Date & Time

15 December 23 - 12 April 26

10:00 AM - 18:00 PM

SALA

On view from 15 December 2023 until 12 April 2026
Exhibition vernissage 14 December 2023 at 6 pm

Curated by Storm Janse van Rensburg in collaboration with the Zeitz MOCAA & University of the Western Cape (UWC) Museum Fellows 2023: Fine arts graduates Evaan Jason Ferreira from South Africa and Bulelwa Kunene from Eswatini, educator Mona Eshraghi Hakimi from Malawi, visual anthropology graduate Pauline Buhlebenkosi Ndhlovu from Namibia and Mozambican architect and urban planner Ana Raquel Machava.

Sala invites you to stay. A word shared among many Nguni languages in Southern Africa, sala is part of a call and response between people parting ways – hamba kahle, a well-wishing of safe travels to those who are departing, sala kahle welcoming those who are staying behind to ‘stay well.’ Zeitz MOCAA welcomes you to stay with seventeen artists in our permanent collection; stay with us to re-imagine the museum as a new embodied space.

At the heart of Sala is a set of questions. What is a museum and who is it for? What are the inheritances of the museum and how do we make it anew? What are the ‘ways of seeing’ that are encouraged by a museum? How do we wish to see art, ourselves, and each other in a museum? We invite you as the audience to explore with us the limits and possibilities of the museum and to take part in this reflection and questioning.  

We welcome you to sit with us and with your senses – stay and be within your own bodies. Sala invites you to linger, to experience things with slowness. It offers multiple entry points for you to explore, to question and to challenge. You are invited to map the ways you occupy the museum. This invitation is extended through our exhibition guide and the process of map-making that asks you to engage playfully and critically with the relationships between meanings of works and images.

Our curatorial process was consultative. It started with a series of internal conversations about how our institutional identity is shaped by our collection and how we can re-connect with the artwork we hold as well as with our varied audience. We interrogated the intentionality of a collection exhibition, to what extent it could include institutional critique, and how it can act in ways to ‘repair’ and offer alternative spaces for ‘being.’ 

Zeitz MOCAA’s curatorial, exhibition and fellowship programming is proudly supported by Gucci and the Mellon Foundation. The exhibition and contribution by the Zeitz MOCAA and University of the Western Cape (UWC) Museum Fellows are supported by the AKO Foundation.

Meet the Artists


Athi-Patra Ruga  

Athi-Patra Ruga (b.1984, South Africa) lives and works in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. He engages with myth-making as a tool to interrogate post-apartheid South Africa and critique the idea of the ‘Rainbow Nation’ as a fictive nation-building tool. Critiquing the narrative of a post-apartheid utopia, Ruga’s world-building hosts a myriad of characters within the world of Azania, a matrilineal society with a political history and geography. Performance, photography and video all become intersecting practices through which Ruga constructs and deconstructs ideas of identity. The performative and drag aspects of his craft act as a tool for the artist to engage with his own queer identity and speak to South Africa’s political and social engagement with other queer identities.

Ruga’s solo exhibitions include iiNyanga Zonyaka, Norval Foundation, Cape Town (2020); Things We Lost In The Rainbow, a performance in collaboration with The Institute of Creative Arts, Cape Town, South Africa (2018); The Elder of Azania, National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, South Africa (2015); The Future White Women of Azania Saga, WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town, South Africa (2014); Ilulwane, a solo presentation at Long Street Baths, Cape Town, South Africa (2012); and solo presentation at Performa 11, New York City, New York, USA (2011); among many others.

His group exhibitions include Material Echos, WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town, South Africa (2022); This Is Not Africa – Unlearn What You Have Learned, Aros Aarhus Art Museum, Aarhus, Denmark (2021); The BEATification of Feral Benga, NORDWIND Festival, Berlin, Germany (2017); Queer Threads: Crafting Identity and Community, Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, Massachusetts, USA (2016); and others.

Cyrus Kabiru

Sculptor and photographer Cyrus Kabiru (b.1984, Kenya), best known for his C-Stunners, believes in giving trash a second chance. Using found materials and detritus, Kabiru’s practice turns them into items of status or utility, such as spectacles, fashion objects and bicycles. His interest in found objects and sculptural practice was spurred by his father’s work as a metalworker and watchmaker who encouraged him to create objects using accessible material around him. Kabiru’s objects are also an ode to the resourcefulness and inventiveness of Kenyan and, more broadly, African youth in the face of scarcity.

Kabiru’s solo exhibitions include A Small World, AKKA Project, Venice, Italy (2022); C-Stunners & Black Mamba, SMAC Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa (2021); Cyrus Kabiru, Kuntspodium T, Tilburg, The Netherlands (2011); and The C-Stunner, Kuona Trust, Nairobi, Kenya (2010).

His group shows include Before Yesterday We Could Fly: An Afrofuturist Period Room, The Met, New York City, New York, USA (2022); Cyrus Kabiru – End of the Tunnel, online exhibition, AKKA Project (2021); Africa… & The Other 54 Countries: Focus On Kenya, Group exhibition, AKKA Project Dubai, UAE (2019); and MORE MATERIAL, presented by fashion designer Duro Olowu, Salon 94, New York City, New York, USA (2014); among others.

Edson Chagas

Edson Chagas (b. 1977, Angola) draws from photojournalistic practices to produce photography about the social conditions of contemporary cities. His Luanda, Encyclopaedic City series takes discarded objects in urban environments and photographs them to create
abstract and complex imagery against abandoned urban architecture. In 2013, this series was part of the Angolan pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale, which went on to win the Golden Lion for Best National Pavilion that year.

Chagas’ solo exhibitions include Muxima: feels like earth, smells like heaven, .insofar art gallery, Lisboa, Portugal (2021); Factory of Disposable Feelings, STEVENSON, Cape Town, South Africa (2019); and Luanda, Encyclopaedic City, Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town, South Africa (2017); among others.

His group exhibitions include A World in Common: Contemporary African Photography, Tate Modern, London, England, UK (2023); OZANGÉ African Photography Biennial, Malaga, Spain, (2022); FACELESS: Transforming Identity, Cairns Art Gallery, Cairns, Australia (2021); African Cosmologies: Photography, Time, and the Other, FotoFest Biennial 2020, Houston, Texas, USA, (2020); Crossing Night: Regional Identities X Global Context, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Detroit, Michigan, USA, (2019); and About Face, STEVENSON, Cape Town, South Africa, (2018) and the NGV Triennial, Melbourne, Australia (2017).

El Anatsui

El Anatsui (b. 1944, Ghana) is a sculptor living and working between Ghana and Nigeria. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of Art & Built Environment at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana. His sculptures, installations and assemblages reflect his interests in transformation and transcendence and how these concepts can be used to challenge the constraints of geographical place.

Anatsui’s solo exhibitions include Freedom, Goodman Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa (2022); El Anatsui: En quête de libertê, Conciegerie, Paris, France (2021); Focus on El Anatsui, October Gallery, London, England, UK (2020); Triumphant Scale, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, Qatar (2019); Meyina, Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town (2018); Benchmarks: Topology of Generosity, Barakat Gallery, Seoul, South Korea (2017); and El Anatsui: Five Decades, Sydney Festival 2016, Cariageworks, Sydney, Australia (2016); among others.

His group shows include Debut Exhibition, presented by Efie Gallery, Burj Plaza by EMAAR, Dubai, UAE (2021); The Nsukka Group: Cultural Abstraction, Kunstmatrix (2020); New to the Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA (2019); Transvangarde, October Gallery, London, England, UK (2018); Three Dimensions: Modern & Contemporary Approaches to Relief and Sculpture, Acquavella Galleries, New York City, New York, USA (2017); Marrakech Biennale 6: Not New Now, Marrakech, Morocco (2016); and Embracing Space and Color: Art On & Off the Wall, Vero Beach Museum of Art, Vero Beach, Florida, USA (2015).

Frohawk Two Feathers

Frohawk Two Feathers (b. 1976, USA), also known as Umar Rashid, is a writer, illustrator, painter and sculptor who lives and works in Los Angeles, California in the United States. Through storytelling and world-building, Two Feathers constructs historical narratives exploring colonial uprisings in the fictional global superpower of Frengland. These fictional engagements draw on real-world histories of colonial domination and resistance to speak to constructions of the past and present, and to engage with possible futures. His use of fiction presents an opportunity to challenge accepted power dynamics dictated by geopolitics and Western historical narratives.

Frohawk Two Feathers solo exhibitions include Rampjaar #tbt to that time when we didn’t let xenophobia get in the way of some sweet, mother*cking, payback. 1789, Cokkie Snoei, Rotterdam, The Netherlands (2015); MATRIX 170: On Errythang (On Everything), Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut, USA (2014); And Those Figures Through The Leaves. And The Light Through That Smoke. Part Two of ‘The Americas’, Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, Nevada, USA (2013); and All Gold Is Everything. An Elegy, Taylor De Cordoba, Los Angeles, California, USA (2012), among many others.

His group exhibitions include A Primitive Future, Subliminal Projects, Los Angeles, California, USA (2015); Uncertain Terms, WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town, South Africa (2014); Good Intentions: Re-Imagining Rockwell’s Boy Scouts, Subliminal Projects, Los Angeles, California, USA (2013); Stranger Than Fiction, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, California, USA (2010); and Permafrost At Ghettogloss, Ghettogloss Gallery, Los Angeles,
California, USA (2005); among others.

Joel Andrianomearisoa

Joel Andrianomearisoa (b. 1977, Madagascar) is an interdisciplinary artist and designer working in a range of materials and mediums, exploring ideas around time, intimacy and the body. He completed his training in architecture at École Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris, France. Drawing on fashion, photography, performance, architecture, sculpture and installation, Andrianomearisoa’s work is emblematic of his tensions with time, with his practice being an exercise in working against the currents of time as a way of resisting the urge to be in step and not outdated.

Andrianomearisoa’s solo projects and exhibitions include Il cielo in una stanza, Primo Marella Gallery, Lugano, Switzerland (2023); My Heart Belongs to The Other, Church Projects, Cape Town, South Africa (2023); The Five Continents of All Our Desires, Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town, South-Africa (2022); Histoire d’un départ, Toulouse-Blagnac Airport X Les Abattoirs, Toulouse, France (2021); Beyond all you are mine, Hakanto Contemporary, Antananarivo, Madagascar (2021); Serenade is not dead, Dallas Contemporary, Dallas, Texas, USA (2020); Tomorrow tomorrow those are flowers. So how about tomorrow?, Sabrina Amrani, Madrid, Spain (2019); and The geometry of the angle as point of no return to dress the contemporary, Primae Noctis Gallery, Lugano, Switzerland (2018).

His group shows include Passage to Promise, Gregor Podnar, Vienna, Austria (2023); CIVILIZATION: The Way We Live Now, Saatchi Gallery, London, England, UK (2023); Christian Dior: Designer of dreams, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan (2022); Peripheral Sun, VIN VIN, Vienna, Austria (2022); Ubuntu, un rêve lucide, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2021); Revue Noire, Les Abattoirs, Toulouse, France (2021); 22nd Biennale of Sydney, Sydney, Australia (2020); Two Together, Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town, South Africa (2019); Ici la limite du royaume est la mer, IFM, Antananarivo, Madagascar (2018); The Black Sphinx, Primo Marella Gallery, Milan, Italy (2017); and Essentiel paysage, Macaal, Marrakech, Morocco (2016).

Julien Sinzogan

Julien Sinzogan (b.1957, Benin) was trained as an architect at the École Spéciale des Travaux Publics in Paris, France before turning to painting full-time through the medium of pen and ink, employing his skills as a draftsman to create masterful and highly detailed renderings depicting the middle passage. Drawing from Benin’s historical position as one of the largest slave ports during the trans-Atlantic slave trade, Sinzogan engages with the lives of the enslaved peoples who encountered the port. Through reimagining these souls as deities drawn from Beninese and Nigerian cosmology, he evokes the perseverance of cultural identities, dreams and voices in the wake of the violent and forced cultural contact of the slave trade.

Sinzogan’s solo shows include Spirit Worlds, October Gallery, London, England, UK (2010); Chemins d’esclaves, Museé Angoulême, Angoulême, France (2009); Journées ébène, Voyages: la porte du retour, Musée de la peinture de Grenoble, Grenoble, France (2008) and the French National Assembly, Paris, France (2003).

His group exhibitions include Chimères, Galerie Lazarew, Paris, France (2019); All Things Being Equal…, Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town, South Africa (2018); Inventory: New Works and Conversations Around African Art, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA (2016); L’Art Actuel d’Afrique, Collégiale Saint-André, Grenoble, France (2010); Jo’burg Art Fair, October Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa (2009); Angaza Afrika: African Art Now, October Gallery, London, England, UK (2008); and Uncomfortable Truths – the shadow of slave trading on contemporary art and design, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England, UK (2007).

Kudzanai Chiurai  

Kudzanai Chiurai (b. 1981, Zimbabwe) is a multi-disciplinary artist and activist whose work examines the social and political structures that influence and affect African leadership, history and society. Working in photography, drawing, printmaking, video and performance, Chiurai’s work covers a breadth and depth of issues related to the political realities of Zimbabwe and South Africa. His widely varied practice merges post-colonial critique, radical archival practice and political activism, challenging established notions of power, access, regimes and militarism through sometimes violent but often theatrical and narrative imagery.

Chiurai has held multiple solo exhibitions such as We Live in Silence, Lundgren Gallery, Illes Balears, Spain (2021); Madness and Civilization, Södertälje Konsthall, Södermanland and Stockholm County, Sweden (2019); Now and Then: Guercino and Kudzanai Chiurai, Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town, South Africa (2018); We Need New Names, National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe, (2017); Selection from Revelations, Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, Brooklyn, New York, USA (2015); and Defining the State of the Nation, Zeitz MOCAA Pavilion, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa (2014).

His group exhibitions include A World In Common: Contemporary African Photography, Tate Modern, London, England, UK (2023); Common, A4 Arts Foundation, Cape Town, South Africa (2023); Ubuntu, a lucid dream, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2022); Photographs in Our Mother Tongue: The New South Africa Under Scrutiny, Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa (2021); Allied with Power: African and African Diaspora Art from the Jorge M. Pérez Collection, Pérez Art Museum Miami and Goodman Gallery Season Gallery, Miami, Florida USA (2020); and I’ve grown roses in this garden of mine, Goodman Gallery London, England, UK (2019); among many others.

Lungiswa Gqunta

Lungiswa Gqunta (b.1990, South Africa) works in video, performance, printmaking, sculpture and installation to deconstruct colonial and apartheid legacies. Gqunta’s work is informed by her upbringing in Port Elizabeth and using found objects and materials associated with economic and spatial exclusion, she grapples with the complexities of South Africa’s post-colonial and post-apartheid political present. Uncompromised interrogations of the social ramifications of the apartheid era dop system and the present economic, social and gender inequalities are channelled through her contrast of soft and hard, gentle and rough, passive and confrontational.

Her previous solo exhibitions include Sleep In Witness, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, England, UK (2022); Tending to the harvest of dreams, Museum F?r Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany (2021); Lungiswa Gqunta, Apalazzo Gallery, Brescia, Italy (2019); Qwitha, WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town, South Africa (2018); Poolside Conversations, Kelder, London, England, UK (2017); and Qokobe, WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town, South Africa (2016).

Her group exhibitions include Terra Incognita, AKINCI, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2022); Art Rotterdam 21, AKINCI, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2021); Overview Effect, Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade, Serbia (2021); Ubuntu: A Lucid Dream, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2021); Living Forgiving Remembering, Museum Arnheim, The Netherlands (2020); and Not a Single Story II, Wanas Konst Museum, Sweden (2019).

Michele Mathison

Michele Mathison (b.1977, South Africa) is an artist raised in Zimbabwe between Harare and Bulawayo. Working in sculpture and installation, Mathison uses materials such as resin, metal and found objects to construct objects related to the quotidian and labour. Pickaxes and hoes are stripped of their utility, questioning the use of these objects as images symbolising a post-colonial and post-independent southern Africa. In his questioning of the use of symbols, Mathison’s sculptures and installations are interrogations of labour valuations in agricultural and urban sectors, exploring the migration of not only people but also resources in the extraction and use of that labour. Currently living and working between Zimbabwe and South Africa, his work presents a keen awareness of the socio-historical conditions that pervade discourses on labour, capital and class, exploring these questions by highlighting shifting power relations in the region.

Mathison’s solo exhibitions include Over and over, WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town, South Africa (2021); Dissolution, Tyburn Gallery, London, England, UK (2018); States of Emergence, WHATIFTHEWORLD, Johannesburg, Cape Town, South Africa (2017); Uproot, Tyburn Gallery, London, England, UK (2016); Harvest, Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town, South Africa (2015); Manual, WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town, South Africa (2014); and EXIT/EXILE, NIROX, Johannesburg, South Africa (2011).

His group exhibitions include The Phoenix Runway, curated by RESERVOIR, WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town, South Africa; That Hidden Thread, NIROX Sculpture Park, Johannesburg, South Africa (2021); Frieze Sculpture, Regent’s Park, London, England, UK (2018); A Place in Time, NIROX Sculpture Park, Johannesburg, South Africa (2016); You Love Me, You Love Me Not, Galeria municipal do Porto, Porto, Portugal (2015); Public Sculpture, Arts on Main, Johannesburg, South Africa (2014); Dudziro: Interrogating the Visions of Religious Beliefs, Zimbabwe Pavilion, 55th International Exhibition La Biennale di Vinezia (2013); and Southern Guild, Everard Read, Johannesburg, South Africa (2012).

Mouna Karray

Mouna Karray (b.1970, Tunisia) is an artist living and working between Sfax, Tunisia and Paris, France. Positioning herself from the margins, Karray’s photography tackles socio-political themes through the lens of her personal experiences, confronting the realities of marginalised bodies in Tunisia’s context. Karray works primarily in photography but to tackle the sensitive territory of the personal and to allow spaces and objects to “speak”, she has expanded to other media such as sound, installation and video.

Her solo exhibitions include OFF-THE-AIR, Zeitz MOCAA, South Africa (2017); Nobody Will Talk About Us, Tyburn Gallery, London, England, UK (2016); and Murmurer, Galerie El Marsa, Carthage, Tunisia (2011).

Karray’s group exhibitions include Two Together, Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town, South Africa (2019); Corpus, recent acquisitions from the Centre National des Arts Plastiques, Paris Photo, Paris, France (2021); The World Inspired By Citroën, a carte blanche, Monnaie De Paris, Paris, France (2019); The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Hell, Purgatory Revisited by Contemporary African Artists, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington D.C., USA (2015); Broken English, Tyburn Gallery, London, England, UK (2015); VISIBLES/INVISIBLES, Fondation Blachère, Bonnieux, France (2015); and The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Hell, Purgatory Revisited by Contemporary African Artists, SCAD Museum of Art, Savanna, Georgia, USA (2014) and MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany (2014).

Neo Matloga

Neo Matloga (b. 1993, South Africa) is a painter and collagist who merges the mediums of painting and photography to speak to domesticity, blackness and socio-political ambiguities. Using a primarily black, grey and white colour palette, Matloga’s figures occupy ambiguous spaces within the privacy of the home and the public spaces of the bar, restaurant and nightclub. His large-scale compositions produce a similar effect to European history painting. Using distortion as a tool for constructing alternative ways of acknowledging and seeing blackness, Matloga challenges the distortion of the black body by colonial and political forces.

His solo exhibitions include along came your eyes, Hermitage Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, (2022); Déjà Vu, STEVENSON, Cape Town, South Africa, (2022); my hero is always next to me, Stroom Den Haag, the Hague, The Netherlands, (2021); Neo Matloga, S.M.A.K, Ghent, Belgium, (2021); Back of the Moon, STEVENSON, Johannesburg, South Africa, (2020); Neo to Love, Fries Museum, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands, (2019); and Good Morning Midnight, De Ateliers, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, (2018).

His group exhibition include CODA Paper Art 2023, CODA Museum, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands, (2023); Brave New World – 16 Painters For The 21st Century, Museum de Fundatie, Zwolle, The Netherlands, (2023); When We See Us, Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town, South Africa, (2022); Where do I begin, STEVENSON, Cape Town, South Africa, (2022); Works on Paper, STEVENSON, Cape Town, South Africa, (2021); HI-STORYTELLING, Galerie Sfeir-Semler, Hamburg, Germany, (2021); Collection as Poem in the Age of Ephemerality, X Museum, Beijing, China, (2020); ofte vojagantoj, 360° Kunst, Wilford X, Temse, Belgium, (2019); and Still Here Tomorrow To High Five You Yesterday, Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town, South Africa, (2019).

Rashid Johnson

Rashid Johnson (b. 1977, USA) engages with a variety of media to speak to his personal history in the context of African-American creative and intellectual critical discourse. Johnson completed his BFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago in 2000 and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2005. Through photography, sculpture, painting, drawing and video, he explores ideas related to art history, Black cultural identities, literature and critical history, drawing from a diverse group of African-American cultural producers and artists.

Johnson’s solo exhibitions include Broken Crowd, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem (2023); Focus On: Rashid Johnson, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas, USA (2022); Black and Blue, David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, California, USA (2021); Waves, Hauser & Wirth, London, England, UK (2020); The Hikers, Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City, Mexico and Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, Colorado, USA (2019); No More Water, Lismore Castle Arts, Lismore, County Waterford, Ireland (2018); Anxious Audience, organised by Annin Arts, Billboard 8171, London Bridge, London, England, UK (2017); Fly Away, Hauser & Wirth, New York City, New York, USA (2016); Anxious Men, curated by Claire Gilman, The Drawing Center, New York City, New York, USA (2015); and Three Rooms, Kunsthalle Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland (2014).

His group shows include Seven Rooms and a Garden: Rashid Johnson and The Moderna Museet Collection, curated by Hendrik Folkerts, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden (2023); Together, at the Same Time, de la Cruz Collection, Miami, Florida, USA (2022); Grief and Grievance: Art and Mourning in America, curated by Okwui Enwezor, New Museum, New York City, New York, USA (2021); Unbroken Current, curated by Rachel Moore, Helen Day Memorial Library and Art Center, Stowe, Vermont, USA (2019); Groundings, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA (2018); Africans in America, curated by Hank Willis Thomas and Liza Essers, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg and Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa (2016).

Robin Rhode

Robin Rhode (b. 1976, South Africa) is a multi-disciplinary artist living and working in Berlin, Germany. Using the urban landscape as his canvas, Rhode presents interventions in various mediums on walls in and around the cities he inhabits, engaging with the histories and
social conditions of these contexts. Rhode seeks to foreground these cities through performative and community-centred gestures that draw the viewer’s attention to specific social spaces. Exploring the notion of ‘the journey’ and his lived experience as an immigrant artist, Rhode deploys various visual strategies and mediums to speak to the parallel realities between South Africa and Europe. In Berlin, Rhode traces the memory and history of the urban landscapes he inhabits through explorations of the local train tracks near his studio.

Rhode has had many solo exhibitions dating back to 2003, with the most recent being African Dream Root, Lehmann Maupin, New York City, New York, USA (2023); Robin Rhode, Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar, The Netherlands (2022); Memory is the Weapon, Kunsthalle Krems, Austria (2020); Memory is the Weapon, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg, Germany (2019); A plan of the soul, Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zürich, Switzerland (2018); Under the Sun, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv (2017); and Primitives, Tucci Russo Studio Per L’Arte Contemporanea, Torre Pellice, Turin, Italy (2016).

His recent group shows include CURRENTS, Lehmann Maupin, Palm Beach, Florida, USA (2023); Where do I begin, STEVENSON, Cape Town, South Africa (2022); Allied with Power: African and African Diaspora Art from the Jorge M. Pérez Collection, Pérez Art Museum, Miami, Florida, USA (2020); and Crossing Night: Regional Identities X Global Context, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Detroit, Michigan, USA (2019).

Salah Elmur

Salah Elmur (b. 1966, Sudan) is a painter, designer and filmmaker inspired by the folklore, nature and complex socio-historical context of his native city, Khartoum. Currently based in Egypt, Elmur’s use of vibrant colour and distortion presents figures in photographic postures reminiscent of the images that he would often see in his father’s photographic studio in Khartoum. His practice spans over three decades and engages with various geographies as a result of his travels throughout East Africa and the Middle East. Elmur originally studied graphic design at the College of Fine and Applied Art, Sudan University of Science and Technology, Khartoum.

Elmur’s solo exhibitions include Central Electricity and Water Administration, Vigo Gallery, Accra, Ghana, and Gallery 1957, London, England, UK (2023); Water and Electricity, Vigo Gallery, London, England, UK (2022); Pink Circles, Gallery MOMO, Cape Town, South Africa (2020); River Ceremony, al markhiya Gallery, Doha, Qatar (2019); Fragrances of the Forest and Photos, Sharjah Art Museum, Sharjah, UAE (2018); The last of Domestic Rituals, Mashrabia Gallery of Contemporary Art, Cairo, Egypt (2015); and Eyes Stream, Mashrabia Gallery of Contemporary Art, Cairo, Egypt and Gazzambo Art Gallery, Madrid, Spain (2013).

His group exhibitions include The Oceans and the Interpreters, Hong-gah Museum, Taipei City, Taiwan (2023); The Forest and Desert School Revisited, Circle Art Gallery, Nairobi, Kenya (2022); East African Encounters with Circle Art Gallery, Cromwell Place, London, England, UK (2021); SALON 008 | Forest and Spirits (with Kamala Ishaq and Ibrahim El-Salahi), Saatchi Gallery, London, England, UK (2019); Studio Kamal, Circle Art Gallery, Nairobi, Kenya (2019); and Salah Elmur and Souad Abdel Rassoul, Red Hill Art Gallery, Nairobi, Kenya (2014).

Thania Petersen

Thania Petersen (b.1980, South Africa) is a Cape Town-based multi-disciplinary artist whose work tackles and unpacks the continued impact of Western imperialism and colonialism. With a practice centred around her Cape Malay heritage and Sufi Islamic culture, her work also creates awareness of Islamic traditional and contemporary practices in the context of her upbringing in Cape Town and critiques growing right-wing rhetoric and ideology that contributes to rising Islamophobic sentiments.

Petersen’s solo exhibitions include ZAMUNDA FOREVER, Nicodim Gallery, Los Angeles, USA (2023); Can We Sing Together Again, Old Friend?, 32Bis, Tunis, Tunisia (2022); KASSARAM, Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town, South Africa (2022); Thania Petersen: Onse Ou Kaap, Church Projects, Cape Town, South Africa, (2022); Thania Petersen: Selected Works, No Man’s Art Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2019); Remnants, Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa (2017); and I AM ROYAL, AVA Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa (2015).

Her group exhibitions include Long-distance friendships, Kauno Biennal, Kaunas, Lithuania (2023); Where do I begin, STEVENSON, Cape Town, South Africa (2022); Gather, SMAC Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa (2020); Between land and a raised foot, National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, South Africa (2019); Cape Town Art Fair 2018, Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa (2018); Urban Axis, PS Art Space, Fremantle, Perth, Australia (2017); and the FNB Joburg Art Fair 2015, AVA Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa (2015).

Zanele Muholi

Zanele Muholi (b.1972, South Africa) is an acclaimed photographer who has spent the span of their career documenting LGBTQIA+ individuals in various townships and cities in South Africa. Their ongoing series Faces and Phases seeks to make visible the lives of queer and trans individuals in South Africa and rewrite their history of erasure. Muholi uses self-portraiture extensively and experimentally in their work. Most recently, they expanded their practice into three-dimensional bronze statues. Through an intentional deepening of the skin, Muholi centres Blackness in their images.

Muholi’s solo exhibitions include Zanele Muholi, engelhorn Mode im Quadrat, Mannheim, Germany (2023); Zanele Muholi, National Gallery of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland (2022); Zanele Muholi, Gropius Bau, Berlin, Germany (2021); Somnyama Ngonyama: Hail the Dark Lioness, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington, USA (2019); Zanele Muholi, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2017); Zanele Muholi: Personae, FotoFocus, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA (2016); Somnyama Ngonyama, STEVENSON, Johannesburg, South Africa (2015); Faces and Phases, Oldenburg, Germany; and Faces and Phases, Goethe-Institut, Johannesburg, South Africa (2012).

Their group shows include Love & Anarchy, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA (2023); Afro-Atlantic Histories, LACMA, Los Angeles, California, USA (2022); Crossing Views, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, France (2020); Implicit Tensions: Mapplethorpe Now, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City, New York, USA (2019); Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life, Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Kochi, Kerala, India (2018); The South African Pavilion Without Walls, Performa 17, New York City, New York, USA (2017); and Supporting Alternative Visions, Prince Claus Fund Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2016).