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Berni Searle

2005-09-18 to 2006-01-22

One of South Africa’s most interesting contemporary artists is presented for the first time in a solo exhibition in Scandinavia: Berni Searle. This autumn, Bildmuseet is showing three of her latest video works.

Searle works with video, photography, objects and installations. Using precise imagery, she constructs visual stagings that explore existential questions of identity, belonging and alienation. She is often involved as an actor herself, although her work cannot be described as biographical. Searle creates dreamlike images and moods. Her work is often dominated by stillness but, beneath the surface, something threatening vibrates.

Berni Searle (born 1964) is based in Cape Town, South Africa, and is also currently participating in this year’s Venice Biennale.

A Matter of Time

In A Matter of Time (2003), a video projected onto a norrow purpose-built freestanding wall. By turning the single projector on its side, Berni Searle creates the impression of an impossible movement against gravity.

Home and Away

Home and Away (2003) is commissioned by NMAC Montemendio Arte Contemporaneo in Vejer de la Fronterra in Spain, along with a set of lithographs entitled Waiting #1-#6, is the first video Searle produced outside of South Africa. The work focuses on th esea mass between Spain and Morocco and uses the burdened meanings of this body water – ondocumented migrants from Morocco in makeshift and overloaded boats make nightly crossings from North Africa to Spain in the hope of a better life in Europe.


In Vapour (2004) the artist explore transient states of consciousness with dreamlike images. Siluettes and shades of people are moving through a night landscape where fires, smoke and steem creates a magical, poetical but threatfull atmosphere. It looks as if something catastrofic and devastating has occured.