05 August 2014

Contra Natura | (Against Nature) by Werner Ungerer at StateoftheART

Submitted by Jennifer
Contra Natura | (Against Nature) by Werner Ungerer at StateoftheART

StateoftheART is delighted to present 'Contra Natura' (Against Nature) by Werner Ungerer. This work consists of 18 loose sheets of calligraphy and text, contained in clamp-shell box.   Contra Natura is a short story hand-illuminated in a medieval calligraphic hand "gothic textura quadrata". The digital and the archaic worked hand in hand in the production of this work which took Ungerer two years to complete.

The story follows a modern day priest teaching at a Catholic school. He confiscates an image torn from a fashion magazine from one of his pupils. The image is of a semi-naked man. The Priest is completely taken over by this image and undergoes a crises of faith. He exiles himself to an island retreat in the hope of re-connecting with his faith. In complete isolation, the power of the image grows stronger and its hold over the Priest more intense. As the depression of the Priest escalates we are drawn deeper into his internal struggle and ultimate psychological collapse. In the end he confronts himself and the story takes on a more surreal turn. He survives a violent attack by an unknown assailant (The Devil?) on the beach. He has a near death experience during which he encounters mythical versions of his mother and father. His mother is the Veiled Woman in Black sitting in a dead cornfield in the heat. His father is Legion – a mad prophet sitting on a dune in the desert, overlooking a fallen city. They serve as the Priest’s guide as he travels through the underworld and moves closer to resolve and acceptance or farther away from it.

"The title “Contra Natura” or, Against Nature was selected not only for subversive reasons. It also had a more direct meaning in that I needed to invent a new work-process for myself. I normally work very much on an intuitive level, often abandoning works mid-way and going off on different tangents. With this work I wanted to go against my own nature and submit myself to severe processes of order, structure, tradition and discipline." - Werner Ungerer

Opens at 6pm on the 4th September

04.09.2014 till 20.09.2014

61 Shortmarket Street (between Loop & Bree)
Cape Town

10am - 5pm week days
10am - 2pm Saturdays or by appointment  

For more information contact Jennifer on +27 (0)724709272 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

StateoftheART Gallery

Established in 2010 and a pioneer in the online art market in South Africa, StateoftheART re-imagines the brick-and-mortar art gallery experience for the digital age, differentiating itself through full transparency and accessibility. Our pricing structure is clear and straightforward with the majority of the proceeds from a sale being returned to the artist who created the work. Importantly, our pricing is very competitive, leaving no room to incentivise buyers with discounts. The StateoftheART Gallery Award, a not-for-profit initiative, was founded by the gallery in 2018 to promote artists who have yet to establish a profile on the contemporary South African art scene - so when you buy art from StateoftheART you’re directly supporting artists.