Durban Art Gallery: Opens 1 December
Photographer and visual activist, Prof Zanele Muholi, brings her solo exhibition, Homecoming, to the Durban Art Gallery where it opens on Friday December 1 – World Aids Day and within the 16 Days of Activism campaign.
It will be the first time that she has hosted a solo exhibition in KZN. Muholi is set to stage the biggest exhibition in her home city showing for the first time in the history of her career in Durban. The exhibition will feature five different bodies of work namely Faces and Phases; Somnyama Ngonyama; Love and Loss; Mourning and Brave Beauties – cumulatively telling different stories. The exhibition will occupy a large portion of the entire gallery space situated within the Durban City Hall.
“I don’t want to always present tragedy from South Africa. I want to show things that are joyous, that makes a person who might have thought of the jungle think of something else.” Muholi told Vogue in a recent interview about the diversity of her work. The exhibition presents evolutions in the artist’s ongoing photographic projects, affirming Muholi’s commitment to activism through visual history. It adds interactive and educational elements, as well as an activism wall that shares experiences from the lives of the Brave Beauties – trans-women and gender non-binary individuals.
This exhibition invites the public to engage with the alternating brutality and joy faced by the black LGBT community in South Africa.
Muholi is a visual activist. She was born in 1972 in Umlazi, Durban, and currently lives in Johannesburg. She co-founded the Forum for Empowerment of Women (FEW) in 2002, and in 2009 founded Inkanyiso, a forum for queer and visual / activist media. Muholi’s self-proclaimed mission is ‘to re-write a black queer and trans visual history of South Africa for the world to know of our resistance and existence at the height of hate crimes in SA and beyond’. She continues to train and co-facilitates photography workshops for young women in the townships.
Muholi has won numerous awards – most recently Muholi has just been honoured for her advocacy work with the LGBT community by the French Government when they bestowed upon her the “Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters” recognising her ongoing engagement and creativity in helping to develop the arts and literature in France and abroad.
Her Faces and Phases series has shown at Documenta 13; the South African Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale; and the 29th São Paulo Biennial. Solo exhibitions have taken place at institutions including the Mead Art Museum, Amherst; Gallatin Galleries, New York; Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool; Brooklyn Museum, New York; Akershus Kunstsenter, Norway; Einsteinhaus, Ulm; Schwules Museum, Berlin; Williams College Museum of Art.
As a companion to the exhibition, there will be various events: Lectures of Magesh on Saturday 2 Dec from noon until 2pm, at the Beer Hall in Rivertown.a commemorative day commemorating the lives of the fallen heroes of the LGBT community and celebrating the rewriting of the LGBT visual history.
On Monday 4 December, Prof Zanele Muholi and Prof Hlonipha Mokoena will lead a discussion in the Durban Art Gallery from noon until 2pm reflecting on how we can emphasise the activism element within the 16 days campaign.
Muholi will be leading two walkabouts: initially on Tuesday 5 December at 11. A second one can be scheduled on Wednesday 6 December at 11am, depending on demand.
For more info, or to book your space on the walkabout or lectures – contact Nothando Mkhize, DAG Education Officer on 031 331 22 63 / NOTHANDO.MKHIZE@durban.gov.za
Zanele Muholi: Homecoming
Durban Art Gallery: Opens 1 December