© 2019 Site Design and Maintenance by ORGANIC IDENTITY. WILLEM BOSHOFF ARTIST

2004

Old tools, paper, ink
8 panels: each panel: 900mm (height) X 600mm (width)

TEXT: KATJA GENTRIC

Sdrow Fo NwodKaerb

  • The title SDROW FO NWODKAERB is an ananym (a name backwards - in Greek ana is 'back' and onoma 'name') for 'breakdown of words'. The work is a collage of the DICTIONARY OF PERPLEXING ENGLISH onto old and broken tools.

     

    As a pebble is shaped by the flow of water in a river, language becomes worn down and hybridised through the centuries. Boshoff imagines this laborious evolution as a process taking place in a workshop, a kitchen, a building site. The craftsman uses his tools, sometimes inflicting violent blows on the material, adding, subtracting, shaping... In this work the tools have been broken and abandoned, the once useful words are now unwanted, defunct, extinct. The logic of their definitions is sometimes fragmented, sometimes maintained with infinite care only to be left incomplete at the end. In this sense BREAKDOWN OF WORDS confronts us with the same catastrophe as that of Babel.