Rory Klopper with his creation, ‘Fat Man’.
Exquisite Cadaver: A Body of Work by Rory Klopper, will be opening at the Jack Heath Gallery at the Centre for Visual Art on the Pietermaritzburg campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal campus in Ridge Road, at 5.30 pm for 6 pm on October 14.
This exhibition concludes three years of Master’s work interrogating the self, says Rory, who adds that he has been exploring his feelings regarding social structures that adhere to a particularised norm of which he finds himself unable to subscribe.
Experiencing personal traumas led him to resign from formal employment and take time to reflect upon how he perceives life.
Re-entering academia at the UKZN fine art department Rory’s work navigates complex social structures that are primarily influenced by his homosexuality. As the ‘other’ always looking in his work evokes a sense of isolation and the bizarre. His work has come to explore concepts of queer theory, grotesque realism, and the cadaver exquisite to try understand who he is in the act of becoming.
“The multiplicity of identity challenges how one understands one’s physical body in relation to the society in which one lives,” says Rory. “One perceives oneself as a body that looks and behaves a certain way, but this body is an illusion of social enculturation.”
With his work he aims to deconstruct his body and reinterpret its form to try and understand who he really is, in doing so he creates surreal creatures based on how he perceives himself within society.
“Life is full of obstacles; how one navigates these challenges informs the construction of one’s identity during transformation, thus it can be argued that identity is not static but rather in a state of flux,” Rory said.
“One’s thoughts and feelings regarding how one perceives oneself are influenced by projections from those around us. Our multiplicity is foreground in and around corporeal action.
“We each have a story and we each have a unique way of perceiving our reality, Carl Jung describes this reality as personal myth believing that myth is more individual and expresses life more precisely than science.”
Rory’s work explores his life journey – his pain and his joy – but does not offer answers to humanities existential questions. Rather it is an intimate reflection of an individual who intuitively explores his emotions through tangible modes of creation: painting, drawing, cut-outs, photography, and assemblage.
Artwork will be on sale. Refreshments will be served at the opening. Secure parking is available.