Glazed Ex­pres­sion

bril­liant, ballsy and to­tally in-your­face, Ruan Hoff­mann’s ce­ram­ics are dish­ing some hard truths

Condé Nast House & Garden - - COLLECTABLE - ru­an­hoff­

South Africa in the 1980s had a ma­jor im­pact on the way you think – and sub­se­quently on your art. grow­ing up in a re­pressed, re­stric­tive so­ci­ety ob­vi­ously makes you aware of the im­por­tance of free­dom and how vig­i­lantly it should be guarded. Per­son­ally, I de­spise all politi­cians equally.

So you’ve lost all faith in the sys­tem work­ing for the peo­ple?

In art there is a cer­tain re­nun­ci­a­tion. But I am also hu­man and to make art is in it­self a life-af­firm­ing act. so to keep on do­ing it is hardly a sign of giv­ing up. Your ce­ram­ics look like some­thing an­cient ex­ca­vated. Yet your work is very much about the now. Is there mean­ing be­hind this di­chotomy? although some pieces may fo­cus more on the cur­rent so­cial land­scape, most are time­less ex­pres­sions that are in­ter­preted by the in­di­vid­ual. The hand­made im­per­fec­tions are de­lib­er­ate and seek to sup­port the fragility of the medium and, with it, our own tran­sience.

Are we to be­lieve that, un­der the weight of lan­guage – and his­tory – we are as frag­ile as your ce­ram­ics?

I be­lieve that free­dom of speech is a fun­da­men­tal right and re­spon­si­bil­ity of any in­di­vid­ual. Liv­ing in a world of self-cen­sor­ship out of fear of back­lash is the thing that is scary. The herd men­tal­ity, hyper po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness and over sen­si­tiv­ity are un­bear­able. Your work seems some­times in­ten­tion­ally provoca­tive, other times dis­il­lu­sioned but al­most al­ways con­fronta­tional. Are you aim­ing to elicit a di­rect, emo­tional re­sponse from the viewer?

To me there’s no pre­de­ter­mined aim in mak­ing a work of art, it is rooted in per­sonal is­sues and ex­pe­ri­ences. how­ever, giv­ing your­self and your au­di­ence a slap ev­ery now and then pre­vents us from fall­ing into the coma of po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.