GALAXY AS0-730223NMJ-ZSDSSS

Cameron Platter’s work filters, in a highly personal and idiosyncratic way, the enormous amount of information available today. Blurring the distinction between high and low, his eclectic and multi-disciplinary approach to art making typically draws from everyday, unorthodox, transient, fragmented, disparate, over-looked sources.

References include:

Pyscho-Collage, Mukbang, Pool Noodles, KwaZulu-Natal, Art History (All), Plastic lawn furniture, Poetry, Alien Abductions, interracial pornography, Dr Seuss, John Muafangejo, Advertising, LSD, Monster Energy, Psilocybin, Skeletor, The Battle of Isandlwana 1879, The Battle of Rorke’s Drift 1879, Therapy, Chicken Licken, Southern African Arts & Crafts movements, Still Life, Cheetos, Doritos, Niknaks, Wile E Coyote, Landscape, Constantin Brâncuși, Bongs, Shoes, Swedish tapestry, Zol, Outer Space, Heffalumps & Woozles, Leisure Suit Larry, Deepak Chopra, Modernist sculpture, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, The Supernatural, Online meditation, Excess, Drive-Thru, Anxiety, Oreos, Flashing Colours, Consumerism, Crime & Violence.

He works in sculpture, drawing, video, painting, poetry, tapestry, photo, print and web.

He considers his work an interlinked mind-map, a meta-collage of the dystopian present.

Platter’s work has been exhibited at MoMA (NY); SFMoMA; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Le Biennale de Dakar, Senegal; and the South African National Gallery.

He represented South Africa at the 55thVenice Biennale.

His work is permanent collection of MoMA, New York.

Recent gallery solo shows include Blank Projects, Cape Town; Gynp Gallery, Berlin; Galerie Hussenot, Paris, and 1301PE, Los Angeles.

Press features include The Los Angeles Times, Artforum, The New York Times, NYAQ, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, Vice Magazine, and NKA Journal of Contemporary African Art.

He lives and works in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.

QUESTIONS

The exhibition is titled ‘GALAXY AS0-730223NMJ-ZSDSSS’. The artist explains that the title is a mini-poem with the first part referencing the name of a Durban Nightclub, and the second an on-going web project of his. Comment on this choice of title – does it add value or take away from your understanding of the body of work on display? Explain how.

 

Cameron Platter is interested in every day, unorthodox, transient, fragmented, disparate, over-looked sources, encouraging the viewer to find different ways of thinking about and seeing otherwise ‘normal’ things. Choose an artwork from the exhibition that is evident of this and identify the shift in perspective it presents.

 

One of Cameron Platter’s earliest artworks, according to the artist, was a woodblock made in the studio of renowned South African modernist artist Cecil Skotnes (1926 – 2009) at the age of 10. Throughout his career, Platter cites Skotnes as a source of inspiration and an important reference to his own making. Comment on this, using examples from this exhibition and other works by Platter.

 

In this exhibition, Cameron Platter lists Namibian artist John Muafangejo (1943 – 1987) as a reference and has previously stated that growing up around the prints of this celebrated master has had a deep impact on his work. Read the paragraphs below and consider any similarities or dissimilarities you find in Platter’s work that may speak to this influence.

In his prints Muafangejo used a clear and unambiguous language – he could literally and figuratively tell a story in black and white, and there is always a strong narrative component in his work. Characteristically, a dramatic incident often forms the subject of his prints with the ‘characters’ in the story dispersed over the sheet, occupying a shallow space. This narrative is often extended, with text incorporated into the print. Text at times becomes so important that the print resembles a page from a medieval illuminated manuscript.

Some commentators have seen Muafangejo as ‘naive’ and ‘primitive’ – but this is far from true. He, in fact, produced work which comments with subtlety and insight on the world around him.

Extracted from an article by Joe Dolby for Revisions: Expanding the Narrative of South African Art. For the complete text, click here 

ACTIVITIES

Cameron Platter’s vivid multi-disciplinary approach takes on important and sometimes challenging themes recurrent in modernity, often with a cheeky, satirical spin. Create a work that addresses a pertinent socio-political issue your community is currently faced with, using unexpected pop culture elements and characters to present the narrative.

 

Consider the impact of taking everyday objects and presenting them in a different way, encouraging a fresh perspective with new meaning. Conceptualize and create an artwork that takes a seemingly insignificant object and imbues it with a deliberate sense of purpose and intent. Document the process of going about this work and include all source material with the finished piece.

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