Sluierlig – Opening Speech by Cindy Wilson Trollip.
Wilhelm approached me to open his exhibition a few weeks ago because, he said, “You know so much about me and know me so well.” That could be directly attributed to long nights of sitting up together pondering life and its questions. We share a love of the visual arts and the written word, often especially in Afrikaans.
We love longform real words, before the days of lol and roll on the floor laughing my arse off and – probably the most frequently asked question these days – WTF?
As I thought about the written word, I realised that I do indeed know a lot about Wilhelm Vincent, as I have met him at a very early age, as long ago as when I first read Dr Suess – there he was as The Cat in the Hat. And again as the intrepid kaalvoet Trompie, and he most definitely was Piepie Langkous who graduated years later as Lisbeth Salander, the girl with the dragon tattoo. He is Pip with an agonising and hopeless love for Estella, with a weird granny hanging around in her wedding gown. Wilhelm is Alice, courageous enough to “Drink me” and take on royalty without a qualm. (After seeing his video this week, I realise he is also the placid caterpillar sitting on his shroom puffing away at the hookah.)
In ancient legends, he is the any one of the great mythical gods who fearlessly travel the seas and battle all odds to find answers to the questions.
One of Wilhelm’s inspirations is Robert Mapplethorpe, photographer and artist during the 1960’s and 70’s on the New York art scene, best friend and sometime lover of Patti Smith, who wrote this to him in a letter, and I want to say it to Wilhelm,
“The other afternoon, when you fell asleep on my shoulder, I drifted off, too. But before I did, it occurred to me looking around at all of your things and your work and going through years of work in my mind, that of all your work, you are still your most beautiful. The most beautiful work of all.”
On the matter of life and questions, from Rainer Maria Rilke’s, Letters to a Young Poet, these words
“I beg you, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.
Leef die vraag en mettertyd sal jy besef jy beleef die antwoord.
Personal Letter from Carol Nathan Levin
My dear friend …. It is not often that I have come across a talent that is so I innate. So multiplicit, so honest , so diverse. You have no idea how exceptional you are . You see the world from fresh yet very old eyes and have a very unique way of looking and seeing.You live, breath and embrace your creativity in every way .
I see this show.. as your “coming out.”….( ironically)! These veils that have come off ( coming off ), are off….. no going back. You are are peeling back the layers that you have been hiding from the world and yourself to some degree….. Up until now you have kept yourself small through hiding . That is not to say you have to expose everything ….. What you choose to expose is your prerogative ….. But it feels like you are ready to fly…. That example of being in that pupa struggling to get out ….. Now you have little transparent wings ..that are coming in ..
Your journey just became more complicated, harder, easier, important…… And you are going about it beautifully
Well done for your excellent show.
I love you deeply