08-29 August, 2012 | University of Johannesburg Art Gallery



 Curated by Ann-Marie Tully and Jennifer Kopping

We cannot seal off the eternal. Unexpectedly and disturbingly, it gazes in at us through the sudden apertures in our patterned lives. A friend, who loves lace, often says that it is the holes in the lace that render it beautiful. Our experience has this lace structure 

(John O’ Donohue). 

Pointure is a metaphor mobilised by Jacques Derrida in his 1978 essay ‘Restitutions of the truth in pointing (Pointure)’, relating to the theoretical act of reading paintings, with particular reference to Martin Heidegger and Meyer Shapiro’s reading of Van Gogh’s painting/s of empty shoes. The term relates to printing in terms of the small pointed blade used to fix the page to be printed on to the tympan, as well as the hole that it makes in the paper. Derrida also links the practice of shoemaking with the term Pointure. In relation to the primary metaphor of Pointure, Derrida employs a trinity of sub-metaphors: the word ‘lace’ is the first of these, referencing to the lacing of a shoe. Lace textiles also come to mind. The French word for ‘lace’ is le lacet, which can also mean ‘trap’ or ‘snare’. In this sense Van Gogh’s empty shoes with open laces represent an empty trap, a vacuum of presence to delve into — where only ghosts can be found. ‘Ghost’ is the final metaphor of Pointure.  


The curators employ the term Pointure as a less reductive textual and cultural means of discussing ‘material’ complexes of visual production, which too often is reduced into the failed terms of art/craft binaries. ‘Material practice’ is framed here as art media engaged with (but not limited to) stitching, suturing, puncturing, printing and weaving.

Artists featured on the show were Paul Boulitreau, Celia De Villiers, Christiaan Diedericks, Nicole Diffenthal, Suzanne Erasmus (du Preez), Stephan Erasmus, Leora Farber, Gordon Froud, Jeanette Gilks, Sue Pam-Grant, Diek Grobler, Marinda du Toit, Kim Gurney, Mike Hyam, Keiskamma Art Project, Jennifer Kopping, Michelle Jane Legg, Kim Lieberman, Kai Lossgott, Amita Makan, Gerhard Marx, Tamar Mason, Rosemarie Marriott, Moira MacMurray, Jurgen Meekel, Musha Nehuleni, Anitra Nettleton, Walter Oltmann, Sarel Petrus, Richard Penn, Landi Raubenheimer, Claire Rousell, Andrea Rolfes, Sally Rumball, Saran Sunder, John Shirley, Jonna Slappendel, Ann-Marie Tully, Yda Walt, Gavin Younge. 

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