press release

The theme of this double exhibition - in close cooperation with the City Gallery Wellington, New Zealand - is the image of our world, a planet that for a great many people seems to be becoming increasingly 'smaller' because of modern means of communication.

The exhibition is being held simultaneously in Amsterdam and Wellington, New Zealand. In addition, a considerable number of works have been created specially for the World Wide Web. This part of the exhibition is to be found on this site.

The participating artists include James Lee Byars, Art+Com, Matt Mullican, Phil Dadson, Ruth Watson, Colin McCahon, Smithson, Jan Dibbets, Gary Simmons, Nam June Paik, Jeffrey Shaw, Bill Viola, Ger van Elk, Gerry Schum, Suchan Kinoshita, Lothar Baumgarten, David Tremlett, Imants Tillers, Wim Delvoye, Michael Parekowhai, Rob Scholte, Johan Grimonprez, Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri;

on Internet: Laurie Anderson, Han Schuil, Peter Struycken, Gerald van der Kaap, Netband (Erik Hobijn, Franz F.Feigl, Dick Verdult and guest artist Debra Solomon), Merel Mirage, Jouke Kleerebezem,Richard Killeen, Giovanni Intra, John Hurrell, Janet Shanks. The exhibition was jointly curated by New Zealand curator Wyston Curnow and Dorine Mignot of the Stedelijk Museum.

For our ancestors, the continents were worlds away from each other. Only in the imagination could the differences determined by geography, time and culture be conquered. At the end of the 20th century, however, we are in touch daily with the farthest corners of the earth by means of television, telephones, fax machines, computers and modems. These modern means of communication, together with air travel and other high-speed means of moving people and goods, enable a 'community of strangers' to constantly exchange ideas, texts, images and sound.

The world is becoming a 'global village' and, thanks to all the high-speed contacts which people can make with each other, a world-wide fusion of culture and identity has come into being. At the same time, there is also a strongly felt need to emphasize precisely the ways in which cultures and ethnic groups differ. Under Capricorn does not direct its attention to these differences, but to those things which almost literally connect people with each other. The artworks in Under Capricorn show the world as a whole, in three different ways: the panorama or the extended horizon, the globe or sphere, and as a nexus, like Internet. From this arise images that have to do with ideals of wholeness and perfection, with traditions of landscape art, with tourism and trade, cartography, colonialism and cultural difference, electronic information exchange and distribution.

One of the most striking presentations is Terravision by Art + Com from Berlin. In this installation the visitor can look at the earth as though from space, and, with a globe which functions as a sizeable trackball, can zoom in so closely on certain points on the globe that one navigates into a building. Terravision has already caused a sensation in The Netherlands when a video presentation from it was first shown by the Netherlands Design Institute at the most recent Doors of Perception conference in Amsterdam.

The Internet, like other forms of electronic media, offers an alternative stage on which artists can display their work to an audience which is not as such to be found inside the walls of a museum. Artists who have been connected with the new media for some time already have made new work for this exhibition. On Under Capricorn's Internet artists' pages you will find remarkable works by Laurie Anderson, Peter Struycken, Merel Mirage and Rob Scholte, among others. These pages, which have been set up by the artists themselves, have been brought together in a connecting frame by Willem Velthoven of Mediamatic.

In the honour gallery a small retrospective will be seen of the work in New Zealand's most important artist, Colin McCahon, who is almost unknown outside his own country. With his contemporary 'map drawings', Aboriginal artist Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri represents an age-old tradition of mapping out 'dreamtime stories' in an existing landscape. Bill Viola's video installation City of Man shows us the cityscape of Los Angeles in the form of a medieval triptych.

An English-language catalogue Under Capricorn - The World Over, has appeared to accompany this exhibition, containing contributions by Rudi Fuchs, Paula Savage, Wystan Curnow, Dorine Mignot, Robert Leonard, Jorinde Seijdel, Imants Tillers, Ian Wedde. 164 Pages, 80 illustrations, Stedelijk Museum, 1996. The catalogue provides up-to-date image material. For sale in the museum bookstore.

The exhibition is made possible in part by the Mondriaan Foundation, Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, Silicon Graphics, Air New Zealand, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Creative New Zealand, Sharp Benelux Ltd., Vormgevingsinstituut

Under capricorn
The world over
Kuratoren: Wyston Curnow, Dorine Mignot

Künstler: James Lee Byars, Art+Com , Matt Mullican, Phil Dadson, Ruth Watson, Colin McCahon, Smithson, Jan Dibbets, Gary Simmons, Nam June Paik, Jeffrey Shaw, Bill Viola, Ger van Elk, Gerry Schum, Suchan Kinoshita, Lothar Baumgarten, David Tremlett, Imants Tillers, Wim Delvoye, Michael Parekowhai, Rob Scholte, Johan Grimonprez, Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, Laurie Anderson, Han Schuil, Peter Struycken, Gerald van der Kaap, Netband  (Erik Hobijn, Franz F.Feigl, Dick Verdult, Debra Solomon), Merel Mirage, Jouke Kleerebezem, Richard Killeen, Giovanni Intra, John Hurrell, Janet Shanks