Khanya Mashabela was born in Johannesburg South Africa and is an art administrator, art historian, critic, lecturer, and poet with a BA (Honours) in Art History from the Michaelis School of Fine Art. She currently lives and works in Cape Town.
The work, Ode to Institutional Critique (2018) is a love/hate letter to contemporary art institutions, as well as an exploration of the act of writing about and reviewing contemporary art.
Ode to Institutional Critique attempts to distort the perhaps overly intimate relationships that exist among art professionals. The artwork positions the institution as an estranged lover and includes the viewer in the writing process, while also distancing the institution and the viewer through the ambivalent, sometimes sardonic, robotic voice of Emma (British English), the digital text-to-speech reader.
Mashabela’s art writing has been published in a number of local and international art publications including Artthrob, Adjective, Mail & Guardian, Contemporary & (Berlin), and Riot Material (Los Angeles). She has exhibited as an artist and poet in a number of independent, artist-led exhibitions in Cape Town.
Khanya Mashabela’s work is featured in the Zeitz MOCAA exhibition, The Main Complaint (2018 – 2019).