Coming From Where We Are Going
The exhibition presents a body of work that walks the line between politics and culture, masculine and feminine, soft and hard. The works present themselves as vibrant plumes made of thickly woven raw silk. Stone heads peer out, reminding us of the traditional Shona carving techniques Musekiwa began mastering at the age of 5. The reductive process of toiling stone is paralleled with the equally laborious sowing of silk, resulting in the visual and textural contrasts that beget tension-filled relationships.
The sculptures lounge around the gallery space, some suspended from the walls, or the ceiling, or draped lethargically atop invisible bases. They create dense environments susceptible to change with each installation. The acceptance of chance as a factor of form allows the works to exist on their own terms. Together, they both occupy and create space.
This series began in 2018 when Musekiwa made and wore a silk suit to create the photograph hanging on the back wall of the gallery. The moment signals to the artist’s interest in performance, fashion, and ceremonial concepts, in addition to his more politically-toned practice.
Musekiwa is searching for new visual layers. The introduction of vivid colors to an oeuvre previously dominated by black and white, beckons meaning, and the artist points to the codes written into the flags of the 27 Bantu-speaking African nations. From these, he builds a new key vocabulary attaching concept to hue, and history to material.