Craig Muller Opening Address by Kobus Rossouw
- Margot Rudolph – Eunice Botes – Christine Williams June 14, 2018
- 4 by André Cronjé – André Naudé – Ariana van Heerden – Ingrid (Muffin) Stevens 3 June 2018 – 27 June 2018 May 31, 2018
- Craig Muller Opening Address by Kobus Rossouw May 7, 2018
- Playground Electric by Craig Muller 6th May 2018 April 30, 2018
I am not objective about Craig’s art as I am a huge fan of his work, like all of us here.
This speech is merely an attempt to please practical expectations and conventions, it will in no way add to or enhance Craig’s art, the art stands on its own.
I am extremely suspicious of exhibition opening speeches for two reasons.
I am not adequately versed in artsy bollocks… which is fancy speak for: I just don’t understand 90% of speeches, art, or speeches about art.
It is usually an attempt at philosophical genius in order to camouflage the insignificance of the poorly executed end product. It mostly sounds something like this: “Craig’s work explores the relationship between acquired synesthesia and unwanted gifts, while new synergies are distilled from both orderly and random meanings.” Look at us, we are so woke, deep and arty. Having wine while giving all the art philistines and plebs a big pretentious middle finger.
Right, we’ll get back to this a bit later.
We are going to do this is two parts today.
Will be my opinion and take on Craig’s work. Craig, please stop me.
We will only discuss his work, we will not discuss Craig the person, but hopefully through discussing his work, we’ll get a glimpse of Craig Muller.
Craig sees something we don’t see.
Craig creates art as a filter.
This filter offers us as viewers an alternative view of the world. I will try and give you the filter to view Craig’s art.
He has the ability to constantly deliver new work at a frantic pace showcasing an incredibly fast thought process.
In my mind this not about creating vast quantities of art, but I almost sense a sense of urgency his Craig’s work.
This sense of urgency and various mediums and formats is an attempt to communicate his message to us in every possible way.
With this sense of urgency there is no time for the trivial art fluff. Craig wants to get to the essence of things.
Why bother with frills, and noise, if it does not add to the conversation. In this conversation he wants to simplify thoughts and get to the essence.
Why write and essay when you can write a sentence? Why write a sentence if you can capture the thought in a word? Why speak that word?
Surely if we understand we can just look at each other, and know?
But that simple concept, the essence of what ever message Craig wants to communicate, is captured in a picture. A picture is worth … ?
Many artists attempt this, but Craigs is one of a few who actually gets it right to put a 1000 words in a picture.
A picture with closed composition.
Almost saying, there is nothing else.
This is it. All you need to know is contained in this closed system.
Have a look at all the circuits in Craig’s work, it is mostly closed circuits.
They need nothing more to exist, no external influence, no noise. (Immortal battery)
These works are focussed. Single thoughts. In closed circuits. Self contained in closed composition.
For me Craig creates a shorthand to understanding with his art. It is his way to communicate.
He wants us to question.
He wants us to explore options.
He wants us to open our eyes to possible futures and think. Even if it is just thinking about thinking.
What Craig is offering us is almost like the red pill in the matrix or a bite of the forbidden fruit.
He is our guide while we’re going down Alice’s rabbit hole.
He makes a clear stand:
Continue in blissful ignorance and be happy. Or. Face the truth of reality.
But this is Craig’s truth and it’s not a definite truth. It is a truth of what if’s and variable possibilities.
He is not making statements, he wants us to have a look, for ourselfes.
If you look at the work on display, it is not trying to comment on technology. It is not for or against technology.
It showing us a parallel reality of what if’s. It is also not asking us to take a stand.
It is merely asking us to examine our relationship with technology and consider other possibilities, the effect different sequences or angles.
What I like about Craig’s work is that I can never figure out the time frame/period.
Is he showing us the past, the future or our current situation (Sticks). In the absence of answers, I am going with he is showing us the future.
He depicts possible futures. With riddles and humor (Mouse trap)
Playground electric is work about cause and effect, if this then that. Influence of sequence.
Decisions and the consequence thereof.
The only definite is that there can be variable outcomes.
If one of Craigs pieces is worth a 1000 words, his vocabulary is mark making.
He uses skimming plaster and water colour, pit pencil on paper, washes and lines.
He is quite a poetic mark maker.
He is technically proficient is his art.
Technique + concept (Conceptual Brain Surgeon)
Craig ads an additional layer.
His mindset and process. Almost like his images, it is a closed circuit.
(Explain Ernst Gombrich)
This is what makes him a special artist.
Every speech needs an pretentious part, this enbles us to:
Update our FB statuses with poetic drivvel, Check in at Tina Skukan,
Tweet selfies of us with Craig.
Post Craig’s art on Instagram #art #craigmuller #omgwtf #playgroundelectric #nofilter #craigneedsnofilter.
Craig enabled us today to have our own Playground Electric.
Craig mentioned that he wants to re-create our visual footprint, I think he nails it.
So if if post and tweet and # art you need to be appropriately pretentious.
I’ll give you some starters and samples… (I stole these)
Aims at a void that signifies precisely the non-being of what it represents.
This body of work psychologically involves the viewer with the making process provoking instinctive responses to his precarious assemblages.
Craig’s work centres on an interest of the universality of our biological make-up and landscape, combined with the collective sense of the sublime.
Craig’s art examines hesitation as part of the process of decision making, where the object is neither the object of objecthood, nor the art object, it is rather the oblique object of Craig’s intentions.
Now its time for the audience participation part where you get to write the rest of my speech.
It will also help you to speak about art with confidence and authority.
It is called the: Critical Response to the Art Product. Or in short CRAP.
Google pixmaven + crap, you’ll find the “Instant Art Critique Phrase Generator”
Give me 5 random numbers
Craig wants us to have fun, he wants us to have a playful look at serious shit.
Lets start this exhibition and high-five ourselves for having such good taste in art.
The best way to experience this exhibition is to go get two glasses of wine, start at a point and work your way through while discussing the art with the person next to you. If you are lucky, that person is Craig.