Paradis Tombe

Paradis Tombe

Drawing, Performance, Video, Installation

Paradis Tombe is series of works made while on residency at Cité des Arts, St Denis, La Reunion.
The work comes together through multiple processes of drawing, discussion, work-shopping and video. The installation relies on a series of core components that can be added to and extended depending on the context of exhibition and the installational contingencies.

While I was on the residency WITS University had flared up in intense student protests. The students were on the one hand directly calling for fee free education, but in an expanded sense they were calling for the decolonisation of structures of knowledge and power in South Africa broadly.

A major image, trope, metaphor and literal tactic in the protests was that of burning. The direct enactments of this burning refer to public infrastructure in an effort to render the status quo impossible and ‘ungovernable’. The larger figurative function of this burning holds around the question of what  we do with our colonial history and attendant systems – do we erase these in order to shore up a pre-colonial ground? Or do we attempt to transform and redesign this force of structure, law, form and content along new and radical lines?

While Paradis Tombe, the performances, the drawings the videos are located and projected through this moment, they significantly reflect an ongoing concern with these ideas, specifically in the context of La Reunion. The work begins with a video/performance in 2013 (Chute Avec Palm). The installation is thus the reflection of a 3-year engagement with ideas of paradise, utopia, the island tropics and by extension speculatively engages with ideas of the Indian ocean, Africa and the flow of ideas, dreams and desires. Paradis Tombe challenges these dreams and desires by trying to push towards the absurd and the sublime of the related paranoia, fear and nihilism.

Catalogue of Works
The works catalogued all form part of the cycle of works Paradis Tombe. They include three possibilities of performance along with a series of video work, drawings and objects. The installation can be exhibited in multiple configurations, with reduced or expanded versions possible, with or without the performance.

o Reading of Brule […] Payer
o Reading of Brule […] (burn list)
o Reading of a text, this could be a novel or theoretical text – the choice of which is contingent on the site of exhibition and performance.
o a range of other actions such as falling, burying, burning, drowning etc. – also contingent on the site of exhibition.

o Brû1e […], 2016 1,92 x 6,000 m, Charcoal on Clairefontaine, acid free, uncoated 180gsm paper
o Paradis Tombe, 2016 1,92 x 1,308 m, Charcoal and highlighter on Clairefontaine, acid free, uncoated 180gsm paper
o Palmist Ombre, 2016 1,92 x 1,274 m, Charcoal on Clairefontaine, acid free, uncoated 180gsm paper

o Chute avec Pneus, 3 areca (butterfly) palm trees, 1,8m high, with 2 car tires each

(submitted as additional in the form of an appendix as well as in the form of a work which is to come.)
o Chute Avec Palmier, 2013, edition of 5, Duration: 00,07,15, HDV 1080i (projection and monitor exhibition possible)
o Necklace: video yet to be made: this video consists of the burning of the palm tree with tire around it. The palm tree occupies center screen, I enter the frame, douse the palm and tires with petrol, make a line of petrol to screen right, I light the petrol line with a match and the the palm and tire arrangement proceed to burn.