For the first time in a solo exhibition in London, South African visual activist Zanele Muholi presents her ongoing self-portrait series Somnyama Ngonyam which opened on 13 July.
In more than 60 photographs the artist uses her body as a canvas to confront the politics of race and representation in the visual archive where each piece of work asks critical questions about social justice, human rights and contested representations of the black body with unapologetic in their directness and acumen.
Combining the conventions of classical painting, fashion photography and ethnographic imagery to redefine and explore contemporary identity politics Muholi interrogates complex representations of beauty and desire while firmly asserting her cultural identity as black, female, queer and African.
Everyday objects transfigure into dramatic and historically loaded props, combining the political with the aesthetic powerfully addressing themes of domestic servitude, sexual politics, violence and the gendered identity. Through her work, Zanele Muholi explore the everyday meaning of social brutality and exploitation, environmental issues and global waste grounded in South Africa’s history.
When: 14 July – 28 October 2017 at 6.30PM – 8.30PM
Where: Autograph ABP (Rivington Place EC2A 3BA) Ticket: FREE: More info: http://autograph-abp.co.uk/exhibitions/zanele-muholi
Image credit: Zanele Muholi, Ntozakhe II, Parktown, 2016. Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town/Johannesburg and Yancey Richardson, New York