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Artist Room



13.11.20 – 05.12.20

Cape Town

Artist Rooms is a new feature of SMAC Gallery’s exhibition programme. Created in response to art fairs and exhibitions being postponed globally as a result of the global Covid-19 pandemic, Artist Rooms creates a space of experimentation and easier work flow to accommodate for these restrictions.

New Work by Pierre Vermeulen

It’s very easy to look away. The mind quickly assumes that it has recognised what it is shown, has understood and has nothing further to learn. It moves on.

There is a pleasure to be had in this movement. The successful art object can provide great scope for free association. The mind bounds along a field of potential brought on by the drive to understand and to access meaning. This is a very old and important part of the human experience.

New work is a selection of objects that can sustain such investigations but do not seek them directly. Instead we are asked to look at the object; to allow its material quality and surface characteristics to hold the mind in place; to enter into a state of heightened perception and to look not at what we suppose we see, not at what we suspect is being communicated – but rather at what is. The seemingly self-evident requires presence and attentiveness.

Such states of heightened awareness are often experienced as flow, a state of mind when we are so consumed with what we are doing that our perception of time changes and the anxious intrusive self is quieted.

The objects on display are both the result of such a meditative process of making and meditations on aphoristic truths. Gleaned from transcendental meditation and the study of philosophical principles the objects embody helpful observations about the nature of consciousness and perception.

These insights, if integrated in a mindful way, have a cumulative emancipatory effect. The world is revealed as an illusion constructed by the mind. We apprehend that all acts of cognitive separation and classification are artificial and that both the seer and what is being seen exist fundamentally in a state of perpetual flux.

Text by Christiaan van Aswegen