Q&A with Christiaan Diedericks bout his latest work 'In Search of A New King'

Interviews, News
07 May 2019

After creating a body of work with over fifty pieces, respected contemporary artist Christiaan Diedericks sits down with Masego Panyane to chat about his latest exhibition, "In Search of a New King," that will be on at the Melrose Gallery from May 10 to June 9. He shares his thoughts on the state of contemporary arts and his feelings on it, the exhibition itself  and the relationship between the arts and ordinary South Africans. 


The title of the exhibition is quite poignant. Please tell me how it came about?
Music is my daily companion and an inspiration in my studio, I cannot work without listening to music. In doing so and loving the music of both Ismael Lo and Marianne Faithful, the song Without Blame by these two artists borrowed the title for my upcoming solo exhibition In search of a new King. Without Blame was written by: Roger Waters, Ismael Lo and Etienne Roda-Gil in 1996. 
Over the past few years I became acutely aware that since the colonialists arrived in South Africa our country battled with proper leadership on various levels, we have experience as a nation slavery, colonisation by not only the British, then the horrific years of Apartheid followed, and currently, after becoming a democracy in 1994, we are dealing with unfathomable corruption by our current government and the grim reality of Xenophobia. Crime and racism is out of hand. All people are free and have equal rights but did anything really change for the poor?  We have been without a good, fair, honest "king" (or queen) for far to long. We seem to still battle poverty, racism, inequality and hence in my opinion have no alternative but to "search for a new king" (or queen!). Madiba could have been exactly that, had he not been in prison for 27 years. I personally believe the TRC was a mere band-aid on an open wound and people are currently more angry than before. Is the countrywide protests at this very moment, the recent student uprisings at various universities and a general mood of unrest in South Africa not testament to the latter?  
I then started reading, I myself went "in search of a new king". I researched the actual history of our continent, not the one-sided nonsense we were fed in school during the Apartheid years and discovered many truly amazing facts such as the commonly peddled myth that exists in the minds of most - that being the one relating to the primitive and savage Africa that the colonising Europeans “discovered”, civilised and then developed. Of course, much of this commonly accepted those same colonialists have written history, but the truth is that large portions of Africa were not that far behind Europe at the time that Europeans began arriving...Click to continue reading
Author: Masego Panyane 
Article first seen:https://www.iol.co.za