://selfportrait – a show for Bethlehem

Media/Art/Cologne and “the place of art” Officyna in Szczecin/ Poland
are glad to open on 20 October, 7 p.m.
the media art exhibition
“://selfportrait – a show for Bethlehem – a show for Peace
at OFFICYNA art space in Szczecin in the framework of
PI Performance & Intermedia Festival Szczecin/Swinoujscie/Poland
20-22 October 2006.

The show is organised and curated by Agricola de Cologne, and was realized first in July 2006 at Al Kahf Art Gallery in Bethlehem/Palestine. After an extension of the original exhibition collection, the show includes now about 300 artists from more than 30 countries in the New Media media desciplines digital print, digital video, multimedia, soundart and artists statements:

The show takes the classical theme of the artist”selfportrait” and sets it in a new technological and conceptual context. The basic idea was that the artists overcome symbolically the wall which is separating Israel from Palestinian territory by showing face and being present through their selfportraits – and – become messengers of peace this way.

Bethlehem – a spiritual center of relevance in three world religions and symbol for peace and freedom for about two thousand years also far beyond – is now imprisoned behind 9 meter high walls and becomes a new symbol for peace in another dimension – as it stands for all the virtual and physical walls anywhere around the globe which have to be overcome. The show does not only transport the message of solidarity, but also the idea of a free and independent culture without borders, the use of New Media technology represents further a symbol for a new era of solving conflicts via communication.

After the show could be inaugurated according this conception on 6 July 2006 in Palestine despite of the escalating conflict in Middle East, while most other international events were cancelled at that time,
://selfportrait – a show for Bethlehem – a show for Peace is planned to be shown at many other places around the globe in sequence.

The first show after Bethlehem will be inaugurated on 20 October 2006 at the city of Szczecin/Poland, which may stand for many other places as a symbol for the insanity of war, in this case World War II.

For those, who are not able to visit the show in physical space, the project site online allows all interested people to experience the entire exhibition also online in virtual space on http://self.engad.org, whereby the site consists of two parts – an administrative textual low-tech part, and an artistic high-tech part which needs broad bandwidth internet connection for experiencing audio and video streaming. Its interface is also part of the physical show and gives the visitor the possibility to surf through the project environment and and spend more time for certain artworks individually online, if possible, or otherwise offline.

The new artists extending the show are:
Olga Neva (UK), Leslie Huppert (GE), Gertrud Rietmüller (GE),
Artur Holling (GE), Wolf Nkole Henzle (GE), Diana Guzman(MX),
Marlen Karlen (CH), Aphrodite Navab (Iran/USA),
Moon Na (S.Korea), Ursula Biermann (CH), Theresa Krause (GE),
Richard Jochum (Austria/ USA), Unnur Andrea Einarsdottir (Iceland),
Sofia v. Bustorff (USA), Jimmy Owenns (F).
But the biggest part of the extension represents the incorporation of
the soundart collection “memoryscapes” –
Edition IV of SoundLAB – http://soundlab.newmediafest.org
including about 250 soundart pieces by 135 artists. “memoryscapes” is not yet online at present, but it will be launched on coming Monday, 16 October right in time before the inauguration at Szczecin.
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://selfportrait a- show for Bethlehem – a show for Peace
http://self.engad.org
– the first media art project by Media/Art/Cologne –
is realised in cooperation with
Bethlehem International Center/Palestine
Officya Art Space Szczecin/Poland,
Casoria Contemporary Art Museum Naples/Italy
MAC – Museo de Arte Contemporaneo Santa Fe/Argentina
MACRO – Museum de Arte Contemporaneo Rosario/Argentina

location: place of Art OFFICYNA, Szczecin/Poland
duration: 20 October – 12 November 2006
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Basic project information can be downloaded as PDF
http://downloads.nmartproject.net/selfportrait_a_show_for_bethlehem_a_show_for_peace.pdf

The list of participating artists can be downloaded as PDF
http://downloads.nmartproject.net/selfportrait_a_show_for_peace_artistspdf

More info about the show in Szczecin can be found here–>
http://www.newmediaserver.org/off/pi_festival2006.html
and here–>http://self.engad.org
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More links:
place of Art OFFICYNA – http://www.officyna.art.pl
Media/Art/Cologne – http://www.mediaartcologne.org
SoundLAB – http://soundlab.newmediafest.org

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This press release is issued by
Media/Art/Cologne
the global window to media art from Cologne/Germany
http://www.mediaartcologne.org
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