Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fear&Loss - Industrial Karoo group exhibition

This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man’s hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.
Is it like this
In death’s other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.
- From The Hollow Men, T.S. Eliot 1925

A word by the curator

The installation Fear&Loss speaks of the possible environmental damage should the Dutch oil giant Shell be granted an exploration license to drill for shale gas in the Groot Karoo – the place of my home, community and livelihood.  
Fracking - or hydraulic fracturing - involves pumping toxic chemicals and fluids under high pressure five km deep into the earth’s core. This causes the seams in the layers of sediment to break apart for gas and oil extraction. Large volumes of water are needed for this and these fluids and chemicals cannot be recycled and remain in the earth, causing the fear of contamination of the underground water supply. In the Karoo, this is drawn from its reservoir of interconnected aquifers through the use of boreholes and springs (http://www.greenpeace.
My work has evolved out of my own deep concern and passion for this widely-ignored part of our country. Despite larger questions that arise, the work is also intensely personal since it addresses a situation that will impact dramatically on me, my family, and community. As such, my intention is that the work may raise awareness in its creation of a specific and intimate
installation space. 
Fear and Loss focuses on the impact of global capitalism and consumerism on individuals and small communities. Eliot’s poem, The Waste Land (1922) reveals the emotional and physical scars and damage left by World War I and expresses the unspoken wish that this type of tragedy will not be repeated. But Fear&Loss represents the probability that man-made disasters will. Creative works, such as the poem The Waste Land, or the visual art installation Fear&Loss, remain tools for communication, to reach out beyond our immediate realm of understanding and lay bare our hope for humanity.

- Katie Barnard du Toit 

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