• NGZ Harare
    NGZ Harare

Interview with Tafadzwa Gwetai

Concerning his duty as the curator of the Zimbabwe pavilion at the Venice Biennale

1.Please tell us about your work at the Venice Biennale and how it relates to your wide practice?

Venice Biennale is an Art event that happen every 2 years and is now 120 years old. I was there as an assistant curator to Raphael Chikukwa to publicize the artwork at the exhibition. It gave me the opportunity to link with a lot of new contacts, get to engage in dialogue with other artist, purchase artworks and signing to other galleries.

    2.What was it like to be assistant curator for Pixels of Ubuntu?

It was an amazing opportunity everyday was a new experience.

    3.Do you feel you have grown as a curator?

Yes, because of a deeper understanding of art concepts as it is crucial to the selling of ideas of art works.

    4.Please tell us about your interest in curatorship and how you incorporate this into your practice as an artist?

It is contributing to the knowing of the two sides, as a curator and as an artist,

It makes me understand how the creation process is compared to knowing the academic side.

    5.How do your own experiences and personal history influence your conceptual outlook as a curator?

Artwork has been exploring ideas of mankind and as a result I’m trying to understand how people exist and understanding art as a concept of curatorial process as it encourages more reasons to understand people’s minds.

    6.What do you feel the audience for Pixels of Ubuntu drew from the exhibition?

The words are most crucial to the extent that people concentrated very much and needed to understand the idea of Ubuntu (togetherness) and also the way artist explored the theme is how it addresses the audience because most of us we have lost unhu hwedu, so it was a way of showing how unhu is being practiced.

    7.Pixels of Ubuntu featured works by Chikonzero Chazunguza, Masimba Hwati and Gareth Nyandoro. What was the general sentiment to each of the artist’s series of works and how well received was the overall theme?

It was accepted on how relevant it is to our day to day life. Chazunguza had ideas of not forgetting their past as it is crucial for ones feature.

Masimba had an approach which dealt with consuming on what we think and how we see the world. Ideas of brands e.g. Facebook/ whatsup influencing the way of life and the misuse of Technology.

    8.Was the theme not too alien to the audience?

It was not, because it was what the audiences needed, people need Ubuntu

and it capitalising on what Ubuntu is (being one).

    9.With regards to Nyandoro’s work which was highly interactive, was there a contextual bridge to the viewer that gave them full awareness of the level of commentary the work possesses?

Gareth related to people in terms of how they relate to an urban city space as there is a lot of migration from one city to another. In the city people lack unhu as many of them rely on products from our own generation, therefore he portrays that the clarity in the city is not so clear.

    10.Chazunguza’s work has much to do with identity, how does it relate to the current situation in the country?

It relates to the situation in the current century in line with the use of technology that is making us gradually forget the elements of our own history because of the new ideologies being portrayed to us. The ideologies are making people abandon their original identities. He also tries to justify African identities by appealing to the audience.

    11.There is Hwati and his Urban Totems; is this body of work reflecting on the local or is it more of a global oriented artwork?

Both because it revealed that people are being blinded by the things that they see but which are real, for example some people thought there was no internet in Africa.

    12.Whom did you find the most engaging?

All three had different levels that the audiences appreciated. Masimba had a larger audience from old age because he focused on urban totems. He saw what’s app as a totem because people can no longer leave without it.

Chazunguza’s ideas appealed visually to the African colonialism (Think what the wrong man has done to man).

Gareth see people who exist in the streets, challenging the idea of Ubuntu in                              the streets that people should not use their bodies to get money. It was more of abstract art works because most people appreciated his techniques.

    13.Now that you have had this experience in Venice, where would you place Zimbabwe, regionally and globally on the art scene?

The fact that it is the 3rd participation is a sign of growth and also most people are appreciating our work as some people are following our artworks to Zimbabwe. We are more like an African Ambassador.

    14.Now the Pixels of Ubuntu has drawn to a close, what do you think should be done to ensure future international exhibitions that positively market the image of the nation?

We should create more academic studies, spread more knowledge of artist and have literature to appreciate like Mawonero.

    15.You are going to be an assistant Curator for Kabbo Ka Muwala which is set to take place next year, what concept do you have for this travelling Exhibition?

I like it, it is significant to our current situation because it is about migration, the greener pastures are not green as people say, it’s like searching for hope where there is no hope.













soko long

Gallery opening hours

open tuesday  to sunday 0800 - 1700hrs

Connect with us

blogger Facebook flikr Googleplus Instagram Linkedin Twitter YouTube

Search our site

Gallery Membership Button 01

© 2015 National Gallery of Zimbabwe . All Rights Reserved.