Sharing is caring dear traveller; each week, a member of our knowledgeable team of locals shares their insider knowledge on what’s hot and happening in and around our nests.
‘The fetish of remembrance, the riot of representation, the ‘fact of blackness, dark and unarguable’ simultaneously scarred and invigorated by the burden of history, the multiple turmoil…’ is painted on one of the walls of ABP Autograph’s new exploration of identity, setting up the scene for one of the most visually engaging and socially significant exhibitons East London has seen in a while.
Self-representation and the bodily reflection of where the social meets the political defines ABP Autograph’s latest exhibition. Zanele Muholi, the South African visual activist tackles identity in an unapologetic series of portraits deconstructing misconceptions of blackness initiated by the privileged other. Zanele’s dark lioness is fierce and proactive, gazing defiantly into the camera. She reclaims her complexion and subverts stereotypical associations, mapping selfhood across a range of historically grounded identities. Her body becomes the canvas to explore a gendered politics of race and an ancestral pain that she takes upon herself to articulate.
With aesthetics drawing upon the mundane, everyday objects taking on historical significance, The Dark Lioness plays with symbolism to remember the struggle of black lives in South Africa and beyond. She wears a miner’s hat to remember the 2012 Marikana massacre; plastic tubes suggest the destruction of the environment. Her style, evocative of classical painting and fashion photography, has somewhat of a therapeutic quality, a step towards the catharsis for all this ancestral pain that remains relevant to this very date.
Located a stone’s throw away from both our Shoreditch and Hoxton nests and taking over ABP Autograph’s two galleries, Zanele Muholi’s portraiture is free for the public to come and hail the dark lioness.
Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness runs from 14 July – 28 October 2017 at Autograph ABP, London