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CARDS (article first published : 2005-08-1)

The Mezzanine Gallery of the KZNSA Gallery (formerly the NSA) will take on a different look with an exhibition by Siemon Allen on August 4.

Siemon Allen is a Durban-born artist currently living and working in Richmond, Virginia, USA. He received his Masters Degree in Technology: Fine Art in 1999 at the Technikon Natal (now the Durban Institute of Technology). He was a founder member of the “Flat International” initiative, an itinerant contemporary art collective, and have published and exhibited widely.

Recent group exhibitions include The Freedom Salon at Deitch Projects and The American Effect at the Whitney Museum in New York, Notes on Renewed Appropriationisms at the Project in Los Angeles and A Fiction of Authenticity: Contemporary Africa Abroad at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He presented solo exhibitions at the Anderson Gallery, Drake University, at Fusebox in Washington and the Hemicycle/Corcoran Museum in Washington. His work is represented in the collections of the Durban Art Gallery, BHP Billiton (SA) and the Guggenheim Museum, New York.

Cards is a collection project consisting of over 2,000 US military trading cards issued between 1938 and 2001. These trading cards are not official military propaganda but rather distributed and sold through private companies and marketed primarily to children between the ages of 7 and 14. These cards illustrate the larger cultural consumption of images of war and aggression in the USA, spanning many decades. The project is a continuation of Allen’s interest in popular culture and media residue, reconfiguring it to comment on contemporary realities.

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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