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NAGN opens with “It’s Raining Cats and Dogs”

by Staff Writer

The National Gallery of Namibia will this week open with a group exhibition by Namibian and German artists including members of the Dune Artist Group.

The exhibition notes the bizarre, the real and the fictitious state of human and wildlife, the nature and interaction of our societies, as well as the nature and meaning of home.

In the drawings ‘Between two beds’ by Peter Moller, the artist reflects his strangeness and unfamiliarity of the district, Berlin-Hellersdorf, where he stayed for three weeks researching the city of Berlin, Germany.

The unfamiliarity and strangeness is as that of the feeling of being away from home and the absurdity of being conscious of the socialistic housing constructions that remains rather vague and fragmentary, which Moller sees as corresponding to a cautious aesthetic approach without a plot, narrative and language.

However, the drawings contain the surprise of an idyllic atmosphere that emanates from the proximity of the summer nature perceptible on the outskirt of the city - a contrast that is particularly typical for the north-east of Berlin, or perhaps a settling in feeling of being at peace that comes with the spark of starting to be familiar to a place after spending sometime in it, perhaps the feeling of the residents of these absurd socialistic constructed houses where normality takes charge and the absurdity becomes a part of the living standards.

It’s Raining Cats and Dogs describes a natural event: A (unnatural) heavy rain, which in reality is impossible and therefore serves as a metaphor for a magnitude of an absurd situation and Möller’s drawings like all the work in the exhibition carries the extreme of such absurdity being ‘a normality’ but shouldn’t be so.

The destruction of homes and the lack of affordability of land and housing is not something that is strange to Namibia and Sandra Schmidt captures this embodiment in her artwork ‘Break-lines’.

Break-lines was built at the seaside in Swakopmund on Spitzkope and in the Namibia desert, the artwork addresses the ways of how people have lost their homes.

Further, Sandra, in the artwork “rooms” addresses the concerning topic of home which concurrently is an important topic of discussion in Berlin, German and in Namibia at current.

The artwork touches on the issues of renting costs rapidly on the increase and the way many people lost their homes.

In Namibia, the predicament is no strange where people live in a single room they rent in a house or in someone’s yard, the space serves as a home - the bedroom, the sitting room, the kitchen, and the bathroom.

In 2014, Namibia was recorded as the second country in the world with the highest house price increases.

As a metaphoric of an unreal situation, Carola Rümper uses the exhibition title ‘Its raining cats and Dogs’ as a description of an absurd situation, a fictitious circumstance because in it rains neither cats nor dogs.

In Rümper’s ‘The RÜMPERIENS’, facts are out of order in an unreal construction.

Flora and fauna seem to be existent in a reordering or disorder.

The disordering as a system in which conditions of reality are shifted, where truth and fiction are in the dissolution process and the terms fiction and reality are re-explored.

Kirsten Wechslberger’s “Lions Replaced by Fat Cats” questions the role and function of the state and what is actually being delivered.

It questions the current living standards of the major chunk of the Namibian population and the effort made by the state to protect the animal and plant kingdoms present in Namibia.

In Wechslberger’s “The Master Predator” a selection of sounds, show life such as the sound of birds, lions, as well as the wind rustling the leaves in the trees or blowing through the grass.

There is an extra emphasis on sounds of animals that are being hunted illegally or are in danger within Namibia such as lions and rhinos.

Niina Tortila works predominantly with typography taking extracts from daily news and bringing it to the viewer’s attention, her work pulls one’s attention to note the absurdity or the things that are going on in our society, the way in which these items are reported and brought to our attention.

Most of the participating artists of the Dune Artist Group work in, and across multiple mediums.

Classical genres like sculpture, painting, drawing and photography will be showcased next to participatory projects, video and sound installations and /or projects in public space.

Viewers are no longer just recipients but become part of art through participation.