Banele Khoza (Swaziland)
Sakhisizwe Gcina (South Africa),Â AKO Foundation Assistant Curator of Special Projects, Curatorial Lab, Zeitz MOCAA
Banele Khoza’s figurative abstraction depicts colourful portraits of the male nude–obscure ghostly figures in a palette of mostly pink and blue. The acrylic pigments are combined and blurred together in fervent brushstrokes that seem to be applied with acute sensitivity, but also a sense of the uninhibited. They bleed and drip into empty spaces, while pencil sketch marks reveal compositional form.
Romantic and dreamlike, the portraits allude to sensual fantasies underpinned by homoerotic desire mixed with feelings of vulnerability and incompleteness. Is this fanciful exploration an attempt to mask the everyday reality of loneliness?
Technology and social media, from the digital information age, came with a promise to form intimate bonds between communities and individuals. But, it also delivered the convenience of superficial relationships–fleeting connections of bygone lovers made in cyberspace. Perhaps, these men yearn for acceptance and to find belonging in a society disconnected from deeply meaningful relationships.
Khoza’s visual language examines the suppression of complex and diverse expressions of masculinity–an attempt to liberate the emotion between men trying to find love from each other in today’s filtered virtual world.
The Curatorial Lab is a multi-disciplinary space for experimental curatorial practice and research which explores new curatorial methodologies; subversive curatorial approaches; non-prescriptive practices; and under-represented topics and issues.Â
The Curatorial Lab’s first project investigates the representation of the LGBTQI+ community, in the context of homophobia and the current oppression of gay rights in South Africa. This project strives to promote intercultural understanding regarding a community who have been excluded from society’s predominantly heteronormative culture and discourse. This exhibition promotes education through the arts and develops critical thinking about gender and sexuality.
This exhibition is supported byÂ Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.