Nicholas Hlobo: Zawelela ngale

Uppsala Art Museum, Sweden
25 Feb 2017 - 14 May 2017

Nicholas Hlobo: Zawelela ngale

© Nicholas Hlobo. Umrhubuluzi, 2010, the Norlinda and José Lima Collection, on a long term loan to Oliva Creative Factory Art Museum, S. João da Madeira, Portugal. Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town/Johannesburg and Lehmann Maupin, New York/Hong Kong.

Uppsala Art Museum present for the first time in Sweden, one of South Africa’s leading artists Nicholas Hlobo from Johannesburg.

Site specific amorphous sculptures and textile drawings are the artist signatures. Hlobo has a particular flair for materials that appeal to bodily senses. As performance artist the animated sculptures give a strong sensation of bodily presence. Expressions in fashion and folklore handicraft merge with the politics of black skin. Rubber inner tubes meet light fabrics and satin in a nonverbal queering of traditional spheres. Of particular interest to the artist is the symbolic impact of the stitch as binding together and penetrating a surface. Hlobo has consciously chosen embroidery as a way to draw on paper or canvas. The thread and stitch map and measure, while at the same time expressing a visceral world joined with earthly textures and digital nerve fibres.

Zawelela ngale will include earlier artworks of importance combined with newly produced sculptures for the gallery space at Uppsala Art Museum, in the old Gustav Vasa castle. Nicholas Hlobo would translate the isiXhosa phrase Zawelela ngale as “They have crossed to the other side” and by this he describes the performative act of transgressing, crossing a border, or things that have transcended onto another state. Zawelela ngale could be understood as the need to acknowledge changes and shifts in identities and the multifaceted nature of humans.

Curator: Rebecka Wigh Abrahamsson, Uppsala Art Museum.

Uppsala Art Museum is very grateful to the support by collectors, such as Ekard collection, Ki Collections, Norlinda and José Lima Collection and the generous collaboration with Stevenson, Cape Town/Johannesburg and the artist himself.





Saturday 25/2 12.00–16.00
Opening: Nicholas Hlobo, Zawelela ngale. Inauguration 14.00 Opening Speech by Mrs Faith Doreen Radebe, the Ambassador of South Africa in Sweden.

Thursday 30/3 18.00-19.00
Lecture: Nicholas Hlobo – Working in Post-Apartheid South Africa. Kerryn Greenberg, Curator (International Art), Tate Modern, London. In 2007 Greenberg curated the first solo exhibition of Nicholas Hlobo in London. Since Uhambo at Tate Modern she has led Tate’s initiatives to collect and present modern and contemporary African art.

Thursday 6/4 18.00–19.00
Concert and lecture “Musiksalongen, III” — Theme: Substrat and Tape Music.
In collaboration with Uppsala University and NEO.

Thursday 20/4 17.00¬–18.30
Seminar: Social movements, gender equality and identities in contemporary South Africa. Elina Oinas, Professor in Sociology, Helsinki University with guests. In collaboration with the Nordic Africa Institute and its partners.

Thursday 20/4 19.00–20.00
Concert: Lamine Cissokho: Kora +1
Iiris Viljanen, Lisa Långbacka Eriksson and Emil Skogh. In collaboration with Uppsala Konsert & Kongress

Friday, Saturday 12-13/5
Revolve Performance Art Days. Zawelela ngale will be central in the program of the festival. Performance artists: Leif Holmstrand, Essi Kausalainen, Gustaf Broms & Nigel Rolfe etc.


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