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Dobbyn Launches International Art Exhibition

December 7, 2005

Dave Dobbyn Launches International Art Exhibition

Dave Dobbyn on COEXISTENCE grass carpet

A landmark cultural exhibition that began in the Old City of Jerusalem, linking the gates from the Jewish, Christian and Muslim Quarters, will arrive in Auckland early next year.

Composed of visual images created by artists from around the world, the giant outdoor art exhibition COEXISTENCE has visited 22 cities across the globe since its creation in 2001. The original exhibition has grown as artwork is added in each city it visits.

New Zealand Ambassador for the event, Dave Dobbyn, today announced the launch of the exhibition on February 10, 2006.

The exhibition will be on show in Auckland's Britomart and comprises of 44 giant 3m x 5m posters accompanied by text-panel quotes from leading thinkers, writers, philosophers and artists. The works are designed to promote dialogue leading to understanding and peaceful co-existence within communities.

"I'm delighted to be involved in such a peace-making project," says Mr Dobbyn.

"You learn more about people through art than any other history. To be moved by art and music is an essential part of living in peace and building community and understanding across borders.

"COEXISTENCE contains thought-provoking artworks from around the world and the exhibition will encourage us to question the way we relate to others. Every nationality is represented in our local community so it's very important that we experience and reflect one another's cultures here with a global perspective.

"We must live harmoniously together while still respecting and celebrating each other's differences. Developing a world view and a local view in this way is a key part of 21st century living and moving forward in peace. Tolerance isn't enough. Active coexistence is needed in a world torn by ignorance and lack of dialogue."

A local competition also gives New Zealand artists have the opportunity to get involved, and one local artist will be given the honour of contributing to the international exhibition.

Unveiled at today's exhibition preview, the 23 finalists have been chosen from five competition categories: Secondary Schools, Tertiary Students, Artists, Design Industry and Open.

In addition, the creators of the exhibition, the Museum on the Seam in Jerusalem, will select a work which will go on to be displayed throughout the world with the other giant posters. Prize winners will be announced at the COEXISTENCE opening gala on February 10 2006.

COEXISTENCE is being brought to Auckland by Heart of the City, business and lobby group for the CBD, and is being held outdoors in Britomart from February 10 to March 5, 2006.

To enhance the exhibition and to create a unique space where people can gather the Britomart carparks will be transformed into an urban "green" with real grass.

The international exhibition has been shown in major cities around the world, including Jerusalem, Belfast, Sarajevo, Berlin, Zurich, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Cape Town, Prague, St. Petersburg, Vienna and Washington DC.

Some notable figures associated with COEXISTENCE through their quotes are Nelson Mandela, Jean-Paul Sartre, the Dalai Lama, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein and John Lennon.

"With its giant striking images, COEXISTENCE will provide us with a local focus to enter that dialogue about how we live together in an inclusive wider community. I'm looking forward to broadening our horizons," Mr Dobbyn says.

Pansy Wong and Dick Hubbard at COEXISTENCE launch


The COEXISTENCE exhibition was initiated and created by the Museum on the Seam in Jerusalem, curated by Raphie Etgar

The Museum on the Seam is a unique museum in Israel, displaying contemporary art that deals with different aspects of the socio-political reality. Through the works of artists from Israel and abroad, who respond to the stress and tension between and within groups, the Museum invites the visitors to examine the degree of influence of the social environment on the individual and vice versa. Between the local and the universal, between pluralism and extreme ideologies, the message of the Museum calls for listening and discussion, for accepting the other and those different from us and respect for our fellow man and his liberty. More information can be found at .


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