Rational Animal

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Civilized Aspirations in Art, Monkeys and small-time Entrepreneurs, 2012 Wooden Desk, Taxidermy Baboons, Steel Bearings And Electronics 140 X 100 X 300cm © Commune.1 and the artist
Civilized Aspirations in Art, Monkeys and small-time Entrepreneurs detail, 2012
Exotic Alien Il, 2011 Performance Still
A Report on the Intellectual Tradition of Self-Generating Systems of Information, 2012
Rational Animal

64 Wale Street
8001 Cape Town
Western Cape
South Africa
January 4th, 2013 - January 21st, 2013
Opening: January 4th, 2013 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

South Africa
photography, mixed-media, installation, performance


The duo Common Sense comprised of Dutch installation artist Stan Wannet and South African performance artist Leila Anderson open a multi-disciplinary solo show.

In two new works, created on site, diverse materials are combined in surreal installations. Human, animal, image and machine are fused, juxtaposed and reconstructed. The artists explore the absurd relationship between the edifice of empirical knowledge and the failure of humans to find inherent meaning in the world around them.

In an electro-mechanical installation a pair of baboons go about their mechanical business. Drawing from numerous references: Von Kempelen’s “Chess Playing Turk”, the 19th century hoax automaton that gave the illusion of an intelligent machine, and Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Conjurer” (a 16th century depiction of a village conman), the work questions the hold that contemporary science holds over the pursuit of truth.

An elaborate multimedia installation work is presented in Gallery 2 wherein a chain of information production is made up of human and machine components. Sculptural, mechanical, performative and mediatized, the production line ends in an autocue text, presented live by a ‘reporter’ on location. The work is an absurd visual deconstruction of the manufacture and dissemination of reality through the false authenticity of live reportage.

The exhibition includes two photographic series of recent solo performances: Exotic Alien (Anderson, 2011) and Some Thoughts About the Painter’s Craft (Wannet, 2011). A video overview of their past work will also be on show.