Perfectly positioned within a project initiated by new director Tiziana Casapietra, that integrates tradition and modernity, Towers by Andries Botha finds a new space within the halls of Museo della Ceramica. This work is a symbolic representation of the events of 11 September, 2001, in New York: a date which marks a before and after that has inevitably changed our world and the way in which we express our humanity. With this work and also with the choice of material – ceramic – the artist wanted to express this sense of destruction as well as a sense of resurrection from the ashes: vulnerability, strength, fragility and brutality all unite in a unique and sudden moment of social turmoil.
The work of the South African artist – celebrated worldwide for his heavily socially relevant works – consist of one main structure, a tower formed of many identically sized ceramic units, which together form multiple cubes layered one on top of the other reaching to the sky. Next to this ceramic tower, Botha has added a video where the same tower is first destroyed and then rises again out of its ruins, reassembled in a post- destruction version. The combination of the actual piece and the piece seen in the video is a winning one: enables visitors to perceive the intensity and symbolic strength of the work. The destruction is sudden and devastating, just as it was on 11 September in New York; but rebirth brings something new and perhaps unexpected out of the ruins, something silent and still taking shape.