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Indepth Arts News:

"Head North:"
2001-02-25 until 2001-05-01
BildMuseet, Umeň
Umeň, , SE Sweden

In 1999 the South African National Gallery was invited by the BildMuseet to participate in an international exchange programme titled 'Visual Cultures in Dialogue'. The project aims to examine cultural exchange through visual representation. It focuses on an exchange between Swedish and South African partners working in the fields of art and museology, namely Umeň University, BildMuseet, University of the Witwatersrand, University of the Western Cape, Robben Island Museum and the South African National Gallery. The exchange is funded by Sida, the federal Swedish Development Agency. By sharing ways of working, knowledge and ideas, the goal is to develop a new understanding of how contemporary society is portrayed, how history is examined and how new target groups can be reached in both environments.

To launch the partnership between the Sang and the BildMuseet, the exhibition 'Head North ' will open at the BildMuseet in Umeň, Sweden on the 25th February 2001. This jointly curated exhibition marks the first time that a representative selection of works drawn entirely from the Sang Permanent Collection will be displayed internationally. The show aims to present a broad view of contemporary South African art and in particular a view of the work held by our national gallery. The works on show include Jane Alexander's 'Integration Programme: Man with TV', Lisa Brice's 'Make your home your Castle', Billy (Buyisile) Mandindi's 'Fire Games', Jackson Nkumanda's 'The Presidential Inauguration', Willie Bester's 'Heading North', and Sue Williamson's 'Can't Forget, Can't Remember'. The exhibition links itself strongly with South African history and artists examinations of that history. It is also representative of aims of Sang, which reflect the desire to break down barriers between cultures and modes of cultural production in order to become as inclusive and nationally representative as possible. In this way Head North becomes an exhibition of an ongoing national dialogue, as well as being part of the international dialogue of how to represent culture.

Head North is the first of a number of jointly developed projects between the South African National Gallery and the BildMuseet, that include education programmes, seminars, lectures and exhibitions which will be staged over the next two years, within the exchange 'Visual Cultures in Dialogue'. BildMuseet is a museum of contemporary art and visual culture, located in the city of Umeň, regional capital of northern Sweden. Founded and built by Umeň University in 1981, expanded in 1994, the museum facilities comprise seven exhibition halls with an exhibition area exceeding 1400 m2. Over 100,000 visitors per year make BildMuseet one of the most visited art institutions in Sweden. In recognition of the quality and breadth of their work, the Swedish National Council for Cultural Affairs has assigned the museum a national role within the field of contemporary art for the three-year period 2000 - 2002.

Jane Alexander
Integration Programme: Man with TV,

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