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Tanya's Kebble

Tanya's Kebble.jpg

In the end no legal infraction was committed in this project. My attention was not wasted though – the case served to cement various thoughts that I entertain about the nature of crime. From my perspective as an investigator, I recognise similar points to those the artist identified in which a dislocation between cause and effect admits an opportunity for greed and manipulation to enter. I’ve located this on many an investigative timeline.


The point where criminal intent is in the offing is invariably marked by manifestations of hubris. The bravado required of crime inevitably insists on its own spotlight. I would argue that the manifestation of’Tanya’s Kebble’ is a loud instance of the phenomenon. It is at once cautionary, while it desires to draw attention.

The Brett Kebble Art Awards was an unlikely event in the art world calendar of 2004/5. Sponsored by Brett Kebble, the accolades and considerable prize monies were eagerly sought by South African artists, even as details of the mining magnate's highly nefarious business practices were haemorrhaging in the media. Preparations for the third iteration of the event were cut short by Kebble’s assassination in 2005.

In the video above, Tanya Katherine Poole - herself a Kebble award-winner - makes a painting from a snapshot of Kebble's killers. Tanya’s musings on her connection to Kebble, the activity around her painting, and the painting itself are appropriated into the Kapital project. ’Tanya’s Kebble’, and its association with the dark inspirations of acquisitiveness and greed, serves within Kapital as necessary caution to the self-congratulatory tone of value manipulation.

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