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THE ROAD (article first published : 2002-02-20)

Ulrich Roldanus lives and works in Amsterdam, and was artist in residence at the Technikon Natal Fine Art Department over the past six weeks. His interest and connection with South Africa, and Durban in particular, came through his involvement with a prominent residency programme in Amsterdam in which numerous local artists participated.

The exhibition comprises works shipped from Amsterdam as well as site specific works produced during his residency in Durban. Working in a variety of media, the show will centre on installations comprising photographs, ceramics, found materials, mappings and works relating to the Cameroonian village he grew up in. The exhibition will also attempt to unravel the links and relations between Roldanus’s ‘African’ background and his European experiences as a travelling and working artist.

The exhibition’s central concern is with the physical experience of travelling, being on the road and moving. As the landscape and sceneries pass by, the traveller becomes a silent witness and spectator of many distant lives before arriving at the destination. Roldanus references his childhood memories, having spent his formative years in Cameroon. Revering to the dirt roads leading towards the village where he grew up, he states, “I always remember these red tracks full of dust cutting through the deep green landscape. When it rains these roads turns into nonnegotiable mud trenches, the colour which is referenced in most of my work.”

See www.roldanus.com for additional information on the artist.




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