Conrad Botes’s The Temptation to Exist is his third solo exhibition at Stevenson gallery in Cape Town, running from 8 September to 15 October 2011.
The title of the exhibition, The Temptation to Exist, refers to a collection of essays of the same name, by the Romanian philosopher EM Cioran.
Looking to the possibility of a life unbounded by the constraints of Calvinistic values, this latest body of work by Botes started with a series of self-portraits on canvas. Here Botes overlays the image of his face with his scrawl of anarchic figures running amok. Rather than tattoos, he describes these figures as representations of the ideology and hatred that inevitably contaminate the human condition. Other works in the collection show his distinctive reverse-glass paintings.
The Temptation to Exist also explores man’ss existence in relation to the gods and visions of extreme violence and degradation, while questioning our very desire to exist in the world as we know it.