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Niël Jonker


Let me start at what I identify as the beginning.

Most investigations are built on a paper trail. In this case, it is both misleading, but also sheds light on an emergent practice that innocently foreshadow the deceptive acts that were to follow. Primary among these, the technique of artistic appropriation, and the disbursement of unsound contracts by Suzette’s future client.

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For the duration of a Site-Specific Art Event in Plettenberg Bay, the painter Niël Jonker accepted an agreement whereby he, his creative activities, and his artistic product, were collectively appropriated as the artwork of the artist.

The intervention resulted in the activation of an internal discourse between resultant components, including a set of small plein air oils, which initiated a practical methodology that characterises the Kapital project. The practice has been rationalised by the artist as a means to incorporate a broader set of significances than those to which the objects alone refer. Semiotic theft is not a crime - though, in this case, perhaps a gateway practice.


The resultant, successful, dislodging of meaning from the object of art can be traced, shortly thereafter, as giving rise to the concept that caused all the trouble: the Large Artwork Hypothesis.

But first, an agent or intermediary voice was needed.

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