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Ethnicity theme for international exhibition

October 10, 2005

Ethnicity theme for international exhibition in Auckland

Aucklanders are about to be challenged about their views on ethnic co-existence in their city.

Forty-four giant, thought-provoking posters featuring compelling images by international artists form the core element of COEXISTENCE, a free-entry outdoor exhibition scheduled for Auckland in early 2006.

And through a local competition, New Zealand artists have an opportunity to contribute to the exhibition.

The COEXISTENCE exhibition comprises three metre by five metre posters accompanied by text-panel quotes from leading thinkers, writers, philosophers and artists. They are designed to promote dialogue leading to understanding and peaceful co-existence within communities.

The exhibition is being brought to Auckland by Heart of the City, business and lobby group for the CBD. And for local relevance, the winner of a $15,000 art competition open to all New Zealanders will have his or her work unveiled on the opening night as part of the exhibition.

The winning artist as judged by Heart of the City's judging panel receives a $10,000 cash prize. Israel's Museum on the Seam, originator of the exhibition, also gives a prize of US$1000 as judged by a prestigious international jury. This work may be included in the exhibition as it continues a global journey begun in 2001.

There are also $1,000 runners-up prizes for each of the best entries in secondary school, tertiary, artist, design industry and open categories. These and other entries will be on display during COEXISTENCE in the Pavilion within the Britomart Heritage Precinct

Entries for the COEXISTENCE art competition close on November 30 and details on can be found at www.hotcity.co.nz .

The international exhibition has been shown in 22 of the globe's leading cities including Jerusalem, Belfast, Sarajevo, Berlin, Zurich, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Cape Town, Prague, St. Petersburg, Vienna and Washington DC.

COEXISTENCE is being held outdoors in the Britomart Heritage Precinct from 10 February to March 5, 2006.

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

HOT City marketing manager Liz Smith says Auckland's COEXISTENCE 'issue' is about how ethnic groups relate to each other. "In 2001 Auckland City's population comprised people from 181 different ethnic groups; imagine what it is now four years later and after a period of relatively high immigration.

"We wanted to focus on these changes and challenge people to think about how they relate to people from different backgrounds and beliefs. It is also an excellent opportunity for New Zealand artists to have their work exhibited and promoted to a wide audience."

The COEXISTENCE exhibition was initiated and created by the Museum on the Seam in Jerusalem. Its curator is Raphie Etgar and more information can be found at www.coexistence.art.museum .

About COEXISTENCE: The Museum on the Seam in Jerusalem 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.


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