New Era (Windhoek)

23 November 2012

Namibia: Downnistie Screens At Goethe

Windhoek — Downistie screens at the Goethe Centre on Tuesday at quarter past seven (19h15) and entrance is free.

Downistie, a Dutch film with English subtitles, is a unique weekly soap featuring nothing but actors with Down syndrome. The viewers can follow the lives of lead characters Thomas, Nina, Rosanne, Hubert and Vicky in Downistie. Adultery, unwanted pregnancies, budding love stories, jealousy, intense happiness and tragic illness: all the up and downs of life will pass by in three-minute episodes.

In a fictional world inhabited only by people with Down syndrome, there are no obstacles to being not only 'the person with Down', but particularly also a successful businessman or savvy mistress." Downistie was partially sponsored by the NSGK organization for handicapped children. NSGK helps children and young people with a handicap to live as full a life as possible.

Next Thursday at the same venue is an exhibition titled The Road Less Travelled by Kirsten Wechslberger. Her second solo exhibition, it consists of a multimedia installation as well as an interactive performance art piece. The performance art piece will only be 'presented' from 19h00 and during the opening speeches of the exhibition. All guests are encouraged to participate for a more intense experience. Both the installation as well as the performance art piece are spiritual in nature and challenge the viewer to feel the artists emotions and growth stages throughout her life journey.

The theme and title of the installation is inspired by M. Scott Peck's book, The Road Less Travelled. In his book M. Scott Peck suggests ways to confront and resolve our problems, how to suffer through the changes and how one can reach a higher level of self-understanding, which encouraged the artists to document her own journey. In her installation Kirsten uses old building material, fences, doors, windows, wooden floors etc. as well as a bio plastic to express the internal and the external world or reality that she faces every day throughout her journey.

These materials are presented in a form of a spiral, that to her symbolizes the path leading from materialism, external consciousness, ego, outward perception to the inner soul such as enlightenment, unseen essence and cosmic awareness. The materials used in the external part of the spiral, such as electric fencing and razor wire does not just comment on the barriers of her personal emotions in relation to others but also on the physical barriers she has to put up around her home to feel safer. The installation is twofold as it tells of the physical presentations as well as the emotional presentations we decide or sometimes out of necessity need to put up.

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