Alice II

CCAC #: 0055
Artwork title: Alice II
Artist(s): Wilma Cruise
Year made: 2000
Artwork type: Sculpture or object
Medium: Cement
Dimensions (mm): 1805 x 500 x 865
Source: Donated by the artist's husband
Year acquired: 2000
Installation type: Permanently installed
Location area: On private display

Driven by an awareness of environmental crises, the artist’s The Alice Diaries series explores the relationships between humankind and animals. Cruise returned to texts of her childhood, Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass, and related it to philosophical concepts of Deleuze and Guattari about transcending the human/animal binary, through “becoming animal”. Referring to Jacques Derrida, she writes that she found not so much a dissolving of the duality of animal and humankind, but an inversion. “In Wonderland it is the animals that have the knowledge. Alice, as the human, is the one who lacks the key to understanding.” At the Constitutional Court, Alice stands naked amongst the foliage in the garden, speaking to all of life being left vulnerable to the harsh environmental conditions created by humans on earth. Alice stands on the edge of the pond, peacefully contemplating her reflection in the water. Cruise goes on to mention the incident in Alice in Wonderland when the Caterpillar and then the pigeon ask Alice who she is, to which Alice has no answer. Cruise relates this to Alice’s existential meditation on the status of being human, and the interconnectedness of all beings in the world.

Themes: Environmentalism

CCAC 435636

Photographer: Ben Law-Viljoen
Photo copyright: CCT

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NOTE: The process of photographing artworks in the CCAC is underway - we are currently working to improve image quality and display on the CMS but have included internal reference photos for identification purposes in the interim.