Goodman Gallery, 2019

Ecstatic Archive presents new work from Gerhard Marx’s engagement with a series of discarded and decommissioned Cartographic Archives. Marx addresses these archives with an interest in landscape as a social construction; how space is constructed and in turn, constructs us. Throughs acts of fragmentation, rupture, transplantation, migration, agglomeration and collage, he disrupts the boundaries and claims of cartographies to construct new spatial imaginaries that investigates (in the words of writer Alexandra Dodd), ‘the formal and fictive possibilities of perspective’. Marx’s impossible geometries takes inspiration from the spatial implications and contradiction created through the globalised world. Geographies and time periods are conflated, distances collapse - there is here, then is now, everything is everywhere.

At its core, Marx’s work is about courting a form of madness in that it centers on nurturing vaguely understood compulsions; inventing ontologies in order to learn how to simultaneously float, slide and remain planted. … Having poured over these artworks, and visited Marx is his studio, it is clear that for him to achieve this material form demands a giving over to a demonic compulsion to cut into the (old) world and restage it as a fractal offering with endless potentialities.’ — Prof. Edgar Pieterse

he has created a fascinating body of work that offers an imaginative meditation on the landscape genre, arguably South Africa’s most contested category of art. — Sean O’Toole