Rainbow Room. Visual Arts to explore social issues.

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Rainbow Room. Visual Arts to explore social issues.
South African visual artist, Pierre Le Riche has created an art installation that goes by the name of “Broederbond”: a space covered with more than 17 km of acrylic thread in all the colours of the gay pride rainbow, recreating a traditional Afrikaner living room during the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Pierre Le Riche, visual artist and designer with studio in Cape Town, uses his installation to explore an extremely topical theme in South Africa: the conflicting relationship between the dominating Afrikaner culture and homosexuality, despite the fact that in South Africa, legal marriages between same-sex couples have been instated since 2006 - the fifth country in the world to grant these rights.

So, Pierre La Riche began to explore the ideals and values of masculinity in society. Post-apartheid South Africa is still strongly influenced by Afrikaner hegemony and all the sociological implications this brings with it. Rugby is the sport that best expresses the white male’s search for supremacy.

The artist creates a typical Afrikaner living room, “voorkamer”, making the walls from wool in the colours of the gay pride rainbow. Inside this rarefied space the artist sits knitting covers for rugby balls, following the tradition of Yarn Bombing. The TV in the background is covered in wool like everything else in the room and broadcasts the 1995 World Cup Final with the sound muted.

This combination of a traditionally masculine sport, a craft normally associated with women, the colours of the LGBT movement along with the presence of the artist aims to stimulate engagement with the viewers. The message is amplified precisely by the desire to share ideas in total harmony with the rules used to spread the visual marketing culture, triggering a real pathway for reflection.

Project: Pierre Le Riche http://www.pierreleriche.co.za
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Year: 2012
Photos: Courtesy of Pierre Le Riche


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