Incited by the tempestuous political histories that engender the repressive conditions of the country’s social reality, South African artists often conspire toward activism. For Cameron Platter, who lives in the urbanized province of KwaZulu-Natal near the former battlefield of Rorkes Drift, mining the country’s past has vitalized his historical imagination. Platter’s “expanded collage” reflects the explanatory narrative of the country’s industrial economy and it’s capitalistic dimensions of desire and consumption, and therefore a deviant contemporaneity: large-scale linocuts, mural paintings, and public installations co-opt the linguistic forms and pictorial metaphors of poster-strewn urban sidewalks. Deriving from the noble visions of John Muafangejo’s politically charged linocuts, Platter’s satirical drawings make textual references to familiar street advertisements bearing straplines and slogans promising services from reincarnation to sexual longevity. These universally resonant signs indexing the unity of cross-cultural depravity open a transcendental void and thus exist as chronicles of apparently self-destructive times in which mass consumption serves to palliate a darker reality.

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