The idea that nothing need be lost to history and that the everyday could be transformed through a process of art alchemy was steadily forging Barker's new work. His solo had been a sell-out success and he used the cash to stay on and work in Germany, travelling frequently between Frankfurt - where he had a studio - and Berlin, where he tutored a group of children from the East of the city who "wanted the wall back". He found the similarities between East and West Berlin, Johannesburg and Soweto as profound as the Chilean experience.

At home the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was trying to shed light on apartheid's darkest moments, reclaiming the people's past and purging it in public. In Frankfurt Barker was coating a vast body of objects - such as army uniforms - in bees wax and the raw pigment used in Xhosa initiation ritual.

"There was also a massive charcoal drawing of the TRC that was published in all the newspapers - urging people to come forward to confess their sins - and I made a massive charcoal drawing of that, like Zulu Lulu, colouring in all the letters... I also made my first sound installation, from one of the tapes of the TRC with one of the slain heroes in the Cape's mother testifying about finding the body... In amongst these latex gloves was an African sculpture with a speaker in and you could listen to proceedings."

The Talking Curio


Wayne Barker: Artist's Monograph
Introduction
Vienna Calling
60's Suburbia
Johnny Rottenism
Anyone for Tennis?
Fourteen Days in Hell
The Bad Art Attacks
The Famous Five do Downtown
Fragments of a Murder
Have you Hugged a Fascist Today?
Landscape with Target
Blood Money
Le Monde a L'envers
Bigotry on a Stick
The Heart of Neon
Divorce in Paradise
The South African Thing
Storming the Ramparts
The Wax Hand
A Love Story
Frankfurt in Latex
The Talking Curio
Back to Basics
Dirty Laundry
A New Kind of Freedom
Biography
Photo Credits & Works