Clive van den Berg / A Pile of Stones

Clive van den Berg / A Pile of Stones
19 January - 15 February 2017
Installation View
Clive van den Berg
Man flees the spectacle, 2016
Wood and oil colours
65 x 16 x 40 cm
Clive van den Berg
Man Turns Away, 2016
Wood and oil colours
59 x 16 x 40 cm
Clive van den Berg
Murder, Raqqa, Syria? (part of set of 7), 2015
Jelutong and acrylic pigment
38 x 31.5 x 14 cm
Clive van den Berg
Murder: Nineveh, Iraq? 2 (part of set of 7), 2016
Jelutong wood and paint
Work: 36 x 35 x 13 cm
Clive van den Berg
Pink bearing orange, 2016
Wood and oil colour
130 x 27.5 x 29.5 cm
Clive van den Berg
Murder, Homs, Syria? (part of set of 7), 2015
Jelutong and acrylic pigment
36 x 31 x 14 cm
Clive van den Berg
Holding the Archive, 2016
Wood and oil colour
127 x 27 x 28 cm
Clive van den Berg
Man Flees the Spectacle (in Disguise) II, 2016
Watercolour on paper
30.5 x 23 cm
Clive van den Berg
Man Flees the Spectacle (in disguise) I, 2016
Watercolour on paper
30.5 x 23 cm
Clive van den Berg
Witness II, 2016
Watercolour on paper
25.5 x 17.5 cm
Clive van den Berg
Falling and its Echoes, 2016
watercolour on paper
30,5 x 23 cm
Clive van den Berg
Lovers, 2016
Wood and oil colour
45 x 30 x 20 cm
Clive van den Berg
Landscape (kind of), 2016
Oil on canvas
200 x 200 cm
Clive van den Berg
In Memorium - they threw him, 2016
Wood, wax and pigment on metal base
104 x 70 x 40 cm
Clive van den Berg
Bearing the sky, 2016
Wood and oil colours
113 x 30 x 56 cm
Clive van den Berg
Murder: Homs, Syria? 2 (part of set of 7), 2016
Jelutong and acrylic pigment
Work: 36 x 31 x 6 cm
Clive van den Berg
Notes from the Artist 26, 2016
Ink on paper
21.5 x 13cm
Clive van den Berg
Notes from the Artist 36, 2016
Ink on paper
21.5 x 13cm
Clive van den Berg
Notes from the Artist 45, 2016
Ink on paper
21.5 x 13cm
Clive van den Berg
Notes from the Artist 49, 2016
Ink on paper
21.5 x 13cm
Clive van den Berg
Man Flees the spectacle (in Disguise) III, 2016
Watercolour on paper
30.5 x 23 cm
Clive van den Berg
Murder: Al Furat, Iraq? (part of set of 7), 2016
jelutong and acrylic pigment
36 x 31 x 7 cm
Clive van den Berg
Notes from the Artist 42, 2016
Ink on paper
21.5 x 13cm
Clive van den Berg
Notes from the Artist 44, 2016
Ink on paper
21.5 x 13cm
Clive van den Berg
Untitled, 2016
Oil on canvas
150 x 200 cm
Clive van den Berg
Notes from the Artist 20, 2016
Ink on paper
21.5 x 13cm
Clive van den Berg
Notes from the Artist 47, 2016
Ink on paper
21.5 x 13cm
Clive van den Berg
Talisman I, 2016
Oil on canvas
200 x 150 cm
Clive van den Berg
Murder: Nineveh, Iraq? 3 (part of set of 7), 2016
jelutong and acrylic pigment
33 x 32 x 11.5 cm
Clive van den Berg
Notes from the Artist 38, 2016
Ink on paper
21.5 x 13cm
Clive van den Berg
A pile of stones , 2016
Installation: Wood, Steel, and Oil Colour
430 cm x 100 cm diameter
Clive van den Berg
Notes from the Artist 41, 2016
Ink on paper
21.5 x 13cm
Clive van den Berg
Notes from the Artist 46, 2016
Ink on paper
21.5 x 13cm
Clive van den Berg
Notes from the Artist 52, 2016
Ink on paper
21.5 x 13cm
Clive van den Berg
Notes from the Artist 54, 2016
Ink on paper
21.5 x 13cm
Clive van den Berg
Figure in Disguise I, 2016
Wood and oil colour
92 x 28 x 30 cm
Clive van den Berg
Notes from the Artist 1, 2016
Ink on paper
21.5 x 13cm
Clive van den Berg
Notes from the Artist 50, 2016
Ink pn paper
21.5 x 13cm
Clive van den Berg
Talisman II, 2017
Oil on canvas
150 x 250 cm
Clive van den Berg
Murder: Nineveh, Iraq? (part of set of 7), 2016
Jelutong wood and paint
Work: 36 x 35 x 13.5 cm
Clive van den Berg
Notes from the Artist 37, 2016
Ink on paper
21.5 x 13cm
Clive van den Berg
Notes from the Artist 48, 2016
Ink on paper
21.5 x 13cm
Clive van den Berg
And Yet, Love II, 2016
Watercolour on paper
30,5 x 23 cm
Clive van den Berg
Witness I, 2016
Watercolour on paper
25,5 x 17.5 cm
Clive van den Berg
Notes from the Artist 16, 2016
Ink on paper
13 x 21.5cm
Clive van den Berg
Notes from the Artist 19, 2016
Ink on paper
13 x 21.5cm
Clive van den Berg
Notes from the Artist 40, 2016
Ink on paper
21.5 x 13cm
Clive van den Berg
Notes from the Artist 43, 2016
Ink on paper
21.5 x 13cm
Clive van den Berg
Notes from the Artist 53, 2016
Ink on paper
21.5 x 13cm
Clive van den Berg
What happens in the sky , 2016
Oil on canvas
250 x 150 cm
Clive van den Berg
And Yet, Love I, 2016
watercolour on paper
30.5 x 23 cm
Clive van den Berg
Notes from the Artist 25, 2016
Ink on paper
21.5 x 13cm
Clive van den Berg
Notes from the Artist 39, 2016
Ink on paper
21.5 x 13cm
Clive van den Berg
Notes from the Artist 51, 2016
Ink on paper
21.5 x 13cm
Clive van den Berg
And Yet, Love III, 2016
watercolour on paper
35,5 x 24,5 cm
Clive van den Berg
Shards of Sky, 2016
Oil on canvas
200 x 100 cm

Clive van den Berg / A Pile of Stones - Installation View

19 January - 15 February 2017

Clive van den Berg

Man flees the spectacle

Clive van den Berg

Man Turns Away

Clive van den Berg

Murder, Raqqa, Syria? (part of set of 7)

Clive van den Berg

Murder: Nineveh, Iraq? 2 (part of set of 7)

Clive van den Berg

Pink bearing orange

Clive van den Berg

Murder, Homs, Syria? (part of set of 7)

Clive van den Berg

Holding the Archive

Clive van den Berg

Man Flees the Spectacle (in Disguise) II

Clive van den Berg

Man Flees the Spectacle (in disguise) I

Clive van den Berg

Witness II

Clive van den Berg

Falling and its Echoes

Clive van den Berg

Lovers

Clive van den Berg

Landscape (kind of)

Clive van den Berg

In Memorium - they threw him

Clive van den Berg

Bearing the sky

Clive van den Berg

Murder: Homs, Syria? 2 (part of set of 7)

Clive van den Berg

Notes from the Artist 26

Clive van den Berg

Notes from the Artist 36

Clive van den Berg

Notes from the Artist 45

Clive van den Berg

Notes from the Artist 49

Clive van den Berg

Man Flees the spectacle (in Disguise) III

Clive van den Berg

Murder: Al Furat, Iraq? (part of set of 7)

Clive van den Berg

Notes from the Artist 42

Clive van den Berg

Notes from the Artist 44

Clive van den Berg

Untitled

Clive van den Berg

Notes from the Artist 20

Clive van den Berg

Notes from the Artist 47

Clive van den Berg

Talisman I

Clive van den Berg

Murder: Nineveh, Iraq? 3 (part of set of 7)

Clive van den Berg

Notes from the Artist 38

Clive van den Berg

A pile of stones

Clive van den Berg

Notes from the Artist 41

Clive van den Berg

Notes from the Artist 46

Clive van den Berg

Notes from the Artist 52

Clive van den Berg

Notes from the Artist 54

Clive van den Berg

Figure in Disguise I

Clive van den Berg

Notes from the Artist 1

Clive van den Berg

Notes from the Artist 50

Clive van den Berg

Talisman II

Clive van den Berg

Murder: Nineveh, Iraq? (part of set of 7)

Clive van den Berg

Notes from the Artist 37

Clive van den Berg

Notes from the Artist 48

Clive van den Berg

And Yet, Love II

Clive van den Berg

Witness I

Clive van den Berg

Notes from the Artist 16

Clive van den Berg

Notes from the Artist 19

Clive van den Berg

Notes from the Artist 40

Clive van den Berg

Notes from the Artist 43

Clive van den Berg

Notes from the Artist 53

Clive van den Berg

What happens in the sky

Clive van den Berg

And Yet, Love I

Clive van den Berg

Notes from the Artist 25

Clive van den Berg

Notes from the Artist 39

Clive van den Berg

Notes from the Artist 51

Clive van den Berg

And Yet, Love III

Clive van den Berg

Shards of Sky

Goodman Gallery Johannesburg
19 January – 15 February 2017

How to represent the horror without re-inscribing it?

After seeing ISIS propaganda footage of gay men thrown from rooftops in Syria and Iraq and then publicly stoned, Clive van den Berg needed to “make good” these violated lives.

In A Pile of Stones, van den Berg exercises this reparative impulse, composing a body of work that protests against the actions of ISIS by “inverting the gaze” from voyeuristic propaganda, whose intention is to paralyse the viewer, to an empathetic and responsible act of looking.

His vision: to commemorate the lives of nameless men who are “wiped” from the ISIS regime for exhibiting the “wrong” kind of masculinity and to attribute dignity to these “ungrieveable” victims whose relations, friends and lovers cannot mourn them without implicating themselves.

Van den Berg’s solo exhibition straddles two central desires: to “carve out” a language of grieving in an increasingly intolerant global context where nonconformist masculinities are under threat, and to represent the horror of the ISIS killings – to re-construe the mechanics of the gaze – without re-inscribing the violation.

In his sculpture and painting, the artist pulls us closer to these surreal, barbaric scenes: from masked human bodies frozen in mid-air to crowd members grabbing stones to throw. At the same time, van den Berg highlights rare moments of reluctance in the crowd, interpreting them as possible silent protests.

Van den Berg reads the complicity with ISIS brutalist masculinity as a cloak of personal protection not to be judged, but to be understood within a repressive context. In these carefully “re-enacted” pieces, he asks: “In a society of coercive masculinity, is picking up the first stone an act of protection for some people?”

The centrepiece of the show, A Pile of Stones, is an intricate three-metre-high hand-carved wood sculpture that pays tribute to these faceless victims and demonstrates the scope and depth of the artist’s “redemptive gaze”.

By engaging with the ongoing violence towards gay men in Syria and Iraq, van den Berg narrows his gaze to an extreme version of the homophobic intolerance that increasingly pervades societies across the globe.

In South Africa where alternative masculinities remain repressed, this exhibition addresses the need for a nuanced conversation on gender and sexuality. “Race is rightly the dominant narrative”, he says, “but there are additional prisms through which we can understand who we are and what we need to do to become a caring and responsible society.”

Van den Berg’s exhibition is a call to sharpen our gaze to recognise and value, rather than repress and disguise, the “masculine other”.

Clive van den Berg is an artist, curator, designer, writer and teacher, who lives and works in Johannesburg. His core projects include the exhibition design at Freedom Park, the artwork integral to the Northern Cape Legislature buildings, the museums at Constitution Hill, as well as several Mandela Foundation exhibitions. This wealth of experience positions van den Berg as a key player in defining the structures of remembrance in post-apartheid South Africa.

Van den Berg’s work has garnered major awards and features in public and private collections, including the Smithsonian Collections. Recently, he was the recipient of The Rockefeller Foundation residency in Italy, which supports artists to generate innovative work that engages with global and social issues. Concurrent to this residency, van den Berg delivered a lecture series in Venice, Bellagio and New York in which he addressed the horror of these killings by ISIS in relation to his new body of work.

All work on A Pile of Stones forms part of van den Berg’s ongoing Men Loving series, which queries what bodies are deemed “legitimate” to mourn and memorialise in societies around the world today.