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Urban Concerns / Anthea Moys

2008-04-27 to 2008-05-25

Bildmuseet and Johannesburg Art Gallery’s collaboration in the project Urban Concerns continues. Now opening is an exhibition from South African artist Anthea Moys, who through playful performance works raises questions about threat and safety in the city space. 

The two invited curators, Michelle Harris, Johannesburg and Veronica Wiman, Sweden, have developed a program together around the theme Urban Concerns, which will take place at Bildmuseet during 2008. The most recent addition to the project is two works from the Johannesburg-based artist Anthea Moys. Through the media of playfully staged performances, photographic and video work, Moys investigates city regeneration and development, and inhabitants’ experience of their urban environment.

Boxing Games is a video documentation of a series of performances where twelve participants perform a game based upon boxing. It occurs in public places in Johannesburg and is lead and adjudicated by a referee. The game is conducted with certain pre-determined rules but also has unforeseen consequences. Boxing Games deals with experiences of the city environment and the tension between play and fight, safety and risk.

The Gautrain is the name for a high-speed railway system that is being built between Johannesburg, Pretoria and Johannesburg Airport which is expected to be finished in 2011. The Gautrain construction site, like many other building sites in and around Johannesburg, is in a state of transformation.  In the work Gautrain: Ophelia Anthea Moys draws parallels between the uncertainty of these transitory projects and the sense of powerlessness that many of Johannesburg’s inhabitants express.

As a part of Urban Concerns, a room named The Hub has been established for documentation and information concerning the project. A skype connection in The Hub gives inhabitants in Umeå and Johannesburg the opportunity to communicate with each other. 

On Sunday 27 April at 14.00 Michelle Harris will present Anthea Moys’ exhibition.  From 14.30 there will be representatives from environmental groups in both cities meeting online to conduct a dialogue about environmental issues. Visitors to BildMuseet are welcome to take part in the discussion, which in Umeå will be lead Ulrika Nuottaniemi, Klimax.

Urban Concerns

Since early 2007 Bildmuseet and Johannesburg Art Gallery has engaged in a mutual cultural exchange project, Friendly Takeovers. A key component in this project is the collaboration between the two invited external curators Michelle Harris, South Africa and Veronica Wiman, Sweden. Together they have conceptualized a joint programme, Urban Concerns, which will be carried out during 2008. Developments and changes in urban space, people’s relation to and experience of public spaces and the city are some of the issues raised within Urban Concerns.

At Bildmuseet Urban Concerns is launched on Saturday January 19th at 2 pm. This starting event consists of several parts. A solo exhibition with the South African artist Sharlene Khan, her first presentation in Sweden, will open. The show includes her installation Two Fish and Five Loaves and the wall piece (B)LACK, two works that take as their starting point city life in the metropolises of South Africa, discussing the presence of informal economies as well as questions related to immigration and xenophobia.

Invited to participate in Urban Concerns, artist Daniel Peltz’s has worked with students from Östra gymnasiet in Umeå in a 3-day workshop at Bildmuseet on January 16-18. The purpose of the workshop is to facilitate youth in Umeå and Johannesburg to communicate with each other in an on-line video dialogue. The workshop in Umeå is part of Peltz ongoing international project Call and Response and it is realized in close collaboration with Kulturverket in Umeå.

RACA – Danish graphic designer Pulsk Ravn and Swedish architect Johan Carlsson – is participating with a site specific spatial installation at Bildmuseet, The Hub, which will serve as a meeting place and information centre for Urban Concerns. RACA is also producing a poster project, Public Notes, in the city of Umeå, a project that is thought of as an interactive public ”scrapbook” with the intention to map how inhabitants in Umeå view and perceive of their environment. Equally, in The Hub, visitors can access how citizens in Johannesburg comment on their city. Later in the year RACA will also contribute to Urban Concerns with a social interaction in Umeå och Johannesburg.

Urban Concerns / Friendly Takeovers is carried out within the framework of the Swedish-South African Culture Partnership Programme, a bilateral fund for culture exchange, administered by Statens Kulturråd in Sweden and the Department of Arts and Culture in South Africa.

Artists Sharlene Khan, Daniel Peltz, Johan Carlsson together with Curator Veronica Wiman will be present for the press conference and the opening.

The project Urban Concerns is conducted within the scope of the Swedish-South African Culture Partnership. The program, which is a bilateral fund for cultural projects, is administered by Statens Kulturråd in Sweden and Department of Arts and Culture in South Africa.