International art exhibition to celebrate Heritage month

2017-09-27 06:00
The local Khoisan and Khoikhoi community participated in an international art project that will be exhibited at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum from September 27.                     Photo:LUCY VOSLOO

The local Khoisan and Khoikhoi community participated in an international art project that will be exhibited at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum from September 27. Photo:LUCY VOSLOO

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IN celebration of Heritage Month, the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum will play host to an international art exhibition, called The Way of Water from today.

On May 6 this year, 11 artists and art collectives from six different countries produced simultaneous art performances that were recorded through photographs and videos for exhibition.

Their aim was to bring attention to the fragile marine environment that is threatened by pollution, excessive fishing and encroaching human development and industry.

The participating artists are:

. Flavia Vaccher from Ouidah Benin;

. Jospi Zanki and Matija Zdunic from Zadar, Croatia;

. Davide Skerlj from Venice, Italy;

. Manolo Cocho, with the DRY collective group, from San Luis Potosí, Mexico;

. Magda Minguzzi with the coordinators of the local Khoikhoi community, Chief Margaret Coetzee and Chief Xam Gaob Maleiba, from Port Elizabeth;

. Ethan Cornell, Justin Frankel, Megan Stuttles, Jimi Pantalon and eXtll from Brooklyn, United States.

The Port Elizabeth performance on May 6 took place in the Cape Recife Nature Reserve where Khoisan and Khoikhoi sacred places are located in the form of fish traps.

They are the most ancient structures present in the local area constructed by the Strandlopers which makes it highly significant in terms of heritage.

“The representatives of the Khoikhoi people, as descendants of the Strandlopers, practised ancient rituals, such as the ‘cleansing ceremony’ in front of the ocean where the traces of the fish traps are still visible,” explained Magda Minguzzi.

“It was a metaphorical act, related to identity and culture, that connects our contemporary reality (pollution and exploitation of the sea) with a time in the past when human beings were in harmony with Mother Earth and the sea.”

The project was supported by the Nelson Mandela University, AEON-ESSRI (Africa Earth Observatory Network, Earth Stewardship, Science, Research Institute), the Nelson Mandela Bay Arts, Culture and Heritage Department, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and Pine Lodge.

International partners include the Juliet contemporary art magazine, University of Trieste in Italy and the Hdlu Croatian visual artist association.

The international art exhibition will open at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum tonight at 5:30pm for 6pm with the event finishing around 7:30pm.

It will run until November 30.

The museum is open Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm, but is closed on Tuesday mornings.

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