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Making its Dutch premiere is Muholi’s latest series Somnyama Ngonyama (Hail the Black Lioness, 2015 to the present). A series of self-portraits, this body of work marks a radical new step in her oeuvre. Often experimenting with dramatic poses and lighting, Zanele turns the camera on herself, capturing the multiple roles that she assumes as a black lesbian woman. Through the use of high-contrast black and white tonal values, Muholi exaggerates her skin tone to emphasize her ‘blackness’. Curator Hripsimé Visser: “Her self-portraits are profoundly confrontational yet witty, and searingly emotional, too. Through an inventive manipulation of props and lighting, Muholi creates historical, cultural and personally inspired versions of ‘blackness’. With this, she defies stereotypical images of the black woman and speaks to current debates about stigmatisation and stereotyping.”

The Stedelijk Museum also presents a comprehensive selection of works from two other important series: Faces and Phases, and Brave Beauties. Also in the show is a projection of the documentary We Live in Fear (2013), and one of the exhibition galleries has been transformed into a documentary space for Inkanyiso, (Zulu for ‘the one who brings light’), the multi-media internet platform that Zanele Muholi founded in 2009 to create a visual history of LGBTQI communities.

Making its Dutch premiere is Muholi’s latest series Somnyama Ngonyama (Hail the Black Lioness, 2015 to the present). A series of self-portraits, this body of work marks a radical new step in her oeuvre. Often experimenting with dramatic poses and lighting, Zanele turns the camera on herself, capturing the multiple roles that she assumes as a black lesbian woman. Through the use of high-contrast black and white tonal values, Muholi exaggerates her skin tone to emphasize her ‘blackness’. Curator Hripsimé Visser: “Her self-portraits are profoundly confrontational yet witty, and searingly emotional, too. Through an inventive manipulation of props and lighting, Muholi creates historical, cultural and personally inspired versions of ‘blackness’. With this, she defies stereotypical images of the black woman and speaks to current debates about stigmatisation and stereotyping.”

The Stedelijk Museum also presents a comprehensive selection of works from two other important series: Faces and Phases, and Brave Beauties. Also in the show is a projection of the documentary We Live in Fear (2013), and one of the exhibition galleries has been transformed into a documentary space for Inkanyiso, (Zulu for ‘the one who brings light’), the multi-media internet platform that Zanele Muholi founded in 2009 to create a visual history of LGBTQI communities.

Making its Dutch premiere is Muholi’s latest series Somnyama Ngonyama (Hail the Black Lioness, 2015 to the present). A series of self-portraits, this body of work marks a radical new step in her oeuvre. Often experimenting with dramatic poses and lighting, Zanele turns the camera on herself, capturing the multiple roles that she assumes as a black lesbian woman. Through the use of high-contrast black and white tonal values, Muholi exaggerates her skin tone to emphasize her ‘blackness’. Curator Hripsimé Visser: “Her self-portraits are profoundly confrontational yet witty, and searingly emotional, too. Through an inventive manipulation of props and lighting, Muholi creates historical, cultural and personally inspired versions of ‘blackness’. With this, she defies stereotypical images of the black woman and speaks to current debates about stigmatisation and stereotyping.”

The Stedelijk Museum also presents a comprehensive selection of works from two other important series: Faces and Phases, and Brave Beauties. Also in the show is a projection of the documentary We Live in Fear (2013), and one of the exhibition galleries has been transformed into a documentary space for Inkanyiso, (Zulu for ‘the one who brings light’), the multi-media internet platform that Zanele Muholi founded in 2009 to create a visual history of LGBTQI communities.

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