Titled The Fourth Industrial Revolution, this exhibition is a response to an invitation from the International Council of Museums (ICOM) to commemorate International Museum day which is celebrated on the 18th May 2021.
The NWU Gallery is part of the International committee for University museums and collections (UMAC). The Covid-19 crisis has swept the whole world abruptly, affecting every aspect of our lives, from the interactions with our loved ones, to the way we perceive our homes and cities, to our work and its organisations.
With the cultural sector being among the most affected, the NWU Gallery saw this as an opportunity to showcase some works that explore the four chosen topics around the main theme. The theme for 2021 is ‘The Future of Museums: Recover and Reimagine’. These topics are digital transformation (focus: education), social relevance and sustainability, climate action, and new business models.
This invitation was open to museums, their professionals, and communities to create, imagine and share new practices of (co-)creation of value, new business models for cultural institutions, and innovative solutions for the social, economic and environmental challenges of the present. This is an effort to raise awareness of the fact that Museums are an important means of cultural exchange.
With this Hybrid event NWU gallery is leaning towards an increased focus on digitisation and the creation of new forms of cultural experience and dissemination. The gallery has also taken this time to collaborate with its immediate communities and has called on local museums to embrace it and lead the change.
‘The time is now to rethink our relationship with the communities we serve, to experiment with new and hybrid models of cultural fruition and to strongly reaffirm the essential value of museums for the construction of a just and sustainable future. We must advocate for the creative potential of culture as a driver for recovery and innovation in the post-COVID era.’
This exhibition showcases the NWU Art Collection with an inclusion of new acquisitions to the gallery’s collection from 2019. Some of the participating artists include Phoka Nyokong, Katlego Tlabela, Jonel Scholtz and some earlier works by Lindeka Qampi, Philimon Hlongwane, Jean Lampen, and Louisemarie Combrink amongst many others. The Fourth Industrial Revolution exhibition is available to view as a virtual exhibition online.