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01 Jun 2010

EYEMAZING and TORCH present: Gordon Clark & Leon Botha - Who Am I

Gordon Clark & Leon Botha
Adam and Eva
Courtesy EYEMAZING magazine and TORCH gallery

Gordon Clark & Leon Botha - Who Am I


Saturday June 12, between 5-7 pm runs untill the 10th of July Opening hours:
thursday-saturday from 12:00 till 18:00
and on appointment

Emiel van der Pol
+31 (0)20 6260284
+31 (0)20 6238892

TORCH gallery
Lauriergracht 94
1016RN Amsterdam
The Netherlands

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TORCH gallery Amsterdam is honored to host the first exhibition by EYEMAZING, the moving gallery and magazine for contemporary photography. Who Am I? by South African artists Gordon Clark and Leon Botha will open on the 12th of June, between 5 and 7 pm. The exhibition will run until the 10th of July. Between the 9th and 13th of June Leon and Gordon will be available for selected interviews. The artists will also be present at the opening.

It's not often a person's life is defined by such different boundaries that it makes you reevaluate yours. Leon Botha is the longest surviving victim of the rare condition Progeria, also known as rapid aging disease. While the life expectancy of other sufferers of this disease is usually limited to their early teens, Leon lives today at the age 24. This gives him a unique perspective on the briefness of a human life, and the time the people around him take that life for granted. Together with photographer Gordon Clark he created a series of photographs that try to explore themes central to his fragile life while questioning our concept of the normal. Through theatrical and theological metaphors they question concepts of identity and beauty. Botha courageously puts himself on display, not as a freak on show but as a person with an unique position in society.

Taking the age old question of what makes up the sense of 'I', Clark & Botha comment on processes of differentiation and tolerance. Botha seems very much aware of the various social and cultural judgments that surround his presence. These judgments stem from those that continually have trouble defining him. Ranging from explicit unease to an overcompensation for insecurity, Botha has no choice but to cope with the reactions of the general public. In stead of taking refuge he chooses to use his 'otherness' as a tool in exploring the human relation with their temporal, finite existence. Together with photographer Gordon Clark he developed a play of identity rooted in his struggle with existence. In these photographs Botha plays a role, takes a pose and by doing so relates himself to the state of his surroundings. In a barren wasteland he portrays Adam and shows both the timelessness of the theme and the decay of the setting. Sometimes he is a wandering soul and sometimes a stalwart Asian warrior. Botha tries to compare many of the worlds religions, tales and characters to show a certain unity in our struggle with time and wish for eternity.

This collaborative event will be the first time these works have been on show outside of South Africa. Combining the high photographic skill of Clark with the unique philosophy and outward features of Botha has resulted in striking images that capture a sense of bitter wonder. Often humorously dark or hanging on the brink of the cliché, these images maintain their sincerity through excellent staging and a very professional eye for detail. These works combine a sense for what captures the eye and what tingles the mind.