Artist Statement 2023
“Photographs curdle like milk, says Roland Barthes. If, for Sally Mann, photographs are treacherous,
it is because they are ‘the malignant twin to imperfect memory’. They cannot tell the truth, despite
all claims to the contrary.” - Ashraf Jamal (excerpt from the essay ‘Eucatastrophe, Hannalie Taute
I work primarily with the captured image. Altered, reimagined and reinterpreted. Using mainly
vintage photographs sourced from flea markets and even from my own family archives, which are
used as is, or blown up to a larger scale. Altered with tire inner tube inlays and hand embroidered
detailing drawn with thread. My work is populated by people, masks and sometimes floral
“Appearances are a construction, a merging from the debris of all that has previously appeared” John
These discarded remnants of the past are reworked, and their treatment of these remnants are at
times ghoulish and macabre, imbuing the work with notions of identity in terms of culture,
heritage and society. A re-stitching of historical narrative of sorts. The surrealism of conflicting
customs and traditions sutured, like stitching up a wound or incision, reminiscent of an autopsy.
These portraits by losing their identities, have the chance to become something different. They tell
a story of distant colonies and traditions taken across continents to an unknown land. They depict
a society based on precise rules alongside an extreme nature, in a country where politics and
society are difficult and often painful topics.
The black rubber, by framing the images gives an utter dystopic connotation to these
contemporary treasures of a past far gone.
Text used as titles, are like the photographs- found and reconfigured and appropriated as a
narrative. I am interested how simply changing the text underneath an image can radically altered
the image’s message.
What is shown and what is hidden becomes interdependent elements of visual storytelling, thus
“a new fantasy emerges in a world clinging to the need to believe in the magic of innocent
Hannalie Taute (b. 1977) started her life’s journey in a small town called Fochville in Gauteng, South Africa.
In 2000, she obtained a National Higher Diploma in Fine Art at PE Technicon (now the NNMU). A decade ago she started working with rubber and particularly repurposed rubber inner-tubes, and in 2012 she added embroidery to her list of preferred media.
Her first solo exhibition called Siembamba - let’s play pretend in 2004 was held at the João Ferreira Gallery in Cape Town, and since then, she took part in several group and solo exhibitions. Her next solo exhibition, will be hosted by MContemporary Gallery, Sydney Australia in May 2023. She also participated in 3 art fairs during 2022 namely, Sydney Contemporary Art Fair, Positions Berlin and the AKAA Art Fair in Paris.
Taute was a finalist in 2004 for the ABSA l’Atelier exhibition and a nominee for the Fiesta awards in 2012, 2015 and 2017. She received the Kanna Award for best visual art production at the 2014 KKNK Arts Festival for her solo exhibition called Rubber ever after. In 2017 she represented South Africa at the Museum Rijswijk Textile Biennale in the Netherlands.
Her work is included
in various private collections as well as the academic collection of UNISA.
Taute currently resides and works in Riversdale in the Western Cape.