Buhlebezwe Siwani: Indlovukazi & Sikhumbuzo Makandula: In Search of a Nation

Njelele Art Station, Harare, Zimbabwe
28 Apr 2016 - 27 May 2016

Buhlebezwe Siwani: Indlovukazi & Sikhumbuzo Makandula: In Search of a Nation


Buhlebezwe Siwani : Indlovukazi

Indlovukazi explores the ambiguity of survival in the city, the paradox of the body’s decay, explicitly its resistance and its propensity to degenerate.

Buhlebezwe Siwani interrogates the decay of the body and place through her lineage, the memory of Johannesburg and her family’s relationship to it. Focusing on the trace – what has been left behind, by whom and how it eventually disappears, Siwani presents the matriarchs in her family as subjects creating a space where they investigate their own traces. She presents these women as liminal beings – dead and alive, accessible and inaccessible with the intention of making sense of her own subjectivity.

Indlovukazi is a personal and political homage that incorporates performance, print and installation.

Buhlebezwe Siwani (Cape Town) grew up in Johannesburg, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal. Siwani, who is a sangoma and womanist, works predominantly in performance art, installation, photography and video media. She studied at Michealis School of Fine Arts (2015) and Wits School of Arts (2011). Siwani has exhibited widely, including Michaelis Galleries (Cape Town), Stevenson Gallery (Cape Town), Museum Africa (Johannesburg) and APEX Art (New York City). Following the exhibition, Siwani will participate in a residency in Zurich and an exhibition at SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin.


Sikhumbuzo Makandula: In Search of a Nation

“My grandmother narrated to me how she was healed of a mysterious illness by sending hair strands in an envelope from De Aar to strangers in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia)”

In Search of a Nation is an introspection of self and country, performed in public space, investigating questions around migration, foreignness, atrophy and healing. The exhibition traces and negotiates cultural exchange and spirituality between South Africa and Zimbabwe. Through oral history, Sikhumbuzo Makandula explores postcolonial African identities in space, mediated by performance that is embedded in ritualism and indigenous cultural signifiers.

In a collaborative performance with Zimbabwean artist Moffat Takadiwa who elevates detritus into sculptural form, Makandula will lead a procession through the city of Harare to Njelele Art Station. Together they explore the continuity of relations through objects that pass across borders highlighting the interconnection of modernity and coloniality. These found objects/excretes form the metastasis of postcolonial urbanity.

In Search of a Nation forms a complex dialogue articulated through performance art, print, video, sound and installation.

Sikhumbuzo Makandula (Johannesburg, Grahamstown) was born in De Aar, South Africa. He works with performance art, photography and video, and is currently studying at Rhodes University. Makandula participated in group exhibitions at, among others, Wiener Festwochen (Vienna), Museum Africa (Johannesburg), Ecole Cantonale d’Art du Valais (Sierre), Nirox Projects (Johannesburg) and First Floor Gallery (Harare). He has also exhibited at various art fairs and festivals including That Art Fair (Cape Town), and Joburg Art Fair (Johannesburg). In 2016, Makandula collaborated with poet Lesego Rampolokeng on a site-specific public art project, UNGOVERN in Grahamstown.


Opening of Buhlebezwe Siwani’s Indlovukazi and Sikhumbuzo Makandula’s In Search of a Nation in collaboration with Moffat Takadiwa at Njelele Art Station on Thursday 28 April 2016, from 6pm until late.

It will be an evening of performance, art and music, that will mark the third year of Njelele Art Station, with appearances by Sinyoro (Nhare DzeChirorodziva), Philo (Verseless), Moto Mzhinji (The Monkey Nuts), DJ Dawe (SWS Crew), DJ Nize and a host of other artists. Mapping Projections by Kombo Chapfika.


Harare Conversations : Thursday 5 May 2016, 11am at National Gallery of Zimbabwe Library

Artist talk with Buhlebezwe Siwani,  Sikhumbuzo Makandula and Moffat Takadiwa moderated by Raphael Chikukwa, Chief Curator, National Gallery of Zimbabwe

Harare Conversations is the discursive platform of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe.


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