol, curated by the artist herself with Stefania Miscetti, on show at the British School at Rome, via Gramsci 61, from Monday 5 April until 4 June 2004.
Read and download the exhibition’s press release.
more exhibitions by DORIS BLOOM with STUDIO STEFANIA MISCETTI.
more catalogues by DORIS BLOOM with STUDIO STEFANIA MISCETTI.