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

DIS-EASE (article first published : 2008-06-21)

The Bank Gallery is hosting Dis-ease International Video Show, a new generation of video art. Curated by Greg Streak it features work selected from the Rijks Academy's archive (Holland) in the form of a video compilation screening that reflects on the power of the medium of video, both in terms of content and articulation, as explored by some 27 artists from 17 different countries.

Durban artist, curator and writer Greg Streak, a Rijksakademie alumni himself, curated this exhibition on a visit to Amsterdam in early 2008. Representing the artist-run initiative PULSE, Greg Streak partnered with the Rijksakademie and Bank Gallery to produce the show. Bank Gallery was instrumental in initiating the show as a continued effort to expand its vision from the local and national into the global. Its soon-to-be-launched residency programme will further contribute to this end. The show will initially travel to two other venues in South Africa during 2008-09 and is set to travel to various other venues in Africa (Mali and Cameroon) in 2009.

Dis–ease is an uncomfortable and awkward word,” informs the press release. “A more correct approximation would probably be uneasy. In fact Dis – ease as a word does not exist, unlike disease, which is a silent condition that permeates, infiltrates and attacks. Usually without warning.

“It is almost as if a disease has found its way into each of the works in the exhibition. They are uncomfortable. They all have a sense of dis – ease about them. This is interesting, because despite the fact that they were, for the most part, all produced whilst at the Rijksakademie in the Netherlands, the artists making up the show actually represent a number of different countries ranging from Brazil to Taiwan. The works do carry explicit cultural overtones and idiosyncratic nuances that suggest the artists’ origin, but what begins to reveal itself is how the virus we have come to know as globalisation has permeated into the fabric of its self-claimed village. The “globalised village” has a cute and syrupy ring to it, yet below this suffocating stickiness lie the ulterior motives. We are made to look like one unified planet when in reality we are made up of so many necessary and different parts.”

Kuang-Yu Tsui from Taiwan is the feature artist on the show. A separate screening of seven of his video works take art lovers on a personal journey of the artist as he engages with his environment. In Eighteen Copper Guardians in Shao-Lin Temple and Penetration: The Perceptive, the artist has various objects thrown at the back of his head by someone out of screen. Each time an object strikes his head, he tries to guess what it is. The work is both amusing and nihilistic. Kuang-Yu’s work is a testament to the parasitic nature of globalisation – the manner in which it displaces and attempts to simulate in order to control.

Dis-ease International Video Show runs from June 19 to July 17. This will be followed by Greg Streak’s Accumulative Disintegration from July 24 to August 21.

The Bank Gallery is situated in Florida Road. The venue continues to welcome schools and tertiary education institutions to visit the gallery. Contact Akona on 031 312 6911.

More information on 031 312 6911. info@bankgallery.co.za www.bankgallery.co.za




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