Wilhelm tell us about yourself?
I am not always sure how to answer this. My name is Wilhelm Vincent, and I am a (most elusive) artist. I have been actively involved in the creation, facilitation and distribution of art in the Klein Karoo for four years now. I also tend to channel my own creativity through, amongst other things, photography.
You have just submitted work, Ensnarled, to an International Queer Arts Project, tell us more…
Ensnarled was a project that I submitted to a project called Balaclava.Q, a digital collection of work curated by Stiofan O’Ceallaigh from Manchester, UK. This project, in essence, represents queer aesthetic, covering the face as a means of expression. The core aim is to create a place for queer artists investigating the human condition. Both a refusal and a resistance to normative representations of the portrait, same-sex relations and more.
What was the thinking behind this artwork?
Ensnarled forms part of a larger body of work I am compiling for an exhibition, Sluierlig. This particular series is a journey into queer expression and interaction in a rural environment. The portraits serve as a passive commentary on the darker, disguised sides of queer culture that is mostly not spoken about in the larger public arena, especially not in rural South Africa.
What message are you trying to put across?
Although “Ensnarled” is a series of self-portraits, the tactic of concealing my face removes my identity from the works, they become anonymous portraits in which the viewer can find space for reflection. This is true with most of my work, whether it be photographs of architecture, portraiture or figure studies. The, sometimes provocative, work I do is not intended to shock – it merely constructs a mind-chamber in which boundaries of the reflection process is comfortably shifted.
How do you hope to impact and influence the South African art world?
My aim is not to impact or influence. In creating the work, I speak a language that I know best. This language transcends all words, thoughts and concepts. Something that would please me greatly would be when this language, these works, will reach out to people and change something inside them, momentarily or permanently.
What does the future hold for you?
One can never be too sure of the future, right? At the moment my focus is set on successfully opening Sluierlig, which will be travelling to a few spaces after the initial show. In my ideal world, the future is full of beauty and creativity. That, and hopefully long walks in the forest with the person I love.