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UFS acquires Willem Boshoff’s digital archive
2016-07-22

“I do not want to be the only person or artist that is part of this archive, but I want it to expand and involve others too.”

These were the words of Prof Willem Boshoff, the renowned artist and, Associate Professor in the Department of Fine Arts, during the presentation of the Willem Boshoff Archive to the University of the Free State (UFS) Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery during the Vrystaat Arts Festival.

The digital archive may be consulted at the Department of Art History and Image Studies. Large parts of it will also be available on the UFS website at http://scholar.ufs.ac.za.

Conversations surrounding the digital archive

In a discussion led by Dr Francis Halsall from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, Ireland, the discussion led to the discovery of various themes, including The idea of research, education and dialogue, doing or making, the organisation of knowledge, language and translation, word and figures or people, and the enthusiastic amateur.

Artwork attracts international attention

Alongside Prof Boshoff and Dr Halsall, many other participants who have been inspired by the artist’s work sat in on the discussion about the archive.

They included Ivan Vladislavic, author of Willem Boshoff (2004), Dr Katja Gentric, whose doctoral dissertation at the University of Bourgogne (2013) is on Boshoff’s work, and Helene Smuts, arts education writer and publisher. Josef van Wyk, a Master’s student working on Prof Boshoff’s archive, and Prof Johann Rossouw, Associate Professor of the Department of Philosophy also formed part of the discussion.

Vladislavic mentioned that Prof Boshoff’s work opens up a different form of conceptualisation. “When I first encountered Willem’s work, I was excited by it from an art historic perspective,” he said.

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