Pointure – UJ Art Gallery – 8 August to 29 August 2012
The exhibition will draw together a broad range of thematic and material works that express metaphorically and in their inherent material and creation, notions relating to pointure (lace, trap and ghost). The project invites artists producing in a broad range of media, but whose work reflects in thought, or action upon the following idea of pointure.
464 white shoe brushes (bristles removed and replaced with bristles from 300 black shoe brushes)
220 cm long
180 cm wide
Height of brushes 1.5 cm
Photo: A Strack
Derrida’s metaphor of pointure … resonates on the act of reading paintings, evidenced in Heidegger and Shapiro’s texts. In his consummate reading of Derrida’s notion of pointure Michael Payne (1993: 229) notes that “language in its search for truth punctures the painting, not as one might take a knife to a canvas but as one might lace a shoe.” In this sense the humble shoe lace becomes a related dimension of the master metaphor, pointure - pointing to the further dimensions of this action: ‘relation’ and ‘restitution’ of things otherwise separate (painting and language, cutting and sewing together). In addition to these two poignant metaphors Derrida’s ‘Restitutions’ does not miss a further meaning in the word lace. The French word for lace, le lacet can also mean trap or snare (Payne 1993: 229). In this sense Van Gogh’s empty shoes with open laces represent an empty trap, a vacuum of presence to delve into – where only ghosts can be found. Ghost is then the last metaphor in ‘Restitutions’. For Heidegger the empty shoes resonate with the ghost of a peasant woman and in their ‘unfilled’ presence point to the ontology of all beings – non-being; while for Shapiro they remain an indexical portrait of Van Gogh (Payne 1993: 230). In a sense Derrida’s textual voices in ‘Restitutions’ embody these present and past ghosts connected (laced) to Van Gogh’s shoes as well as more recent spirits. One such voice makes reference to an army of ghosts and piles of dispossessed shoes (Derrida cited in Payne 1993: 230). Recent history allows no other explanation than the piles of shoes collected and inventoried by the Nazis (Payne 1993: 230).
Ann-Marie Tully and Jennifer Kopping
Van Gogh’s old shoe brush
The artist’s easel, bristles from 210 white shoe brushes and 180 black shoe brushes
190 cm high
65 cm wide
77 cm deep
Photo: A Strack
Photo: V. Cowling