Cameron Platter’s series of drawings The Good Shepard Presents Dr. Bombaka, The Battle of Rorkes Drift at Club Dirty Den (About 2009), and Black Up that White Ass II, are production stills/ working sketches/ and thought pads for his manic video titled Black Up that White Ass II.
Meticulously hand-worked and hand-coloured in pencil crayon- each work taking months to complete, these drawings are Platter’s way of documenting contemporary South African morality through the telling of simple stories drawn and appropriated from the media, TV, films, art history, pornography, politics, battle scenes, music, adverts, and religion.
Much of the conceptual ethos and style of this series is a homage to/ and an appropriation of the work of the late John Muafangejo in style, concept, and spirit.
Platter’s oeuvre begins with his practice of drawing, hence their importance. These works are about a return to simplicity, a back-to-basics philosophy, a stripped down minimalism, a hard-edged explicitness; about making something magical with a pencil and piece of paper. These drawings have a sculptural quality; rumpled, buckled, worked, they are studies, artifacts and objects.
Black Up That White Ass II
“Black Up That White Ass II”, a 26 minute long, animated video work is a Good vs. Evil story of contemporary life in South Africa weaved through erotic pornography, historic battle stories, biblical parables, and physcadelic dream sequences.
Influenced by the tradition of storytelling in the medium of woodcuts, Slasher gore, Z- grade gangster films, local politics, witchdoctors, kids cartoons, MTV, penis extension machines, arcadia, strip clubs, tabloid horror stories, and the lure of casinos, this film speaks to us about the universal themes of sex, love, violence, beauty, and things falling apart.
With the meticulous appropriation of John Muafangejo, Big Wet Asses III, the Battle of Rorkes Drift in KwaZulu-Natal, the parable of the Good Shepard, and the Coen brothers’ Big Lebowski, Platter creates an ultra primitive, anti-aesthetic take on what it means to be alive today in South Africa.
Platter works with the time–consuming medium of animation, each sequence labouriously digitally handmade. The film has an especially composed soundtrack by Platter’s frequent collaborator Captain Asthma and includes shades of Death Metal, Rozalla Miller’s “Everybody’s Free”, Kenny Rogers, South African Maskanda, and New Age Afro Blues Physcadelica.
Cameron Platter (b. 1978 Johannesburg) lives and works in Shaka‟s Rock, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. He has been called, amongst other things: “the delinquent love child of Quentin Tarantino and Dr Seuss”, “the undisputed king of Afro-bling,” and “an agent provocateur with a sinister agenda.”