I first came to Pitika’s work as a film maker and photographer. Scrutinising his pieces in the viewfinder frame, I was immediately aware of the cinematic qualities of his sculpture. A first glance at a Ntuli piece rewards the viewer with a strong image, a shift in the spectator’s point of view delivers a change in image and meaning and the start of a narrative sequence. This engagement with the point of view of spectator is both literal and metaphoric suggesting a further extension of meaning, punning on the physical and political position of the spectator.
Firmly committed to promoting creativity, the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès broadens its support of artistic production by inviting young visual artists to Hermès manufactures, renowned for their quality products. These young artists are given carte blanche to create an original work starting with ‘a blank slate’, meaning they must have no preconceived notion of the piece they will create. This programme is based on a quaternary model: four years, four mentors (internationally recognised artists), four young visual artists (recommended by the mentors), four manufactures (each one welcoming one artist in residence per year).
The book closes with a final essay by Dubinsky that provides and explains images of the brain and its structures created with modern techniques and published in scientific journals today. These include a Brainbow mouse, which bears neurons that fluoresce in approximately 100 different colors, and a digital reconstruction of the very end of an axon—based on electron scanning microscopes and protein identifying experiments—packed full of chemical messengers waiting to spill out and send information to the next cell. Their multicolored splendor highlights what Cajal did right as well as how far scientists’ understanding has advanced since his day.