31 Project, Paris, France 19 Sep 2019 - 20 Oct 2019
Misheck Masamvu, 2019, Untitled, drawing on paper, 42 x 30 cm - Detail
31 project presents its second exhibition with the artists Misheck Masamvu, Epheas Maposa and Evans Tinashe Mutenga of the Zimbabwean collective Village Unhu.
We are here pamasonga is a calling for a gathering.
In shona “Pamasonga” indicates the meeting between two rivers, the confluence.
We are on the move but together here and now:
3 artists in transit between Harare and Paris.
For this exhibition, the artists propose a set of works on paper. Through various practices between painting, drawing, printing and collage, they approach the representation of the body with a common vision centred on hybridization. Dislocation of volumes, distortion of lines and materials: the singularity of the figures is erased and absorbed in favour of the representation of a body in struggle; a social body and a political body, embodying Zimbabwe’s recent and current history.
Misheck Masamvu: Born in Zimbabwe in 1980. He lives and works in Harare. Misheck Masamvu’s work is of a rare expressionist intensity, centred on the corporality of hybrid and disarticulated human creatures. The body is forced into immobile violence: a puppet of flesh and hair, sometimes grotesque, sometimes dramatic, always suffering and powerless.
His work shows a great plastic liberty and demonstrates a complex colourist vision from which Misheck Masamvu designs his spaces.
For the exhibition We are here pamasonga, he presents a series of drawings playing on voids, tracing and suspension. A sober graphic ensemble that offers a unique counterpoint to his painted works.
Trained at the Kunstakademie in Munich, his career quickly took an international turn with his participation in the Dakar Biennale in 2006 and his particiqption in the Zimbabwean pavilion of the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011 with the National Gallery. In 2016 he participated in the Sao Paulo Biennale. He currently shows his second one man show with Goodman Gallery titled “Hata”. Masamvu is the co-founder and co-director of the artist collective Village Unhu in Harare.
Epheas Maposa: Born in Zimbabwe in 1994. He lives and works in Harare. The body and the narrative are at the heart of Epheas Maposa’s work: bodies that are half human, half animal, with very marked lines, evolving in surrealist and baroque worlds. Each work delivers a narrative on the thread, mixing in an assumed dreamlike vein, drawn details and colourist motifs. A prolific narrator, he uses the distortion of bodies and spaces to create disillusioned tales that testify to the breakdown of Zimbabwe’s social and political structure.
Epheas Maposa is self-taught. Drawing in the street, his first source of inspiration, he joined Village Unhu in 2013 where he was able to benefit from spaces and equipment to work and develop under Misheck Masamvu and alongside other artists in the collective. From 2014 he exhibits at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, as well as at the Gallery Delta. In 2017 and 2018, he participated in the FNB Joburg art fair and Investec Cape Town art fair. Maposa has also participated in several residency programs between Johannesburg and Harare.
Evans Tinashe Mutenga: Born in Zimbabwe in 1987. He lives and works in Harare. Evans Mutenga uses paper not as a surface but as a material that he tears, manipulates, inks, rubs off and coats. He creates almost abstract portraits by playing with the layers of paper thus transformed. The “Comrades” series is a set of portraits of veterans, comrades, friends. These mythical figures and portraits of these past struggles, are represented here almost evanescent, belonging to a history in the process of being reconciled.
A graduate of the National Gallery School of Visual Art and Design in Harare and the Polytechnic Colleges, Evans Tinashe Mutenga is an artist within the Village Unhu collective.
Since 2013 he has exhibited at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, the Gallery Delta. Between 2016 and 2018 he participated in the FNB Joburg art fair, Investec Cape Town Art Fair and attznded the John Mafuangejo Printing Studios in Namibia.
This exhibition is promoted and mounted by 31 projects and the Charles Wesley Hourdé Gallery in collaboration with Village Unhu.