Kudzanai Chiura’s latest body of work, We live in Silence, seeks to disrupt the idea of colonial futures by creating counter-memories.
The exhibition is the final installment of a three-part series
The series began with 2011’s Revelations and continued with Genesis [Je n’isi isi] in 2016. “When I first started I knew the series was not done. When starting on new work I have to review the previous work to find the things that I may have overlooked and did not explore fully. The current work fills in the gaps of the different works”.
The exhibition responds to Mauritanian film-maker Med Hondo’s 1967 drama film Soleil Ô
“The film is incredible in that it speaks to the very issues that we are dealing with today, with a great dialogue and characterization. What was interesting, however, is that there is not a single black female character in the entire film”. Countering that exclusion was one of the things that Chiura found significant in when re-visiting the film, and developing work that opens up a conversation about how we deal with the colonial future.
The choice of mediums for this exhibition
The work currently manifests through a selection of videos, photographs, drawings, paintings and an installation. “When I started I specialized in painting and drawing and then in the past seven years I started working with film and photography. I found it easier to tell a story using multiple images instead of using one painting. You can see progression of a particular narrative that way”.
The people he collaborated with on the project
On this exhibition Chiurai’s production team included photographer Jurie Potgieter, art director Dylan Lloyd, stylist Bee Diamondhead, set designer Johann Krynauw, director of photography Adam Benton, sound producer João Orecchia and performance director Lindiwe Matshikiza.
On the exploration of archival materials
Chiurai likens the archival process to discovering confessions of what people have done and said in the past. Some of the archival material he looked at recently which the new work touches on, includes documents that show a history of the the auctioning and ownership of slaves in Cape Town. “The transfer of the ownership of humans, are just some of the “confessions” that point to a frightening part of South African history”.
We live in Silence is currently showing at Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg until 14 October 2017 and opens at Constitutional Hill from 9 SEPTEMBER -14 OCTOBER.
Kudzanai Chiura’s work is also currently on show at the 10th FNB Joburg Art Fair