Willie Bester: Vicious Circle
This work depicts the last part of the Botha government, painted in 1990. The name is commenting on the fact that Botha did not have any answers to the problems of the country. Every time suggestions were made to improve the situation, he responded in the opposite manner, so the country's situation went from bad to worse. According to Bester, the country could have easily broken into a civil war, if De Klerk did not replace him. The work is a collage combining oil paint and a few found objects, such as a squashed paint tin. The subject matter consists of a conglomeration of forms and figures. In the centre is a group of policemen, the foremost with facial features resembling those of a pig. Other issues he touches on are homelessness, forced removals, and out-of-control policemen. In the top right of the work is a policeman whipping a young black lawyer. This action shows how the police had no respect for the law. The paint tin represents the squashing or stifling of expression through the censoring of the media. The bits of wire and rope pasted to the surface represent the hangings during the 1980s. There are three athletes in the bottom right corner, showing how, towards the end, Apartheid was a race against time. It is now being revealed that the people in positions of power in the government committed many brutal acts purely to try and sustain Apartheid. The machinery depicted simply represents the machinery of the system.