Willem Boshoff
Ostrakon



2003

scarred and burnt ceramic tiles with the names of South Africa’s 534 governors, presidents, prime ministers and ministers
who occupied cabinet portfolios from 1900 up until the first free democratic elections


The work is either laid out on the floor, or can be shown in the five trays provided. This conceptual work can be stored in a small space, like a closed book, by storing all the loose tiles in five of the accompanying wooden trays. The trays are either stacked, like books lying on top of one another or placed side by side to show the packaged tiles. For large exhibition spaces, all or some of the tiles are laid out on the floor, to look like the aftermath of a stoning or ostracism.

The ceramic tiles appear as if they have been unearthed or picked up in the veld where tramplings, rain, fire and earth had scarred and marked them.

An ostrakon is a potsherd used by voters in ancient Greece to indicate what or whom they preferred. The voting process was called ostracism. Voting against someone in office was also done by ostracism - the bad administrator so determined was then banished or ostracised. This was literally done by stoning the undesired person with the selfsame potsherds used in the voting, thereby driving him or her out of town.




detail view


© 2005 Michael Stevenson. All rights reserved.