Mitchell Gatsi is a young Namibian artists who participated in the Bank Windhoek Triennial
The Bank Windhoek Triennial exhibition opening night was an exciting moment for most of people who got their artworks selected and sad for those who didn’t manage to get any of their works in. But there were two things that really bothered the majority of people including me. Firstly when it came to the announcing of the prize winners, secondly some artworks that l saw in the NAGN.
I know I’m not a professional art critic, but when I saw some winners in the 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional category I felt very confused. As I looked at the winner’s artwork and looked at other works that you may have assumed would have claimed the 1st, 2nd or 3rd place, I stopped and asked myself what were these judges looking for when they were selecting winners? The years I have been in an art college I grew to understand that when it comes to art competitions the judges look for how well the artist has handled his or her me- dium and how powerful the message within the artwork is. All I want to know is what were the judges searching for?
Secondly coming to the artworks themselves that were in the Triennial, I was sure I have seen some of them before in a previous major exhibition which was the Land Matters in Art. The application form clearly states that NO artworks that have been exhibited before at a public exhibition will be accepted, but guess what? Some works were there again. Furthermore, l know for sure that other artists who didn’t get even a single work accepted must have been really upset with that.
For the next Bank Windhoek Triennial exhibition or for any other exhibitions of this scale, I wish that the Bank Windhoek and NAGN could split upcoming artists (students) from well known bigger artists. I feel most artists would agree with me about this idea. To close this topic from myself as an artist I hope for the next major exhibition that all the judges are from a totally different continent and don’t have any personal relation or knowledge of any Namibian artists.