Zanele Muholi

Zanele Muholi digital

The black-and-white photographs by Zanele Muholi (*1972) are rich in contrast. Yet Muholi does not aim to show us a reality in black and white, but instead, the multifaceted range in between: the people portrayed are Black, lesbian, gay, queer, trans, inter, and come from South Africa, Muholi’s native country. Many of them are hated, threatened and persecuted in that country because of these features. Muholi calls herself a “visual activist” who challenges thinking in binary categories of male / female and black / white with portraits of people who do not correspond to common expectations. What we see is not the male dandy from advertising, but a person in a suit with soft facial features and a wistful gaze. The cleavage of another person portrayed is not supple but hairy. The world in black and white may be highly aesthetic, but it is also highly complex. Muholi’s images may well be so effective because they confound our notion of order and highlight the fact that our language has no appropriate expression for what we see. The exhibition is the first comprehensive presentation of works by Zanele Muholi in Switzerland.

Friday, 07.07., from 6 pm

curated by Fanni Fetzer, Yasufumi Nakamori, Senior Curator, Tate Modern

supported by Landis & Gyr Stiftung

organised by Tate Modern, in collaboration with Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, Gropius Bau, Berlin, Institut Valencià d’Art Modern, Valencia

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