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Construction. The Hyperboreans

Stanley Pinker

The title Hyperboreans, people of the extreme 'North' came after I made this theatrical construction. It is about juxtapositions and contradictions, the north and the south, the rich and the poor, and associations and attitudes. The attachments on top of the proscenium arch are mostly objects I found on beach or elsewhere. At the centre, on a white plate, is a reconfigured Heart Foundation symbol (a red knife, fork and heart) and it is interspersed with chocolates and cakes with a cherry on top, about to be consumed, at risk to the health of the consumer. To the left is an orange plastic glass on which I have painted white and blue bands - recalling the colours of the old South African flag - and attached two dowels painted pink and white to resemble straws. On the right is a cone-shaped object with bands of the colours of Africa - yellow, green and black - and the top section was inspired by African fetishist objects but can also be seen as ritualistic. A butterfly, flies towards this construction. Below, the stage behind the faзade takes the form of a right angle, and in a whimsical way it can be pushed into a corner. Centre stage, in a theatrical setting and on a pedestal, is a slice of watermelon, made from a segment of a tree trunk. It is a sparse and honest offering, in contrast to the confectionery, above. The backdrop to the stage is based on a patterned carpet that was made by a women's group in Khayelitsha. The lettering of 'Africa' and 'Ethiopia' on the surround locates the situation as down south but also serves as a decorative device. So the people in the South are almost shut out, and you have the feeling of 'ha, ha, let them get on with it, they are down there somewhere, living. Out of sight and mind.

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