hannalie taute (b 1977)
opens thu 22 sep 6-8pm | ends sat 22 oct 10am-2pm
For more than a decade, Hannalie Taute (b. 1977) primarily focuses her attention on working with found objects. Five years ago, she tried her hand at working with rubber and particularly inner tractor tubes and in 2012 she added embroidery to her list of preferred media. Since her student days, Taute has found her inspiration in fairy tales and is drawn to the universality of these ancient stories which exist all over the world and points to a common humanity. It is often just the title of an original fairy tale that remains in her work; she finds her contemporaneous edge by subverting original meaning.
Working with rubber and embroidery is the perfect fit for Taute whose concerns are firmly centred on feminist issues. For her 8th solo exhibition titled: The Grimm Needle at Fried Contemporary, Taute turned her focus to fear and eeriness.
“The children’s word ‘scary’ covers responses raging from pure terror to sheer delight and the condition of being scared is becoming increasingly sought after not only as a source of pleasure but as a means of strengthening the sense of being alive, of having command over self. Thus the state of pleasurable fear has emerged in our own times, as a common response to Philosophy’s old command: “Know Thyself”. So be on the lookout for Vampires, Skeletor and monsters…and remember to sleep with your eyes open.
In 2000, Taute obtained a National Higher Diploma in Fine Art at PE Technicon (now the NNMU). Her first solo exhibition called: “Siembamba- let’s play pretend” in 2004 was held at the Joao Ferreira Gallery in Cape Town. Her recent solo exhibition: “Stink Afrikaners” was curated by Alex Hamilton and presented at the US Woordfees 2016 in Stellenbosch.
Taute was a finalist in 2004 for the ABSA l’Atelier exhibition and a nominee for the Fiesta award in 2012 and 2015. Since 2004 she was involved in several group and solo exhibitions. She received the Kanna award for best visual art production at the 2014 KKNK art festival for her solo exhibition called: “Rubber ever after”. She currently lives and works in Stilbaai, Western Cape.
Hannalie Taute – The Grimm seamstress.
There is nothing sedate,subtle or comforting about Hannalie Taute’s artworks. Like the artist who created and nurtured them, they are bold, brutally revealing and ultimately unforgettable. The personas that emanate from Taute’s Medea-like “mother-creator-murdress” imagination – they jeer, jostle and tear at the physical boundaries of the artwork. These “creations” defy simple stereotyping or glib intellectual rationality.
When viewing Taute’s artworks or performance pieces – one is struck by the almost unbearable gravitas of these creations. There is a tangible physical impact on the viewer when confronted with Taute’s visual metaphors. The reaction is instinctive – guttural.Artwork made flesh – to move the flesh. Monster-mothers truly dwell within the works that Taute’s hands conjure.
But as evocative as Taute’s imagery may be – she never panders to her own or our expectations. There is nothing obtuse,ambiguous or intellectually “sensible” (read – objective) to her visual,creative and conceptual intentions. She intends to cut into the very bones of her viewers, and she does so with reckless abandonment – laying bare the frail respectability of our sanity.
When I muse on the work of Hannalie Taute – I often suspect her of being her own “frightener”, her own private boogeyman.She creates and reflects her her own most vivid and visceral fears. Like a latter day Dorian Gray – she gazes on her multiple portraits with the gleeful and greedy intent – of documenting “the horror and the fright within”. It is this uncompromising and brutal gaze that is most admirable in Taute’s artworks.
The archetype is transformed by the subjective intent of the artist – yet it still stands timeless and true. Taute yields the “grimm” needle with as deft a hand on her own eyes, as much as those of the viewer. Taute seers her message onto the viewer’s eyes – only the “blind” could forget Hannalie Taute’s artworks. Once seen they dwell in the recesses of one’s mind always – as the artist intended.
Sandra Hanekom, Artists and independent art critic, 2016