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MODEL CITY (article first published : 2005-08-1)

The KZNSA Gallery (formerly the NSA) will present a new exhibition in the Main Gallery from August 4.

Kendall Buster is an American artist living and working in Richmond, Virginia, where she is associate professor in the Department of Sculpture and Extended Media at Virginia Commonwealth University. She completed her Masters in Fine Art at Yale University and has participated in numerous group exhibitions, include Art Positions at Miami Basel in Miami, Florida, ARCO in Madrid, Spain, and Recent Acquisitions at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, USA.

Solo projects include Highrise at the Houston Centre for Contemporary Craft, Model City at Drake University, Iowa, and Inventory of Imagined Places at the Kreeger Museum in Washington. She was recently included in the 2005 American Academy of Arts and Letters exhibition in New York where she received an American Academy of Arts and Letters award in the arts.

This exhibition is her first solo show in South Africa, and follows earlier participation in Open Circuit at the then NSA Gallery in 2000, organised by Pulse Projects. Buster’s large-scale installation will occupy the entire Main Gallery and is a continuation of her interest in creating architectural spaces which are sculptural and an experiential. Originally trained as a microbiologist, the microscopic world is often referenced in her work but re-imagined as large scale constructions.

The installation utilises 80 manufactured tents configured in a grid to create a field. Flexible fibreglass tent poles support and give form to the nylon fabric tent domes. Suspended to float, weightlessly above the viewer, this grid of interconnected tents viewed from underneath appear as an undulating sky-like surface, and from above, as a turquoise blue cityscape.

The word “model” in Model City is a play on the word, referencing at once an architectural scale schematic, and an ironic use of the term to suggest an ideal utopian modular urban plan.

The exhibition closes on August 21. More information from curator Storm Janse van Rensburg on 031 202 3686, fax 031 201 8051 or e-mail: curator@nsagallery.co.za




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