Zimbabwean Art on the Global Arena: Bringing the World to Zimbabwe

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Over the last five years, the National Gallery of Zimbabwe has concentrated on collecting, interpreting and exhibiting the most progressive works of art for Local, Regional and Global audiences and continues to engage all available forums to augment the Visual Art Sector. By participating in International Art Fairs such as the Venice Biennale, the lens has shifted to the country's creative force and conscience;

Over the last five years, the National Gallery of Zimbabwe has concentrated on collecting, interpreting and exhibiting the most progressive works of art for Local, Regional and Global audiences and continues to engage all available forums to augment the Visual Art Sector. By participating in International Art Fairs such as the Venice Biennale, the lens has shifted to the country's creative force and conscience; with regional and global interest in Artistic practice from Zimbabwe increasing, it has become most crucial to develop programming that elevates the Visual Art sector's standing in the region.
The Venice Biennale serves not only as a platform to exhibit Contemporary art from Zimbabwe, but also provides the opportunity for the Visual Art sector to build networks with galleries, art dealers and artists from around the world. From the commencement of Zimbabwe's participation of what is coined "The Olympics of the Art World" back in 2011; the exchanges between Zimbabwe and the region were first demonstrated by the Bisi Silva (Nigeria), Marianne Hultmann and Daniella Dijk- Wennberg (Norway) co-curated Dickensian inspired vehicle, A Tale of Two Cities. The exhibition made incisive comparisons between Oslo and Maputo, all the while drawing parallels between the quaint and de novo; Africa and Europe, through the lens of four Mozambican artists, a Nigerian artist and the first Zimbabwean Pavilion's alum Berry Bickle.  
Riding on the wave of the nominal Zimbabwe Pavilion's wave, projects such as the Simon Njami and David Adjaye's Art at Work manifested. The concept from the über curator-architect combination was a treatise on taking art to far flung communities; a challenge all over the continent and in as much as the publicly accessible exhibition structure was successful through its benevolence of being hewn out of affordable material and compact arrangement, it has become an outreach tool for the Gallery and has been used for several exhibitions in distant places where no galleries exist. This spurred the more ideas for portable galleries and artists have taken to accessibility beyond the four white walls concept to brand new heights.

A continuous collaborator with the National Gallery, Christine Eyene has held numerous workshops and curated exhibitions that  interrogated various themes in Contemporary art on the continent. Her role in nurturing the curatorial class could be noted in facilitating Curatorial courses at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe and participating in the Curatorial Forum that took place back in 2012, which featured the likes of Thembinkosi Goniwe, Dana Whabira, Gabi Ngcobo, Jimmy Ogonga and Suzana Sousa, to name a few.  The regional exchanges in ideas and augmentation of curatorial practice provided critical insights into how Africa is perceived on the global arena through the diffusion of experience and interpretation of setting. The global-regional scheme that was observed at the forum brought about new ideas and new possibilities which bolstered each curator's practice and redirected the direction of art on the continent. Exhibitions such as the Basket Case II and Kabbo ka Muwala  are testament of the global-regional matrix has been vested in international engagement on one common meeting point.

Organizations are  not excluded from this network, as partnerships with the Tate Modern, the New National Museum of Monaco, the University of Oldenburg, the National Portrait Gallery and  Makerere University to name a few.  Exchange opportunities would thus exit the circles of Curatorial and artistic practice and enter the Academic field and over the years, Zimbabwean visual art professionals have participated and presented at various forums. effectively there has been a reciprocal shift from the Zimbabwean outward movement on to the globe and upward surging traffic into the country and time makes it critical to facilitate a Convention that discusses African Culture and its management and continuous development in the mold of a Renaissance. The National Gallery of Zimbabwe remains focused on bringing the world to the country and promoting the creative conscience of the sector in the unforeseeable future.

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