Zimbabwe Pavilion

57th Venice Biennale / Santa Maria della Pietà, Venice, Italy
13 May 2017 - 26 Nov 2017

Admire Kamudzengerere and Rachel Monosov, Transnational Protocol, performance still.

Admire Kamudzengerere and Rachel Monosov, Transnational Protocol, performance still.

Admire Kamudzengere, Charles Bhebhe, Dana Whabira and Sylvester Mbayi will represent Zimbabwe at the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.

The four artists will conceive new works, incorporating sculpture, prints, drawings, objects, paintings and sound for the six galleries of the Zimbabwe Pavilion. The artists and their experiences in the ever changing world are the source of inspiration for the Zimbabwean Pavilion at Venice and this year’s theme Deconstructing Boundaries: Exploring Ideas of Belonging.

The exhibition seeks to put forth some questions relating to the matter of belonging through the voices of four artists. In the face of relentless globalisation, physical boundaries are being blurred and challenged. The voices and perspectives of artists in this regard are thus important, for they are the mirror of society. Deconstructing Boundaries seeks inspiration from the participating artists as they reflect on their own experiences and question the boundaries that currently exist in one form or the other. As artists cross different borders and boundaries, they carry with them their own unique experiences about the different spaces they visit.

The Zimbabwe Pavilion Exhibition seeks to provide another perspective on the themes of identity, migration, patriotism and belonging. The ideas of here and there, seeing and being seen, legal and illegal have remained subjects for debate and this exhibition seeks to provide some answers to these issues. Borders are an unavoidable part of life but people still continue to cross them legally and illegally. This issue of Deconstructing Boundaries tackles a vast topic which has become a central issue and the exhibition will illuminate some of its diverse perspectives through the artists, Admire Kamudzengerere, Charles Bhebe, and Dana Whabira. Their work will inspire the Zimbabwe Pavilion audience to reflect and discuss issues that shape power relations.

Curator: Raphael Chikukwa


Admire Kamudzengere, is a young outstanding expressive painter. He is known for his lively, raw and often dark allegorical depictions of life in Zimbabwe. Kamudzengerere was one of 15 successful artists selected from over 2000 applicants worldwide, and the second Zimbabwean artist ever, to be awarded a residency at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam, in 2012 – 2014. His male portraits, intense but at the same time undefinable, speak not only to personal struggle, self-definition and father-son relationships but more broadly to the theme of contemporary masculinity.

Charles Bhebhe, is a young prolific Bulawayo-based visual artist who profiles the ordinary Zimbabwean person in his observations through the use of intricate colours in his paintings. He is completely captivated by people, absorbed by figurative works. He enjoys telling stories of urban people with references to everyday people living on the edges of society. He uses expressive strokes on black canvases as a way to bring out those characters to light. His paintings tell a story at a given time, more like a moment in time which is mostly a reflection of the times we live in.

Dana Whabira, is an architect, artist and cultural facilitator and curator of the visual arts and their related interfaces. Whabira’s artistic work is a snapshot of all media, including experimental assemblages, installation, spatial intervention, sculptural painting, and photography, which incorporate performance as process. She often takes a story or event as a point of departure, drawing on current affairs, literature, philosophy, and theatre for inspiration, and employs language as a metaphorical device. Furthermore, she runs her personal gallery known as Njelele Art Station which affords artists space to interact, experiment and showcase their creativity.

Sylvester Mbayi,  is a renowned master sculptor. He is an icon; one of the surviving first generation Zimbabwean stone sculptors and a recipient of the 1969 Oppenheimer Award for sculpture early on in his career. Mubayi creates sculptures of great beauty, often with a traditional meaning that explore beliefs and dispositions as ontological phenomenon as well as human relationships and harmony between humans and the animal kingdom.


Santa Maria della Pietà
Sestiere Castello, 3701, 30122 Venice


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