[ISEA2018] Artist Statement: Rory Klopper — Chrysalis: Morphology (2018)

Artist Statement

Other Realities sub-programme

I approached this work as if I were scientifically documenting a (hybrid) creature, such as a butterfly, in the act of transformation – from one state of being to another. My primary interest is the social implications of my homosexuality. As much as this work is about my engagement of my own issues: the lens through which I view my sexuality, feeling like an imposter within the heteronormative worldview, and trying to understand post- modernist views on the body as a social construct, and paradoxically the physicality and tangibility – aches and pains – of the body as an organism, it is also a work that cannot avoid its problematizing of my white (gay) body using a black (gay) body to engage with the manifestation of identity – when these bodies attach themselves to their historical contexts. The metallic skin that enshrouds and obscures the gaze creates a conversation between nature and culture through which the body emerges. The abyss from which the images emerge creates a quiet space for contemplation detached from my physical reality in which the politics of my body is immersed.

  • Rory Klopper was born in 1981, Pietermaritzburg, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. There was a period of my life where I became a person who thinks of themselves as an artist, but doesn’t make any art. Since 2014 I have obtained my Master’s Degree in fine art and am currently working towards a PhD in fine art: practice led research at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. My primary interest is identity and the politics of the body. I enjoy working in diverse media in both 2D and 3D. I have been a finalist in Sasol New Signatures 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and Absa L’Atelier 2015.  facebook.com/automaticassemblage

Supported by the University of KwaZulu-Natal, SA