Jan Svenungsson

"School of Art" – Backstory

In the summer of 1999 JS gave a workshop, "Conceptual Strategies in Photography", in Durban, South-Africa. It was part of "Shuttle 99", a cultural exchange project between the Nordic countries and S.A. Nine artists and photographers participated in an intense two-week period of work. The group had access to the dark-room facilities as well as lecture rooms at the Durban Technikon, a highly fascinating building from the beginning of the 80's.

During the course of the workshop JS investigated the architecture of the Technicon building in photographic form, as well as conducting research on its history in the university library. The idea behind the resulting series of images is to tell the story of prison escape. The title "School of Art" was chosen because one of the activities this building was made for, was to house the Durban School of Art
The series of ten color prints was first exhibited together with a selection from the workshop at the NSA Gallery in Durban in August 1999. Later the show continued to the Bensusan Museum of Photography in Johannesburg.