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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

CO-TEMPORARY EXISTENCE AND THE MOVEABLE ARTS FEAST (article first published : 2008-09-11)

Durban, particularly the Art school at Durban University of Technology, has always been seen as a canon of producing talented artists that get swept into the mainstream cities such as Johannesburg and Cape Town. For those artists, talented they may be, who choose to remain in Durban, career maintenance becomes difficult if they cannot afford gallery charges that come with the administration of a show. One would need to sell in order to recover those costs and Durban gives very little assurance of sales for the emerging artists.

As an attempt to negotiate exposure for these artists, the DUT art gallery, mediating between students and the industry, has offered to three talented young artists a unique space gallery space located at the Steve Biko Campus above the library.

Celebrating Durban with seven other Durban galleries, the exhibition, which is titled Co-Temporary Existence takes place as part of the VANSA project, the Moveable Arts Feast.

The exhibition comprises works by Sabelo Khumalo, Nothando Mkhize and Nozipho Zulu. The artists have used different mediums; however they have in common concepts of exploring geographic location and urban influences. Concerned about popular culture, works by Khumalo derive inspiration from prominent use of media/product advertising. He explores how media unifies the culture of global identity.

On the other hand, Mkhize attempts to find traces of city occupiers by using found objects. Her umbrella pronounces her unique artistic style in the way that she has used the collage technique on found objects.

Zulu draws us to view the way that she has personally experience living in the city. Through self-study she had found herself as voyager travelling between the city and rural Zululand. In her work she talks about her body that is torn between two distinct environments, which form her identity. The elements such as apertures, that reference to the presence of the body through its residues.

Part of the gallery's function is dedicated to collecting, documenting and conserving art. The DUT Art gallery is promoting its permanent collection to the public by hanging up Vinyl banners with artwork images, around the art gallery building and through out the main Durban University of Technology campuses. The intension is making the collection accessible and recognised not only to the student body but constant DUT visitors as a way of engaging and informing the public about the DUT's exciting collection.

Co-Temporary Existence runs until October 8 at the DUT Art Gallery, 1st Floor Library building, Steve Biko Campus, Durban University of Technology. More information from Nontobeko Ntombela on 031 373 2207 or e-mail: artgallery@dut.ac.za




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