Kudzanai Chiurai / Madness and Civilization

Kudzanai Chiurai / Madness and Civilization
12 April - 12 May 2018
Installation View
Kudzanai Chiurai
Madness and Civilization (I - XI), 2017
Mixed media on Saunders archival cotton rag paper
Variable dimensions for complete work Individual drawing dimensions: 101 x 66 cm Frame dimensions for individual works: 115 x 80 x 3.5 cm
Kudzanai Chiurai
Book of Nehanda, 2018
Installation accompanying an edition of "Sins of the Father" (2016). Installation made up of religious artifacts and ornaments, religious cloths, and a Catholic Bible open on the "Book of Judith" with pages manipulated by the artist.

Kudzanai Chiurai
Untitled (III), 2009
Ultrachrome ink on photo fibre paper
100 x 133 cm, Edition of 10 + 1 AP
Kudzanai Chiurai
Genesis [Je n'isi isi] X, 2016
Pigment ink on Fibre paper
Image: 180 x 120 cm Work: 205 x 140 cm Frame: 209 x 143.8 x 5 cm
Kudzanai Chiurai
We Live in Silence XIIII, 2017
Pigment ink on Fibre paper
Image: 130 x 173.5 cm Work: 150 x 193.5 cm
Kudzanai Chiurai
We Live in Silence VI, 2017
Pigment ink on Fibre paper
Image: 130 x 173.5 cm Work: 150 x 193.5 cm
Kudzanai Chiurai
Genesis [Je n'isi isi] IV, 2016
Pigment ink on Fibre paper
Image: 130 x 140 cm / Work: 142.4 x 152.4 cm
Kudzanai Chiurai
Untitled (II), 2009
Pigment inks on premium satin photo paper
Image: 83.5 x 112cm, Paper: 100 x 130 cm
Kudzanai Chiurai
We Live in Silence XV, 2017
Pigment ink on Fibre paper
Image: 173.5 x 130 cm Work: 193.5 x 150 cm
Kudzanai Chiurai
Transfer of Ownership (triptych), 2017
Screenprints with ink and wax on Fabriano, brass seals, box
Image: 50 x 38 x 5 cm Variable Dimensions
Kudzanai Chiurai
Sins of the Father, 2016
Single-channel digital video
3 min 15 sec
Kudzanai Chiurai
We Live in Silence (Chapters 1-7), 2017
Single Channel Film

Kudzanai Chiurai
Pick n' Pay, 2018
Ink and crayon on Fabriano
Work: 42 x 29.7 cm

Kudzanai Chiurai / Madness and Civilization - Installation View

12 April - 12 May 2018

Kudzanai Chiurai

Madness and Civilization (I - XI)

Kudzanai Chiurai

Book of Nehanda

Kudzanai Chiurai

Untitled (III)

Kudzanai Chiurai

Genesis [Je n'isi isi] X

Kudzanai Chiurai

We Live in Silence XIIII

Kudzanai Chiurai

We Live in Silence VI

Kudzanai Chiurai

Genesis [Je n'isi isi] IV

Kudzanai Chiurai

Untitled (II)

Kudzanai Chiurai

We Live in Silence XV

Kudzanai Chiurai

Transfer of Ownership (triptych)

Kudzanai Chiurai

Sins of the Father

Kudzanai Chiurai

We Live in Silence (Chapters 1-7)

Kudzanai Chiurai

Pick n' Pay

Goodman Gallery Cape Town
12 April – 12 May 2018

Curated by Candice Allison
Exhibition opening Thursday 12 April at 18:00
In Conversation: Kudzanai Chiurai & Khanya Mashabela, Saturday 14 April at 12:00

In November 2017, Kudzanai Chiurai’s first solo exhibition in his home country, We Need New Names, went on view at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe. Its timing was prescient. While the country’s longstanding former President Robert Mugabe was being ousted through a military-led coup, Chiurai was exhibiting his politically-driven work, which combines art historical imagery with references from popular culture and archival material to explore the visual language and tropes that help construct myths, history, and ultimately power.

Under the continued curation of Candice Allison, Madness and Civilization re-stages this exhibition alongside new works and research that highlights Chiurai’s creative projects over the past two years. It takes its title from Michel Foucault’s seminal 1964 text Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason. In so doing, the exhibition maintains Chiurai’s practice of revisiting and rejecting ‘colonial futures’, which fuel the notion that Africans should think, speak, and act like their colonizers.

The entry point into Madness and Civilization is a new series of mixed-media drawings. Fashioned in the likeness of screen-printed propaganda critical of white supremacy in 1970’s Rhodesia-Zimbabwe, the drawings are collaged with found letters, photographs, and images torn from The Kaffirs Illustrated, a reprinted folio of watercolour paintings originally produced in 1849. On top of each drawing, Chiurai has inscribed imagined letters by Foucault, writing on the intrinsic nature of madness — a diagnosis Chiurai believes was used to motivate colonial expansion and white minority rule in Africa and continues to serve as a contributing factor to the failure of post-colonial African nation states.

In addition, Madness and Civilization will present a selection of images from Chiurai’s photographic series Genesis [Je n’isi isi] (2016) and We Live in Silence (2017). The gallery’s video room will feature the film We Live in Silence: Chapters 1-7, which recently screened at the Berlin International Film Festival, and later this year will head to the Rencontres du Film Court de Madagascar and Dak’Art Biennale. Several listening stations will also offer visitors the chance to browse Chiurai’s library of vinyl records, which include a selection of Zimbabwean Chimurenga and South African anti-apartheid struggle music, as well as rare recordings of speeches by Ian Smith, Kwame Nkrumah, Mobutu Sese Seko, Dr Martin Luther King, author Alex Haley, and a dramatic re-enactment of the trial of Black Panther co-founder Bobby Seale.

Kudzanai Chiurai was born in Harare in 1981, where he currently lives and works. His work was the focus of two major solo surveys in 2017 including We Need New Names at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare; and Regarding the Ease of Others at Zeitz MoCAA, Cape Town. Other solo exhibitions have taken place at MoCADA, New York (2015); RISD Museum, Rhode Island (2015); Kulungwana Gallery, Maputo (2015); and Brixton Art Gallery, London (2003). Notable group exhibitions include In Their Own Form at Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago (2018); Ex Africa presented by Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Belo Horizonte in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Brasília (2017-18); Africa. Telling a World at Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Milan (2017); Being There at Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris (2017); The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory and Hell Revisited at Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt (2014) and SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah (2015); dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel (2012); Impressions from South Africa, 1965 to Now at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (2011); and Figures & Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (2011). His film Iyeza was included in the New Frontier shorts programme at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013, and was awarded a Jury Special Mention at the Melbourne International Film Festival that same year. He was awarded the FNB Artist of the Year award in 2012 and shortlisted for the 2014 Future Generation Art Prize.

Kudzanai Chiurai

Kudzanai Chiurai (b. 1981) is an internationally acclaimed young artist born in Zimbabwe. Born one year after Zimbabwe’s emergence from white-ruled Rhodesia, Chiurai’s early work has focused on the political, economic and social strife in his homeland however, his art practice spans a diverse range of media.

From large mixed media works and paintings that tackle some of the most pertinent issues facing Southern Africa such as xenophobia, displacement and black empowerment, Chiurai’s artworks confront viewers with the psychological and physical experience of inner-city environments of African metropolitans, seeing these spaces as the continent’s most cosmopolitan melting pots in which thousands of refugees and asylum-seekers who battle for survival alongside the never-ending swell of newly urbanized denizens. As an increasingly important figure in contemporary African art, Chiurai has expanded his art and activist practice to include photography and video: mediums that enable the artist to address pertinent issues facing his generation of southern Africans.

Chiurai has held numerous solo exhibitions since 2003 and has participated in various local and international exhibitions, such as ‘Figures & Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography’ (2011) at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and ‘Impressions from South Africa, 1965 to Now’ (2011) at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Other notable exhibitions include ‘The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory and Hell Revisited’ curated by Simon Njami at Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt (2014) and SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah USA (2015), as well as ‘Art/Afrique, Le nouvel atelier’ (2017) at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris and ‘Regarding the Ease of Others’ (2017) at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa.

His Conflict Resolution series was exhibited at dOCUMENTA (13) (2012) in Kassel and the film Iyeza was one of the few African films to be included in the New Frontier shorts programme at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013. Chiurai has held numerous solo exhibitions with Goodman Gallery and has edited four publications with contributions by leading African creatives.

At present, the artist lives and works in Harare, Zimbabwe.