kali van der merwe
the labor-oratory of Dr. Kali
Broke-Whole opens an aperture on the mysteries of life through the lens of death.
As artist, I play demi-god arranging my mise-en-scène in a theatre of interacting form on the vast stage of the visible universe.
On the surface is the broken, scarred, partially decayed state of things, beyond is a search for deeper unity, synthesis and wholeness. The whole is never static, nor final but is in a state of becoming.
I work across disciplines, using photography, taxidermy sculpture, film and text to create installations that appeal to all the senses.
In the collaged, death dioramas, chance meetings, strange contortions, couplings, conjunctions and fusions take place. The scenarios
conjure up deathly beauty, the miraculous, ecstatic, deformed, hybrid, transformed and sometimes the monstrous.
These works speak to a re-interpretation of the museum specimen, guided by plays of imagination rather than organised by any reason. Personal history is fused with natural history so the observer becomes part of the observed.
Time pulls everything apart. All form will end in fragmentation, degradation, ruination, and destruction with the passing of the seasons. There is human hubris in trying to hold things together, to re-arrange and re-animate them. Yet I choose to continue, gathering up the dismal, destroyed, imbalanced, defiled, eroded, depleted, dried up, endangered, species scarce, shattered, scattered fragments of what is left of the natural world and make them bit players in my thanaturgical tableaux.
If I bestow illusory power over death, it is to honour life in its mind- expanding multiplicity. All life is sacred and I never take life, every creature comes to me as a serendipitous gift, sadly often via the wheel of a negligent driver.
Death creates renewal for the dying of the old makes space and is sustenance for the new. Death is to be welcomed and honoured, not feared, for it is an integral part of the intelligent whole.
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