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The AVA is a non-profit, membership-based art organisation whose aim is the advancement of visual art.
Join us this Thursday 2 September for the opening of before four and after two by Christian Nerf, and in partnership with the A4 Arts Foundation.
The exhibition, occupying all four of AVA’s gallery spaces, is the first public presentation by conceptual artist Christian Nerf in Cape Town since his residency at the A4 Arts Foundation in 2019. It also marks his first significant ‘post-collaborative’ body of work.
before four and after two focuses primarily on Nerf's ‘überrest’ drawings, a series produced over years through a methodical-mechanical technique that speak directly to the results of this drawing-based investigation. Referencing the German word for ‘remnant’, the überrest series embodies Nerf’s interest in “drawings that make themselves”. Although the method had its origins nearly a decade ago, the selection presented here, “made around and about now”, references a specific period that started at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Collaborative ways of working have long dominated Nerf’s praxis, and have produced some enormously influential and generative projects, many of which were presented at the AVA including Authorised with Barend de Wet (2003-2013), And Not But with Francis Burger (2011) and Escape to Robben Island with Douglas Gimberg (2008). These projects differed from his early street-based ‘public investigations’, notably Working with Tom (1999) and his Polite Force (2002), which continues to patrol the streets some two decades later.
Despite Nerf’s self-declared post-collaborative state, visitors to this show are still offered the opportunity to participate in the evolution of drawings designed as time capsules. Several book-like, prism-shaped containers house yet-to-be-unfolded works which span years, allowing for the drawings inside to evolve unseen over time, made by whoever picks up and agitates the objects. Several works are attributed to ‘Nerf et al.’ because, as the artist remarks, “a few plumbers, couriers and a variety of artists and visitors to the Atlantic House studios have given them a shake”.
before four and after two continues in all galleries until 7 October 2021.
37A Somerset Road (CLOSES 8PM)
25 Commercial Street (CLOSES 9PM)
79 Roeland Street (CLOSES 8.30PM)
66 Wale Street (CLOSES 8PM)
67 Loop Street (CLOSES 7PM)
54 Church Street (CLOSES 8PM)
99 Loop Street (CLOSES 8PM)
52 Waterkant Street (CLOSES 8PM)
181 Main Road, Green Point (CLOSES 8PM)