Willem Boshoff (1951 - )
‘NOTHING IS ALWAYS RIGHT’, 2004
sand, masonite, wood and glue, 96 x 96cm
The artist writes of this pair of panels
‘“NOTHING IS ALWAYS RIGHT”; “I KNOW, YOU KNOW”.
These two statements
rely on ambiguity for their success. Double meaning or multiple
meanings render them thorns in linguistic sense and side-sense. I
confess to an attraction for uncertainty and inconclusiveness. I have
read TE Lawrence’s Seven types of ambiguity and I often put
defence in favour of irony, sarcasm and witticism that can only be
establish through double entendre. What is nothing? and how
always be right? Surely then, nothing, being always right, is
most noteworthy standard, worthy of our aspirations. This kind of
reasoning in defence of nothing abounds in the opening
Andy Warhol’s book From A to B and back again. The converse
of course, implies that there is no such thing that can always be
right. All things, moral, philosophical, religious and political,
have their weaknesses and can be caught out, sooner or later, for
lack of “rightness”.
‘The “I KNOW, YOU KNOW” statement thrives on suspicion and
created by a comma. What is meant by it? First, “I” want to assure
the other person/s that “I” know something and that it is important
(or possibly disturbing and unfortunate) for them to know that I know
– eg, “Do you know – I know what you did last summer?” Second, “I”
might imply (who is to know?) that the other person’s/persons’
knowledge is accessible and open to me. They might have thought that
they could keep their knowledge secret, but, “I know, you know”.
Third, “I” know, you know, he knows, she knows and we all know.
Nothing is secret any longer – not that nothing in itself has a hope
of being always open or truthful, but then again: NOTHING IS ALWAYS
© 2005 Michael Stevenson. All rights