Abrie Fourie is a Pretoria born and based artist; his work is a lucid collection of photographic images of urban South Africa. These images highlight both the immediate context and over looked beauties of the urban environment. In whatever format they are presented, be it as screensavers, light boxes or cibachromes, they exude a meditative effect on the viewer. Fleeting moments become timeless impressions of the imagination, doubling up as spiritual metaphors of sorts. The flapping of plastic bags in the wind, razor wire and moving pages from the Bible, lure the viewer away from the hustle and bustle of city life and into a space where quiet reflection is key to survival.
As screensavers they disappear when the viewer attempts to interact with them. One can therefore only view them when one is consciously inactive. Thus requiring an element of passive contemplation not on the topical issues of the day but rather on the elusive nature of soul food. They promote the ideal of entering into a place of stillness where judgement is suspended and one is asked merely to witness traces of the sublime in a timeless sphere of pondering on the ordinary being extraordinary. The photographic stills act as documents for a directive of good intentions. Though the images in no way dictate an interpretation, they tend to guide the spectator down paths that lead to still waters amidst the hustle, bustle and distraction of physical existence. Akin to the spirituality evoked by the work of the modernists like Rothko, Fourie’s abstractions of everyday observations appear to question our preoccupation with accumulating philosophies that are intended to enrich our inner being, when all around us our environment is whispering it’s secrets to those who are attentive. Challenging our predisposition to pessimism. South Africa is currently in a transitional period that is permeated with as much growing pains as promise, Fourie is offering a glimpse at the dynamic spiritual energy that is present despite seemingly uncertain circumstances. He aims to communicate with images that can transcend religious and cultural boundaries, images that are so to speak, contemporary “archetypes”.
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