Lucia Nhamo: Free Fall

Njelele Art Station, Harare, Zimbabwe
30 Nov 2016 - 09 Dec 2016

Lucia Nhamo: Free Fall

Image: Lucia Nhamo, Kukunguruka II, 2016, video still. Courtesy the artist.

Free Fall presents two works that revolve around the gesture of rolling/kukunguruka.Kukunguruka I & II are an animation and video-recorded treatment of the Chiremba Balancing Rocks, the national monument and iconic symbol of the Zimbabwean currency.

Kukunguruka I is a two-channel animation of the 1,000,000,000,000 (one hundred trillion) dollar note, both the last and largest denomination of Zimbabwean currency printed in 2008. The Chiremba Balancing Rocks are transformed into three-dimensional reincarnations that roll and tumble against each other in a closed loop that examines structures of meaning and material presences. Accompanied by audio vignettes which include public service announcements and vendor loudspeakers, the reanimation of the historic site produces an environment that disrupts notions of monument, memory and place.

Kukunguruka II is a video piece built around citizen agency, the power or in some cases, lack thereof, which comes with the idea of democracy. Moving around and activating the heritage site, Nhamo in a cumbersome bodysuit attempts to roll back and forth to gain momentum, against gradients and in straight lines, but invariably ends up in haphazard curves accenting the absurdity of her action. Outfitted in what might be seen as a ubiquitous colour during the election period (hot pink voting dye) she explores and questions not only power structures but the monumentalism that upholds it in space. By questioning monumentalism around power, Nhamo questions power itself while addressing her own powerlessness.

“Perhaps the biggest revelation in this work is the two fundamental questions that it elicits, and their relation to the condition of citizenship in the country today: What is going on? What are we doing?”

Opening : Wednesday 30 November 2016, 6pm

Friday 9 December 2016, 3pm – 4pm: Artist Walkabout with Lucia Nhamo
Join us for a walkabout with Lucia Nhamo, as she guides us through her process, central interests, themes and an insight into her work on show in ‘Free Fall’. The walkabout on 9 December 2016 marks the closing day of her solo exhibition.


Lucia Nhamo (1988) is a Zimbabwean artist who completed her MFA in Visual Art at Carnegie Mellon University, U.S.A. Through video, printmaking, performance and sculpture, her work explores the idea of the ‘counter-monument’ as a material, and conceptual strategy of alternative representation of citizenship and place. She has exhibited widely in Brazil, Mali, U.S.A, Tunisia, Cuba, Senegal and South Korea. In 2015, Nhamo was awarded the Prix Spécial at the 10th Edition Rencontres de Bamako. Free Fall at Njelele Art Station marks Nhamo’s first solo exhibition.


*Authors: Tawanda Appiah, Tinofireyi Zhou




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