Zimbabwe: Visual Artist at the Toronto Biennale
After the success of her first major solo exhibition entitled “Ranezuro Rangu Ngariziye” (My yesterday should know), local installation artist Anne Zanele Mutema is participating in the second edition of the Toronto Art Biennale in Canada.
The biennial, which began on March 25, will continue until June 5.
Mutema’s installation ‘Systemic Necropolis’ is part of an exhibition project titled ‘Ngozi: We Might Listen for the Shimmerings’ curated by Zimbabwean-born, Canadian-based curator Chiedza Pasipandodya.
The exhibit is part of Pasipanodya’s 2022 Curatorial Fellowship Program made possible through the generous support of TD Bank Group as part of the TD Ready Pledge, with support from the Toronto Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council. ‘Ontario.
“Ngozi” also features the work of Buhlebezwe Siwani and Timothy Yanick Hunter.
Mutema said “Systemic Necropolis” is an installation engaged in a philosophical inquiry into the nature of whether we receive our identities through the objects around us, the use-value they provide or whether they actually offer us identities.
“The systemic necropolis is a glorified memorial site for my memories. The mutsvairo (broomsticks) functions as a time capsule, an object embodying an event,” she said. “The red string represents a line that connects memories. Sewing is a cathartic process in my life.
“The (plastic) cocoons are different from each other, just as each memory embodies and occupies a different space, a distinct moment in time. The systemic necropolis is a coming together of the event.”
His exhibition “Ranezuro Rangu Ngariziye” (My Yesterday Should Know), which took place at the First Floor Gallery in Harare, is one of the most visited showcases in the contemporary art space to date.
Built around the idea of challenging the push of media, politics and commerce to reduce citizens’ decisions to black and white, Mutema creates experiences that inspire each person to focus on their being and their feelings to find their personal vision and belief and not those that she has. been taught or sold.
“We are brought up to believe in certainties,” says Mutema. “We are also taught to believe in certain immutable values – right and wrong, right and wrong. Then real life kicks in and we are taught to be realistic, which means starting with our values.”
Mutema’s practice invites her audience to consider alternative belief systems through the idea of an event defined for her as a phenomenon located at a given moment in the context of self, culture and history.
“These realistic shades of gray are less about nuance and more compromise, less engagement with complexity and more cognitive dissonance,” she said.
“Challenged by the world to ambiguity, but raised to crave certainty, we are often left powerless and open to suggestion, becoming flexible subjects of religious, commercial, and political manipulation.”