Zanele Muholi: The Task of Mourning

muholizava2South African artist Zanele Muholi’s two shows come from different directions at the central issue: the (im)possibility of the task of mourning.

How does mourning encourage us to re-imagine and accept the possibility of a collective on the basis of vulnerability and loss? Is there a transformational power felt during our most tender state, felt in the course of “love and loss” or “undress and caress”? 

Zanele Muholi, a South African artist and a recent recipient of the prestigious Dutch Prince Claus award for her “positive contribution as an artist in her country’s development”, in a dual show in South Africa, explores the themes and power ofMo(u)rning (showing at the Wits Art Museum) and Love and Loss (Stevenson Gallery).

The show is said to exhibit a collection of documentary films, photographs, installations, crime scene photographs, and “re-enactments” of crime scenes. Central to the exhibit is an artistic examination and an expose of the “precariousness of the lives of black queers in South Africa”, at the same time giving significance to how “the power of mourning leads us to consider the vulnerability of others and therefore into ‘re-imagining the possibility of a community on the basis of vulnerability and loss’”. Consequently affirming how “To be affiliated by vulnerability is the task of mourning”.

Learn more about this work here

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