Italian exhibition comes to Harare

The National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) is currently showcasing an exhibition of works from the Italian 54th Venice Biennale in 2011 entitled Seeing Ourselves which will run until end of April.

Report by Tinashe Sibanda

The Venice Biennale is an international art exhibition held in Italy every two years since 1895.

The Zimbabwean Pavilion was organised and presented by the National Gallery of Zimbabwe partnering with the Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture and the British Council. It is sponsored by Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, Principality of Monaco –– Office of International Cooperation, European Union (Harare) and L’institut Français.

“Zimbabwe has been in the limelight for a number of years and our appearance at Venice is poised to reveal the artistic development taking place now,” said NGZ executive director, Doreen Sibanda.
On show is work by participating artists Misheck Masamvu, Calvin Dondo, Tapfuma Gutsa and Berry Bickle.

The exhibition is curated by the NGZ chief curator, Raphael Chikukwa.
The exhibiting artists do not limit themselves to Zimbabwean issues but also look to, and hold relevance for, wider global currents.
“Each of the participating artists represents Zimbabwean contemporary art in their own unique way. Veteran sculptor, Tapfuma Gutsa brought in an eclectic, worldly and penetrating maturity through the use of natural elements like horns, roots, rope and many more,” said Sibanda.

Bickle, a video artist, contributed a series of images that show the various faces of Zimbabwe.

Dondo, a photographer, brought in images of German couples that have adopted African children bringing in issues of identity and charity.
Masamvu presented a body of fresh paintings for the exhibition.
“This exhibition is a mark of Zimbabwe’s pride in the visual arts and all should come and enjoy and appreciate the talent we have in our country,” said Sibanda.

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