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Laocoön’s Guilt

2m 5s


Daandrey Steyn



Laocoön’s GuiltDaandrey Steyn
00:00 / 01:04
Laocoön’s Guilt

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Artist Statement


The serpent has often manifested throughout mythological history as an instrument of reckoning and punishment of those whom the gods deemed guilty. In Greek mythology, the Trojan priest Laocoön together with his two sons, was attacked by giant serpents sent by the gods for his counsel to burn the Trojan Horse. Here Laocoön becomes the allegorical embodiment of Guilt; the moral emotion stemming from the “belief, accurately or not, that one has compromised one's own standards of conduct or has violated universal moral standards and bears significant responsibility for that violation.” Laocoön wrestling with the serpent suggests one's inner turmoil in dealing with guilt. Even though Laocoön’s counsel would have saved Troy, his actions transgressed the will of the gods (the universal moral standards of his time). His is a struggle of reconciling personal standards with societal norms. The resulting deaths of his two sons further compounds the idea of guilt by association. Even though removed from the infringement, guilt is still transferred. Thought and memory fuel the flames of guilt, where judgement warms its hands in shame and remorse.

Artist Bio

Daandrey Steyn

1984 . South Africa

By questioning the concept of experience through his medium of choice; video art, South African artist Daandrey Steyn finds the morphing, which has become the hallmark of his work. Through this he reveals an inherent awkwardness, a macabre fascination that echoes our own vulnerabilities.
His works isolate the instants between moments of human experience, mostly representational through the movement and transformations of the human figure. By doing so, new enthrallingly grotesque sequences are created which reveal an inseparable relationship between experience and identity. His morphs never show the complete structure.
Daandrey creates with hauntingly recognisable elements, an unprecedented situation in which the viewer is confronted with the conditioning of his own perception and has to reconsider his biased position.
Again and again, the artist leaves us orphaned with a mix of conflicting feelings and thoughts. He attempts to increase the dynamic between audience and author by objectifying emotions and investigating the duality that develops through different interpretations.
His works are often classified as part of the new Romantic Movement, the desire for the sublime in the unfolding globalised world where he uses historical artworks as points of departure in order to achieve new allegorical interpretations.

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