Mawande Ka Zenzile

Stevenson, Johannesburg, South Africa
04 Feb 2016 - 11 Mar 2016

Mawande Ka Zenzile

Mawande Ka Zenzile, Untitled (chicken 'n egg), 2015, cow dung, oil and gesso on canvas

Mawande Ka Zenzile consists of new paintings and sculptures, video work and a performance with up-and-coming musician Larissa Johnson.

The exhibition sees the continuation of Ka Zenzile’s use of cultural references to confront history, economic systems and political ideologies.

Ka Zenzile writes:

In this body of work I’m interrogating political and social issues such as racism, capitalism and colonialism and the impact they have created. For me art becomes a space for contemplation where new allegories meet the old ones, and out of this fusion I develop different ways to expose how power works in our society and histories. In this exhibition I continue using iconographic images; I borrow them from their original context and use them as materials in my own work to convey hidden meanings about the complex nature of our society.

With materials such as cow dung and earth on canvas, sticks, stones and mud bricks, Ka Zenzile’s work draws attention to his heritage as a conceptual and contextual frame of reference. Motifs from popular culture, Western art history and various other sources are fused in his artistic practice, highlighting and critiquing everyday dualities and stereotypes that have come to exist as the norm.

Ka Zenzile was born in Lady Frere, Eastern Cape, in 1986. He has a BA Fine Art degree (2014) from Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town, where he is currently completing his MA Fine Art. He won the Tollman Award for Visual Art in 2014 and the Michaelis Prize in 2013. Previous solo exhibitions are Statecraft (2015) and Experimentation: All Hell Break Loose (2014), both at Stevenson, Cape Town; Autobiography of Mawande Ka Zenzile: Iingcuka ezombethe iimfele zeegusha at VANSA, Cape Town (2011) and Crawling Nation at the AVA (2009). Group exhibitions include Material Mattersat the Institute of Contemporary Art Indian Ocean, Port Louis, Mauritius (2015); Between the Lines at Michaelis Galleries (2013); Umahluko at Lookout Hill (as part of Cape 09) and X Marks the Spot at the AVA (2008). In 2014 he completed a residency at Nafasi Art Space, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; he was awarded a residency in Norway in 2008 as part of the Abazobi project, organised by the Arkivet Foundation and the Robben Island Museum. Ka Zenzile has been a regular participant in academic conferences including Between the Lines, Michaelis School of Fine Art and Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig (2013); The Exuberant Project, Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts, University of Cape Town (2012) and Thinking Africa + Diaspora Differently at the Centre for African Studies, University of Cape Town (2011). Many of these projects have been accompanied by his performances.

Mawande Ka Zenzile opens at Stevenson Johannesburg on 4 February 2015, where two members of the band Thesis (Ayanda Charlie and Ondela Simakuhle) will perform.

Ka Zenzile will conduct a walkabout at Stevenson Johannesburg on 5 February 2015 at 12pm.



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