CHRISTIAAN DIEDERICKS – IN SEARCH OF A NEW KING
A SOLO EXHIBITON AT THE MELROSE GALLERY, MELROSE ARCH, JOHANNESBURG
9 MAY – 9 JUNE 2019
CURATED BY MELISSA GOBA

The Melrose Gallery is proud to present the upcoming solo exhibition by Christiaan Diedericks – In Search Of A New King, to be held between 9 May and 9th June.

Diedericks, one of South Africa’s most widely exhibited fine artists and print makers, both locally and internationally, is known for capturing beauty in poignant, thought-provoking, and often painful themes. Always pushing boundaries politically, socially and religiously, as well as personally, he is as unafraid of laying down his own truth as he is of the worlds…and In Search Of A New King is one of his most personal and indeed, important exhibitions to date.

In Search Of A New King puts issues such as poverty, the possible failure of Capitalism, power, race, racism, the appalling legacy of Apartheid and colonisation in Africa, patriarchy, global slavery, (modern corporate slavery) under a critical spotlight.

In doing so, his work continues to play devil’s advocate to not only spark debate, but also to question his own position as a privileged white, Western, gay man in his country of choice.

The artist realises he is only scratching the surface and continues to have many questions, having been positioned as an educated, and rather sheltered younger man who was perhaps blinded by his own upbringing. One specific question that continues to be a theme through this exhibition is “What is wrong with Africa?”

The exhibition addresses more than ‘white guilt’ that so many men from his generation hold. It takes a deep responsibility for his part.

“Small stories and little truths” is paramount, one big master narrative should never prevail. We are one race – the human race. And through his work and personal admittance of fault it has become clear that many white South African men are at the stage where they need to listen, rather than to dictate.

The vast majority of black people are currently living under the breadline in South Africa while a handful of whites and some black people are spending millions on luxury homes, cars and extravagant lifestyles.
The canyon between rich and poor grows bigger every day. This, amongst many others, are just some of the themes that are laid bare in Diederick’s work.

The aim of the exhibition is to spark debate, rather than provide answers, without inviting pain and anger. Debate about possible ways forward, without adding to anyone’s past plights.
Ultimately to learn from each others’ cultures.

In Search Of A New King is one of Diedericks’ finest solos to date. This 41-piece plus strong exhibition has enough shock value to ensure radical awareness, and more than enough beauty to awe even the most hardened art critic.

The song ‘Without Blame’ by Ismael Lo and Marianne Faithful lent the title for the upcoming solo exhibition In Search Of A New King.