For the past year Christian Nerf and Douglas Gimberg have been engaged in a collaboration that has yielded some of the most exciting work currently being produced in Cape Town.
REVIEW / MILES KEYLOCK
Hang on, if Gimberg and Nerf are so hot then why haven’t you heard more about them? The answer reveals as much about the state of contemporary art as it does about their practice. See Gimberg and Nerf don’t produce easily consumable art objects that galleries can slap a price tag on, nor do they project the surly celebrity veneer that makes Ed Young such a desired artist-as-artwork commodity. Instead the duo set out bravely into uncharted territory where unresolved questions, myth, mysteries and apocryphal stories proliferate. As fluent in the languages of conceptualism as they are at navigating the complexity and plurality of the post-medium condition, they test viewers’ capacities to suspend their disbelief in works such as One More Day to Regret, which saw them teaming up with Barend de Wet on an epic odyssey to Robben Island and Acting On Orders, a blog documenting responses to orders submitted to the artists by American citizens. The unverifiable nature of these works can nag at those who need assurances about the ontological status of art objects, but for the more adventurous they represent the eruption of an unruly political imagination. In there next endeavour they’re teaming up with de Wet again on a new show entitled Mental Pictures. What to expect? Let put it this way, the press release is mostly about braaiing week-old Woolies lamb sausage, so who knows - and that’s precisely the point. In this day and age, when artists have little hope of surviving outside the reach of the cultural industrial complex, Gimberg, Nerf and de Wet reminds us - not without some melancholic irony - that in order for them to keep us enchanted we have to be willing to take a leap of faith.
Responding to direct and indirect orders submitted by American citizens. Click on image to see more.