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South Africa participates in the 11th Venice Architecture Biennale

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09 Sep 2008

The South African Departments of Arts and Culture and Sports and Recreation are honoured to have been invited to participate in the 11th Venice Architectural Biennale.

South Africa first participated in the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2006, which was the 10th staging of the Biennale.  Historically, the Biennale avails a platform for invited nations to show, through architectural practice, the trends, innovations and responses of shapers of the built environment to the context in which they operate.

South Africa’s participation in this year’s Biennale is motivated by the desire to promote discussion and debate around the transformation of our cities in general and the staging of the FIFA 2010 World Cup in particular, within the context of the Biennale theme, “Out there: Architecture beyond Building”.

The exhibition will examine how the allure of a global event like the World Cup gives rise to new forms of architecture and urban life in South Africa. Among other things, the exhibition will present an analysis of the transformation of the game (soccer) into a spectacular global event in Africa. It will explore the space of soccer as an important site for the construction of local identity and popular culture.

South Africa has appointed Mphethi Morojele Architects (MMA), under the leadership of Mphethi Morojele with the curators, Hannah le Roux and Mpho Matsipa to steer this project. MMA has pioneered various huge projects which includes:The Cradle of Humankind and hotel complex, Johannesburg, South African Embassy, Ethiopia, South African Embassy, Germany; Faraday Precinct, Johannesburg  and  Freedom Park Museum and Garden of Remembrance, Pretoria.

The South African delegation under the leadership of the Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Ms. Ntombazana Botha, will attend the opening of the exhibition on 10 September. They will be joined by the Violin Tenors, also from South Africa, to perform during the exhibition.
We believe the exhibition will help to expand possibilities within the field of architecture and contribute to the exploration of the unfolding terrain of emerging identities and spatial practices in South Africa.

Our participation in the Venice Biennale also offers us an opportunity to market South Africa as a preferred tourist destination and to set the stage for the World Cup in 2010.

The South African exhibition opens on 10 September and closes on 4 November.

Issued by: Communication Chief Directorate, Department of Arts and Culture

Enquiries: Mack Lewele
Cell: 082 450 5076
Tel: (012) 441 3083