DAK’ART 2014

11ème Biennale de l’Art Africain Contemporain 09/05>08/06

Nomusa Makhubu


  • © Ogbechie

Self-Portrait : 4 photographies, variable dimensions, 2013, Courtesy of the artist and Erdmann Contemporary, Cape Town.
Mfundo, Impahla neBhayibheli (Education, Apparel, and the Bible).
Umasifanisane II (Comparison II).
Umasizanisane I, Inhlamvu Yamehlo (The gaze).
Goduka (Going/ Migrant Labourers).

Nomusa Makhubu’s mode of address in Self-Portrait involves inserting herself into several colonial-type photographs. It allows the artist to explore South Africa’s socio-political, economic, religious, and cultural histories through her own individual body and the bodies of black subjects from the past. In fact, Makhubu time-travels to a colonial past, seeking its connection to the evolving nature of black self-representation and forms of social identity and identification in post-Apartheid South Africa. For example, Inhlamvu Yamehlo (The Gaze) shows women and children in traditional dress and is as powerful as Mfundo, Impahla neBhayibheli (Education, Apparel, and the Bible) which shows men and a young boy in Western-style clothing of that time. In both photographs, the image of Makhubu is included as a transparent layer. It allows viewers to see through her body to the historical subjects. Similarly, in the two oval vignettes entitled Umasifanisane I (Comparison I) and Umasifanisane II (Comparison II), images of women carrying children are projected from around the belly region of the artist’s transparent body to, perhaps, address femininity, motherhood, etc., in two different historical periods.

Born 1984 in South Africa, Nomusa Makhubu currently lives and works in Grahamstown. Makhubu is an award-winning artist, currently completing a PhD in Art History and Visual Culture at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa. Identity, culture, land, rights, economy and religion are some of the issues explored by Makhubu. She is not afraid to explore South Africa’s dark and murky history. In her acclaimed Self Portrait Project series, Nomusa projected images of herself onto historically sensitive material to explore issues of self-representation and identity. Identity is a theme, which Makhubu continually revisits and uses to challenge notions of representation, particularly in a colonial context.

View online : www.erdmanncontemporary.co.za