Sex With Things
The GUS Gallery of the University of Stellenbosch
23 November – 7 December 2018 South Africa
German artist SaySay.Love returns to South Africa to show his latest body of work which highlights issues of loneliness and intimacy.
Intimate Loneliness I Sex with Things is running from the 22nd of January to the 1st of February at GUS Gallery in Stellenbosch. It aims to focus attention on the fact that humans have become what the artist refers to as, “dehumanised, controllable and easy to manipulate.”
The exhibition is a form of visual activism as SaySay.Love hopes to bring back romance. Having grown up in a world where courtship happened face-to-face, this is SaySay’s attempt to remind us what it means to have real human connections. Dating sites and apps allow users to create personas for themselves, a constructed image based on societal ideals of perfection. We separate from our true selves, and in doing so separate from each other leading to loneliness and a loss of Intimacy.
“We have lost touch with romance and nature. We are separated from this in our digital world” – SaySay.Love takes a critical stance against the lives we have constructed for ourselves via internet portals.
Photographer is joined by Clinical Sexologist in the battle against loneliness
Through this groundbreaking event and in the spirit of activism, the photographer and visual artist, SaySay.Love offers an immersive experience for everyone that is seeking more connection. The events will run alongside his exhibition.
On the 30th of January 2019, the artist will be joined by Dr Eve, renowned clinical sexologist and couples sex therapist, at GUS Gallery, Stellenbosch. Dr Eve will be debuting her live performance in an installation piece inspired by the work of Marina Abramović. Throughout her performance she will be offering ideas on how to combat issues of loneliness. The audience are invited to engage in connective ways with her and each other through this experiential piece.
Sexologist Dr. Eve (Dr. Marlene Wasserman) and photographer SaySay.Love meet for the fist time in an intimate silence session. The session followed by discussion about their collaboration on the upcoming exhibition at the GUS Gallery in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
SaySay.Love offers another opportunity to get intimately connected at a second event taking place on the 1st of February 2019. Currently trending in Berlin is the concept of Close Dance Parties, or Engtanz. These parties offer a somewhat 1950s approach to romance, where slow dancing with a partner allowed party-goers to get to know each other.
DJ Nathan the Athlete will be spinning some tunes celebrating Love.
“Loneliness is a sad thing. We like to be part of groups, to be part of something, to have someone to be with.” – Saysay.love
Romance and art fuel social change
Sharing his time between South Africa and Germany, SaySay.Love draws inspiration from social issues affecting the world around him.
There are two sides to being human. There is a side that destroys and one that cares and loves. One has to decide for himself which side you want to live on. – SaySay.Love
His last exhibition dealt with the theme of water, an issue close to the heart of Cape Town residents who were faced with a severe drought in recent years. Proceeds of the sales were donated to Lalela, a charity providing social upliftment and education through art and entrepreneurial skills.
More about SaySay.Love
Saysay.Love is a visual activist who spends his time between Cape Town and Berlin. He has made a name for himself with the series entitled the gift of water which brought attention to the water crises facing the Western Cape in 2018 and will see him present a new body of work in 2019 touching on themes such as “faked perfection”, “intimate loneliness” and “sex with things”
SaySay.Love shares his unique way of seeing the world through the work he creates. Born with an optical disability that affects his ability to see the world three-dimensionally, SaySay.Love has a different perspective which comes across in his suggestive and provocative work.
His photography is layered with symbolism and based on his emotional experiences and reflections on the social issues. SaySay.Love is passionate about education and the role it plays in social change, supporting a number of charities with the proceeds of his work.
More about Dr. Eve
Dr. Marlene Wasserman (BA. Social Work (Hons), M.Clinical Social Work (cum laude), DHS (Doctorate in Human Sexuality, Institute of Advanced Studies in Human Sexuality, San Francisco ), AASECT (American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists) certified Couple & Sex Therapist, Fellow in Sexual Medicine, is a Clinical Sexologist, Couple & Sex Therapist and Sexual Medicine Consultant, in Private Practice. Marlene specializes in Cyber Infidelity, Infidelity, Intimacy Trauma and Complex Modern Day Relationships.
As the founder of Dr. Eve, the South African household brand representing professionalism, pleasure, respect, and responsibility, Marlene has pioneered sexual health and rights education, information and counseling in South Africa.
Press & Media
JANUARY 28, 2019 / SABC3 Expresso Show, SOUTH AFRICA
“INTIMATE LONELINESS: SEX WITH THINGS” – Dr. Eve Interview on SABC3 Expresso Show
Full version of the interview with Dr. Eve discussing her live performance and collaboration on the exhibition “INTIMATE LONELINESS: SEX WITH THINGS”
January 19, 2019 / SATURDAY STAR, South Africa
Technology of Loneliness – The most connected yet loneliest generation
Excerpt from original article of SaturdayStar (published 19.01.02019)
“This might be one of the greatest ironies which could go on to define society as we know it.
This paradox has seen billions of individuals and groups connect through the digital world with people from all walks of life around the globe. Modern technology has now allowed engagements and conversations to operate on a continuous basis which are no longer limited to geographical locations or time barriers. You can text, e-mail, video call, Snapchat and upload posts to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest from the comfort of your cellphone. Despite this online revolution, loneliness, which is a catalyst for depression and suicide, remains a worldwide epidemic and is an increasing public health concern.
Longing for human interaction and connection is considered to be at an all-time high as sincerity and authenticity are continually questioned. This was the basis of acclaimed German artist Saysay.love’s latest work, which is set to be showcased in South Africa for the first time next week. His groundbreaking exhibition titled, Intimate Loneliness I Sex with Things, aims to shed light on the argument that humans have become what the artist refers to as “dehumanised, controllable and easy to manipulate”.
“I feel that the effect is that people are creating a fake image of themselves and that as a society we aspire to what I call ‘fake perfection’.
“We are digital mannequins, we disconnect from ourselves as we connect online. We’re becoming like robots: dehumanised.
“For me, love should transcend all this, you should love someone even for their imperfections.”
In a bid to resurrect pleasure and romance, Saysay.love’s latest photography work will take the form of visual activism when it is showcased in Stellenbosch next week and in Johannesburg in March.”
ABOUT THE VENUE
The Gallery of the University of Stellenbosch (GUS) is an off-campus extension of the Visual Arts Department. Gus-gallery.co.za serves as a central online space, archiving and promoting exhibitions and events at GUS gallery. Our vision is to serve as a public multi-disciplinary community centre, creating a space for sharing of knowledge, ideas and inspiration. In addition to exhibitions, GUS hosts live music events, poetry sessions, open workshops, lectures and discussions.