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OPEN CIRCUIT AT NSA (article first published : 2000-11-10)

PULSE is an initiative set up by Durban-based artist Greg Streak to create a forum for inter-cultural debate - realised through projects organised on an annual basis. These will invite South African and international cultural producers to participate and the focus of these projects will shift to accommodate issues or debates relevant in contemporary art.

PULSE is the South African component in the RAIN network and is supported by the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The RAIN network is the orchestration of the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam, Netherlands. It comprises a network of south-south countries, which includes Argentina, India, Indonesia, Mali and Mexico and South Africa.

In the exhibition, the description “open-circuit” references electrical terminology and means the break in the flow of electrical current. Usually this is not an intentional intervention but one caused by accident or unknown means. To repair this break, one works through a process of elimination to pinpoint finally the fault in the current (where it is “open”). Once the fault has been rectified, a closed-circuit is re-established and current is permitted to flow uninterrupted.

Paradoxically, when one refers to closed-circuits in the context of the art world, one refers to the politics and hierarchies that create elitist enclaves – those circuits which exclude. The primary focus of PULSE is the opposite - to create a circuit that does not discriminate. The project will try to re-negotiate the accepted power distribution allocated between the centre and the periphery.

The exhibition features work by South African artists José Ferreira, Stephen Hobbs, Jo Ractliffe, Robin Rhode, Kathryn Smith, Greg Streak, Andries Botha and Jeremy Wafer as well as Durban artists now working overseas: Siemon Allen (USA) and James Beckett (Netherlands). International artists represented are Sharmilia Samant (India), Mark Bain (USA / Netherlands), Kendall Buster (USA), Isaac Carlos (Portugal/Netherlands) and Sebastian Diaz Morales (Argentina/Netherlands).

open circuit runs at the NSA Galleries until November 23.




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