Kunsthaus Baselland

August 2, 2004

8 August – 19 September 2004

Kunsthaus Baselland 
Stadtgalerie Bern
The Gallery Premises, Johannesburg


Robin Rhode, Passing Circles, 2004    MIN(E)DFIELDS

Curated by Sabine Schaschl-Cooper, Kunsthaus Baselland; Beate Engel, Stadtgalerie Bern; Stephen Hobbs, The Gallery Premises and Katrien Reist van Gelder (guest curator Stadtgalerie Bern)
Dias/Riedweg, Mo Diener, Monika Dillier, Peter Friedl, Samuel Herzog, Nicholas Hlobo, Alison Kearney, William Kentridge, Moshekwa Langa, Thando Mama, Brett Murray, Jo Ratcliffe, Robin Rhode, Mario Sala, Berni Searle, Markus Schwander, Penny Siopis, Nontsikelelo ‘Lolo’ Veleko

The close cultural interactions that have existed between South Africa and Switzerland for the past years constitute the conceptual framework of the “Min(e)dfields” project, bringing together curators, art critics, and artists of both countries. Under the heading of “Min(e)dfields” all three institutions put on display a selection of artworks that is specifically geared towards the place in question, its basic concept, its mode of functioning, and its impact on the region surrounding it. A few works are shown in all three institutions and thus provide for some continuity.

The ambiguous title leaves room for many interpretations, fuelling discussions and evoking different associations. These include references to the minefields of South Africa, and to the economic exploitation of the country and its people by the wealthy and their allies in Western countries. The title also alludes to “mind-fields” left behind by the political monstrosity of the Apartheid regime. The latter, even though it officially ended following a change of government, is still perceived as a grim legacy that impinges on today’s society and the way it is run. Heated debates flare up again and again as mined fields seem to be on the brink of explosion. Nevertheless, ten years of democracy have paved the way towards an international public discourse on the upheavals that have occurred. “Min(e)dfields” explores the complexity of navigating through unchartered social and political territory, an exercise that requires different levels of commitment, adaptation, and interpretation. Underneath the waves of forward-looking optimism, vibrations of unstable and sensitive currents are well noticeable to which “Min(e)dfields” responds by elucidating the role of art in redefining a democratic society.

The exhibition concept at Kunsthaus Baselland focuses on how the West tends to perceive contemporary South African art, and on attempts to challenge prevailing prejudices. In Berne a mental landscape will be created : several locations in the city will present works related in a personal and intimate way to the South African everyday life.

A joint catalogue will be published following “Min(e)dfields” at The Gallery Premises in Johannesburg.
Min(e)dfields is a collaborative project of the institutions:
Kunsthaus Baselland, Muttenz/Basel / Tel. +41 61 312 83 88 / www.kunsthausbaselland.ch

Stadtgalerie Bern / Tel. +41 31 311 43 35 / www.stadtgalerie.ch

The Gallery Premises, Johannesburg / Tel. +27 11 403 83 58 www.onair.co.za/thepremises

Information about the exhibitions and events of each participating art centre on www.minedfields.info

Kunsthaus Baselland
August 2, 2004

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