On 13 March, Javett UP launched Word Woes, an exhibition by renowned South African artist Willem Boshoff. The exhibition was curated by Hélène Smuts and takes its name from an etching work in the exhibition. The exhibition is described by Javett UP as a “retrospective of works spanning the duration of Willem Boshoff’s artistic practice”, and engages broadly with language to “challenge the use of language as an instrument of cultural identity or exclusion”.
Boshoff, in discussing the artwork “Word Woes”, explains that the work consists of a list of words that make “some sense in both the English and Afrikaans languages, but of which the meanings in the two languages differ significantly”. The title itself is an example, as ‘word woes’ is read as distinctly different in English and Afrikaans, and that in “English, this title laments issues dealing with words and in Afrikaans it instructs all to let go and be wild”. Other art works and installations featured in the exhibition include mixed media works “Bull”, “Blue” and “Death of Afrikaans”, as well as an interactive Braille installation. Boshoff’s mixed media installations feature an engaging range of media from garden shears to plastic dolls, thorns, engravings and intrauterine devices/IUDs. The diverse and stimulating exhibition is open until 9 January 2022.
To find out more about the individual works featured, visit javettup. art and willemboshoff.com. To view the exhibition, tours can be booked at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Blue” by Willem Boshoff. Photo by Giovanna Janos