Review

Jan-Jan Joubert

Walk around the pillar. Look. There you will find a man standing in the ocean and a wave approaches. He is staring at it. When it reaches him, breathing, being will be difficult.
He is standing there trapped forever by a camera, a silhouette against a sun that is setting, also for him.
Now listen.
Listen to the voice of the gangster, the voice of the flats. Listen to the displaced, disempowered, authentic voice of the changing construct of masculinity.
Perhaps you feel alienated by what you read but in Robert Hamblin’s exhibition The Colony (Under Construct) it is about something we see everyday. It surrounds us and it is within us. Just go look. And go listen.
Since primitive times masculinity has been associated with an unwavering gaze, which can deal a blow and a will that stands like a stone pillar. It gathers, it colonises. But like with any colonising it will be challenged in time, because as we know all dominion is temporary.
Anybody who cannot see that traditional concept of maleness is being challenged and changed in the mainstream, should pay better attention.
It’s difficult. It is so for everybody. The old concept is mortal, dying but the new is also struggling to be born. Masculinity still means power but it means less so everyday. It is a tale of nascent power loss.
Some followers of the millennia’s conventions are irritated with the attention these new concepts draw; with the tolerant attitudes towards it. Where is the certitude now?
And the long silenced and oppressed survivors of the alternative feel vulnerable, how long is the long suffering of the conventional majority?
For Hamblin being a man came late in his life and he feels that has cloaked his experience in feminism.
By that he means a tender experience of masculinity in these times and this essence you will find in his exhibition.
I will not make an attempt at wording the playing light of approaching dawn, the stripped effect of the embossed rather than detail, the varying use of focus and the interplay of the imagery.
Rather go see.