Main work: Leadwood, Imbuia, Birdseye Maple, Rosewood, Purple Heart and Meranti
Dimensions: 181 cm x 53 cm x 8.5 cm
“WE/ME is a love poem. Carved in a wood called Purple Heart, this name conjures up the courtship and bedazzlement of new love; of adolescent passions and late night clubbing”, comments the artist.
The words me and we have been coupled and juxtaposed by visual artists and poets alike. Even champion boxer Mohamed Ali wrote a two-word poem: Me, We. In a screen print of 2003 Barbara Kruger superimposed the words YOU, ME, WE on to an anonymous face covered by a pair of hands. Am I still myself when ME becomes WE?
In intimate rose and pink artist Terry Rosenberg presents the words WE and ME in a perfect symmetry, also. His letter W is an exact reflection of the M (with slanted sides) above it. On the right edge of the work the two open ended E’s of WE ad ME) expand into infinite space.
For a 2002 Secession exhibition Manfred Erjautz developed his own logo, ME (also his initials) as giant letters in neon tube-lighting. His earlier works had commented on the emptiness of aesthetic codes of accumulatively used logos. He attached the ME neon lamp to the ceiling of the exhibition space and beneath it, on the floor, an allegorical WE appeared as a faint shadow of ME.
Willem Boshoff’s WE/ME is not static, nor does it privilege one state of being above another. The viewer may revolve ME and WE continuously. In WE there is no difference between you and me. But then love turns and I am on my own again. That is, untill ME turns into another WE. ‘Facing this work at eye level calls on our personhood’ comments the artist. ‘ I can be ME and I can be WE. But I can never be you’.