Cosmos Shiridzinomwa, Fruitless Discussions, 2013. Oil on canvas, 227 x 157cm

58th La Biennale di Venezia: Zimbabwe Pavilion

Pavilion of Zimbabwe at the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia

The International Art Exhibition- La Biennale di Venezia will open to discerning art lovers from all over the world on the 11th of May 2019. The Zimbabwe Pavilion has responded to the exhibition’s theme May You Live in Interesting Times through the perspective of four artists who shall form the Pavilion’s exhibition Soko Risina Musoro; which translates to The Tale Without a Head.

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Zimbabwe’s Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale. Curated by Raphael Chikukwa, with Doreen Sibanda as commissioner, the exhibition features outstanding work by Kudzanai-Violet Hwami, Neville Starling, Georgina Maxim, and Cosmas Shiridzinomwa. Hwami’s paintings are stunning stars of the show, but all the artists bring very strong work. Starling’s ambrotype photographs were gems that I will be looking into further, and Maxim’s fiber pieces are inventive while remaining formally compelling. There’s plenty more I could say about all of the artists, I may have to return to this later. Titled Soko Risina Musoro (The Tale without a Head), the exhibition is on view now at Istituto Provinciale per L’infanzia “Santa Maria Della Pietà”. #zimbabwepavilion #raphaelchikukwa #kudzanaiviolethwami #nevillestarling #georginamaxim #cosmasshiridzinomwa #venicebiennale #venicebiennale2019 #biennalearte2019 #mayyouliveininterestingtimes

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The theme of the National Pavilion is rooted in an epic poem by Herbert Chitepo; a Nationalist icon, which details the appearance of a sojourner at a King’s Court, who proceeds to question the socio-economic and political turmoil faced in that text’s nation state’s discourse. The identification of this text with regards the overall theme mirrors the advent and intensification of false news, and the effects that culminate from untrusted source interventions.

In any dispensation where order reigns, chaos occupies medium and the message intended can mar issues that, operationally, are smooth, ultimately weakening societies through their misinterpretations. What ensues, in the end, is the need for verification, leading to new norms were fumbling through the darkness in search of a resolution to issues are the mode of living in many states.

Cosmos Shiridzinomwa, Fruitless Discussions, 2013. Oil on canvas, 227 x 157cmCosmos Shiridzinomwa, Fruitless Discussions, 2013. Oil on canvas, 227 x 157cm

A panoramic view of Soko Risina Musoro originates from Cosmas Shiridzinomwa; whose paintings are motivated by light as a source of form, Kudzanai Violet Hwami and Neville Starling, who have different exegesis on memory, and Gina Maxim, who coalesces new narratives from an experiential footing.

The climax of the four artists’ cross-examination is in line with the search for meaning which Soko Risina Musoro’s curator, Raphael Chikukwa posits as the core of this exhibition. The discovery of a solution to a spiritual drought that grants access to truth and that points to a balanced and reciprocated future.

Georgina Maxim, Ma Mère II, 2018. Textile Mixed Media on Textile, 82 x 77cm.Georgina Maxim, Ma Mère II, 2018. Textile Mixed Media on Textile, 82 x 77cm.
Kudzabai Violet Hwami, Lotus, 2018.Kudzanai Violet Hwami, Lotus, 2018.
Neville Starling, White Lies, Detail from installation.Neville Starling, White Lies, Detail from installation.

The Zimbabwe Pavillion will be on view at 58th La Biennale di Venezia, 11th May to 24 November 2019.