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TANGENCYA (article first published : 2004-12-17)

30 artists - 10 projects - three weeks - one city – Durban … This is the description of an inter-disciplinary arts-based project with site-specific interventions happening throughout Durban over the festive season from December 16 to January 7.

Tangencya features artists from Mozambique, Angola, Botswana and has been conceptualized and curated by Andries Botha (SA) and Miguel Petchkovsky (Amsterdam/Angola). The concept aims to project the city of Durban nationally and internationally as a place of cultural, heritage and artistic significance. The project derives its title from a synthesis of the English work "Tangent" and Portuguese word "Tangencia". It also embodies the Zulu word "Thinta" which alludes to touch.

There are 10 projects initially (nine commissioned projects and one "fringe" project). Zam' ukuziphisa is an architectural project modifying a self-help and beading workshop in Umlazi K Section; The Durban Art Gallery Collection Online is the creation of website and cyber-innovators, pilotfish, allowing viewing of the DAG contemporary collection digitally while artist Sazi Dlamini will be building an interactive outdoor children's musical instrument in Cato Manor.

Artist Jeremy Wafer will establish an intervention that engages issues of urban hybridity at the Cato Manor temple; a lifesize taxi will be built out of recycled materials as a public installation in a taxi rank, and Kwa Muhle/Local History Museum is a site for an installation to draw attention to issues of social fragmentation.

Two young Durban artists, Dineo Bopape and Themba Shibase, will make a video that examines the idea of multiple urban interfaces; in Wentworth pollution comes under the spotlight in a project led by Greg Streak; Mr. John Monnakgosi (71 year old artist) from Botswana will rebuild the animal-based Indian/African deity which will be housed at the Durban Documentation Centre. Finally, Fiona Kirkwood will respond to the HIV / AIDS pandemic in an installation - Survival.

Tangencya is partnered by the African Art Centre; BAT Centre; Durban Art Gallery; Durban Institute of Technology, The Local History Museums; the Alliance Française, The Workshop shopping centre, Pick ‘N Pay the Workshop, artSPACE Durban and the NSA Gallery. This project would not be possible without the financial support of the Doen Foundation in the Netherlands, the Bartel Arts Trust (Durban) and Habitat construction (Netherlands). The project also hopes to have a fringe exhibition; a catalogue; a project video and discussion groups.




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