Andrew Kayser | CHRIST HAUS!!
Solo Exhibition at Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg
11.05.19 – 05.05.19
Text by Jamal Ashraf
Kalashnikovv Gallery is proud to present Andrew Kayser’s new solo exhibition ‘CHRIST HAUS!!‘ The artists 2nd solo exhibition with the gallery features new large scale multi media works on canvas accompanied by a series of recent works on paper.
Scrolling through Andrew Kayser’s image bank, which reads like a dystopian vision of suburban life, what JM Coetzee has called the life of grubs – soft, pallid, seemingly immune, yet caught nevertheless in the stranglehold of an invasive and threatening system – I wondered if I was missing something.
Idiomatic, fuelled by pop, or by the conversion of every movement in art into a generic drug, I wondered just how removed or how immanently involved the artist’s commitment in fact was – or is. Cool and edgy doesn’t cut it. And neither does a technical-architectural-design sensibility. The stylisation of the mess we’re in is not quite good enough. In fact style I the very thing we need least in this overstyled and banalised time.
But then I thought of John Updike, the premier writer of suburban life, and came across the following words: ‘Each day we wake up slightly altered and the person we were yesterday is dead. So why, one could say, be afraid of death, when death comes all the time’. We are perpetual changelings, our lives stolen from us as we reawaken – altered, morphed, translated, faked, rendered virtual in our most intimate moments. It is I think this eerier proximity-yet-distance which gives Andrew Kayser’s work its nous – its knowing. None of which has much to do with what, predictably, most might imagine as class commentary. Rather, in Kayser’s work class, as a descriptor for relative comfort, is the filter and decoy for an acute discomfort.