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And the ship sails on...

Solo Exhibition by Eugene Hön: ‘and the ship sails on’

A solo exhibition of ceramics, jewellery, drawings, artists books, projections. Elegance Jewellers, Melrose Arch Johannesburg

There is something compelling and disturbing about beauty. Beautiful objects; ‘idols’ are made to be self-contained, self-referential, self-sufficient. They are valued for their own sake rather than for their function or utility.  An object imbued with beauty detaches itself from its function and ultimately from its maker and in the process makes itself complete asserting its autonomy.  For this reason, objects that possess beauty have an uncanny hold over human beings because they, like us seem autonomous. Idols, unlike fetishes and totems, as WJT Mitchell argues in his book What Do Pictures Want? The Lives and Loves of Images, are objects so beautiful that they possess extraordinarily seductive powers, the ability to make demands on us humans. They entice their viewers, collectors, owners, lovers. Idols want more than just love and fidelity.

Like the deities they often represent, idols crave worship and human sacrifice! One would guess, following Mitchell, that objects of extreme beauty appear to us humans as quintessentially self-aware which makes them powerfully seductive.  It is no wonder then that throughout history exquisite objects have fascinated and seduced and ultimately posed a threat to the authority of the rich and powerful. What better symbol to encapsulate the power of the exquisitely beautiful image, the image as idol, the sublime capacities of terrible beauty than the archetypal Chinese Dragon?  And what better art to embody the idea of beauty, idolatry, autonomy and self-containment than that of ceramic practice? Eugene Hön latest body of work is committed to and celebrates this idea of the power of beauty.