Kudzanai Chiurai extends his foray into the murky world of African politics with a new installation at Goodman Gallery Project Space, Johannesburg. Taking his cue from a series of large-scale photographs critiquing the representation and aesthetics of political power produced for his solo exhibition at Goodman Gallery Cape in 2009, Chiurai moves the action forward with a series of large linocuts, an oversized mural, and the fictional remains of a presidential assassination.
Though he is known primarily as a painter, Chiurai extends his practice to a broad public engagement not always possible in the confines of the white cube. His work as a producer, editor, and designer is often located in informal networks and situations and is intimately connected to his political activism. This wide-ranging approach to making art is demonstrated in a body of work that embraces photography, publishing, music, public art, and fashion. COMMUNISTS AND HOT CHICKEN WINGS: THE BIRTH OF A NEW NATION brings together these various strands, and showcases Chiurai’s searing and ironic take on the confluence of sex, money, and politics in contemporary South Africa. A new publication edited by Chiurai, with contributions by leading creatives, accompanies the exhibition.
Kudzanai Chiurai was born in Zimbabwe, and currently lives and works in the city of Johannesburg. He completed a BAFA at the University of Pretoria and has participated in a number of local and international group exhibitions, including the Dakar Biennale, Senegal; Africa Now, a travelling exhibition in Scandinavia; as well as New Painting, a local travelling exhibition in 2006.
The Goodman Gallery has exhibited his recent work at PhotoParis 2009, the 2010 Armory fair in New York, and Art Basel Miami Beach 2009. His work is represented in the collections of Iziko South African National Gallery, BHP Billiton, and Nandos UK, amongst others.
Kudzanai Chiurai (b. 1981, Zimbabwe) was born one year after Zimbabwe’s emergence from white-ruled Rhodesia. Chiurai incorporates various media into his practice, which is largely focused around cycles of political, economic and social strife present in post-colonial societies.
Chiurai’s artwork confronts viewers with the psychological and physical experience of African metropolises. From large mixed media works and paintings to photography and video, Chiurai tackles some of the most pressing issues facing these environments, such as xenophobia, displacement and inequality.
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, Regarding the Ease of Others (2017) at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Genesis [Je n’isi isi]- We Live in Silence at IFA in Stuttgart, Germany and Ubuntu, a Lucid Dream (2020) at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris.
Chiurai’s 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.