Abri de Swardt

The Netherlands, Rotterdam Cokkie Snoei

Abri de Swardt (b. Johannesburg, 1988) is an artist and writer based in London where he is undertaking a MFA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths, University of London. Between 2011 and 2012, he was a part-time lecturer in Visual Studies at Stellenbosch University. His 2011 debut solo exhibition To Walk on Water was shown at blank projects in Cape Town and he was selected as one of the inaugural ten Young African Artists by Wanted magazine for the 2011 Joburg Art Fair. Operating at, and obscuring, the intersections of collecting, performance, sculpture and photography, De Swardt’s practice negotiates the cyclicality of culture, and the tumblrisation of knowledge postulated in an epoch mediated through the screen, as an outflow of the excess and speed of what John Kelsey has deemed “next level spleen”. In particular he exploits the fantastical narratological potentialities imbedded in how the digitization of the archive induces a type of historical amnesia. Recent exhibitions include COPILOT, 42 King Henry’s Road, London; art now now: collect; discuss, US Museum, Stellenbosch; Digi Re-Engineering, University of South Africa Art Gallery, Pretoria; and An Experiment to Test the Destiny of the World, Ithuba Arts Gallery, Johannesburg, all 2013. He was awarded the Timo Smuts Award in 2010, and was an artist in residence at the Irma Stern Museum, Cape Town, in 2009.