In the Bedroom
Stemming from concepts of coupledom that Schreuders has been grappling with since the mid-nineteen nineties, this new series of sculptures investigates domesticity and the ways in which it has been portrayed throughout art history. Schreuders’ references span from Herbert M. Cole’s 1989 book, Icons: Ideals and Power in the Art of Africa and a 1970s publication entitled, Love Positions for Married Couples: A Unique Guide to Various Techniques of Sexual Intercourse, to Jockum Nordström’s drawings of simultaneously explicit, yet humorous scenes within the home. Compounding on these contemplations, Schreuders builds a narrative thread throughout her practice.
Delving into the suburban household and bringing to view what is typically hidden from the outside world, the sculptures, In the Bedroom and Little Table, serve as departure point for this group. Schreuders has a maintained fascination with the idea of couples, doubles and conjoined people, with sex as the most glaring image that suggests itself towards these notions. The resulting sculptures, though risqué in subject, are rendered slightly awkward and mundane.
In jarring contrast to these private, intimate scenes is Schreuders’ reflection on public figures and politics as a constant feature of South African life – a kind of invasion into domestic space. This inundation of the political sphere within the home reaches both into the omnipresent world of social media and Schreuders’ familial past, as she recalls the mandated silence imposed in her childhood home as her father listened to the latest political calamity on the news. Schreuders poignantly disrupts her private vignettes with a sculpture of Cyril Ramaphosa simply entitled, The President. We are left to question just how tenuous our seemingly private connections may actually be: who else is in the room with us? Who else is watching?