Barriers is the major exhibition at Wanås Konst bringing together six artists working in South Africa, an active scene attracting young artists from many different countries. The title of the exhibition emphasizes border thinking. Barriers function to block, hinder and restrict—they are to be overcome, but they can also protect and safeguard.
Barriers presents a number of individual reflections in the form of newly produced artworks commissioned especially for Wanås Konst as well as a suite of films. Through their choices of material, collaboration, and historical references, the artists make connections to Wanås as a site. The works in the exhibition encompass voices that reflect different communities of faith in Malmö, a female army commander, a large-scale portrait made of tree trunks, and a mysterious veiled sculpture. Several of the participants explore figurative sculpture using their own bodies as a point of departure, and use performance as part of their artistic practice.
In order to understand ourselves, we need look up and out. It’s not just about the art scene being global, but also about the way Sweden looks today with inhabitants from different continents. What are established and emerging artists in the South African art scene working on, and how do they relate to Wanås as a site? In the last few years, we have explored sculpture as something changeable and non-static. This year, we encounter several artworks in which a person or a body has a strong presence: we hear distinct voices, see this depicted in stone, or encounter it in portraits—a classical tradition presented in diverse ways. (Elisabeth Millqvist, artistic director, Wanås Konst.)
With: Igshaan Adams, Kudzanai Chiurai, Hannelie Coetzee, Nandipha Mntambo, Mary Sibande, James Webb.
Opening Sunday May 17, 2015.