There is No Time Like the Present
3mm laser-cut grade 304 mirror finish stainless steel plate, 30mm thick grade 304 & 316 stainless steel solid square bar and 273 mm outside diameter stainless steel pipe
11100 (W) x 5500 (H) x 2300 (D) mm (diptych)
The appearance of the African motif has established great significance in Stutzer’s work over the past decade. This motif continues to take shape as a progressive theme which substantiates her visual language. Motivated by the shape of the African continent, various formal representations, in relation to appropriate choices of medium, have acted as a catalyst in communicating Stutzer’s conceptual ideals. Writer, Dr. Gerhard Schoeman describes Stutzer’s oeuvre of work as the embodiment of nomadic thought; a space within the mind which is always moving, transitioning and readjusting to new stills and ideologies.
This diptych of mirroring continents, engaged in a dynamic visual dialogue, is charged with an ever-changing present. Africa to Africa, one side is emergent while the other represents the ideal construct. Looking into it, fragmented reflections seem to dance in the space between the viewers and the mirror-like surfaces, where movement, presence and audience behaviour adds a fourth dimension and an active, animated and participatory quality to the artwork. The reflections point to a ‘present space’ with constant states of becoming, offering a different experience with every passing viewer’s interaction. Through There is No Time Like the Present, Stutzer holds up a mirror to our identity, our potential and our place in the world.
The two sculptures were made on a fifth of the scale by the artist’s hands. They were modeled in clay, constructed in wood and carved down in plaster, and finally extrapolated manually and digitally to the completed large scale.
The line motif presents Africa as construct: an outline or construction presenting an emergent continent in a skeletal form. This construct is built from 320 pieces of 30 mm thick square bar combining grade 304 and 316 stainless steel. Mirroring the line construct, the faceted sculpture is shaped by 608 triangulated stainless steel plates crystallising into reflections, built from imported super mirror finish 3 mm thick grade 304 stainless steel plate. Each structure measures 5.5 m high, 5.27 m wide and 2.3 m in depth.
The research component of the project commenced in February 2017, where characteristics of different stainless steel types were explored to determine the ideal choice of material suitable for this design. Small-scale maquettes in various materials ranging from clay to wood were meticulously refined until the diptych was ready to be up-scaled. Construction was executed in collaboration with Dionysus Sculptures International (DSW), which consists of a specialised team of 15 artists and artisans. During the 18 month construction period, the two Africa’s occupied the total DSW studio space.
As a site-specific sculpture, it was made bespoke for the space between the mirroring east and west Gateway buildings of Mall of Africa in Midrand.
The project, from conceptualisation to completion and on-site installation, spanned well over 2 years and a total of more than 20,000 working hours. Due to the demanding precision and technological complexity of the methodology and the materials used, this project boosted the art studio’s skill development and created job opportunities for fine artists and artisans. There is No Time Like the Present is a proudly South African and African installation, with the design, development and construction taking place within the capital city, Pretoria.
*The Dionysus Sculptures International (DSW) participatory members:
Rina Stutzer (drafts person & artist), Angus Taylor (management & specialised technical advisor), Francois Visser (technical advisor & manufacturing director), Alexander von Klitzing (digital designer & studio artist), Dani Bakkes (project researcher & management & administrator), Elani Willemse (management & administrator), Anita Finken (studio artist), Brendon Erasmus (studio artist), Steven Delport (studio artist), Devin Smith (studio artist), Sello Letwaba (studio artisan), Geoffrey Matsimela (specialised artisan), George Magampa (specialised artisan), Tebogo Mocha (specialised artisan), Adolf Mogashoa (specialised artisan), Pleasure Tshabalala (artist’s assistant) and Isaac Davids (artist’s assistant).