Solo Exhibition: Chad Rossouw 'A History of Failure' 20 March - 02 May 2012
BRUNDYN + GONSALVES
Art Gallery, Art Exhibition
To study history means submitting to chaos and nevertheless retaining faith in order and meaning. It is a very serious task, young man, and possibly a tragic one.
¬¬ –Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game 1943
A History of Failure uses South Africa’s past to examine both the complex nature of history and of South African identity. Using a variety of media, including lithographs, sculpture and found objects, Rossouw shows moments of melancholy, bathos and bombastic failure against the relentless march of historical time. Two main ideas connect the various artworks in A History of Failure. The first is that historical progress is merely an illusion. The second proposes an inherent failing in projects, monuments or nations that are dependent on the illusion of history.
The Union of South Africa, for example, presents a railway (a symbol of progress and imperial ownership of land) spiraling to the ceiling with a model train teetering on the brink of disaster. Other works, such as The De La Rey, invent fictional histories, in this case the development and destruction of a South African Zeppelin in the 1930s. Here history is a tale told from mutable evidence.
Chad Rossouw is a writer, lecturer and artist based in Cape Town. He has recently completed a Masters in Fine Art at Michaelis, UCT. In 2009 Rossouw was included in Syndrome alongside Charles Maggs at WHATIFTHEWORLD/GALLERY. He has been on numerous group shows and examples of his work reside in the IZIKO South African National Gallery's collection. Presently he is teaching photography at the Ruth Prowse School of Fine Art in Cape Town.
, Art Gallery