“I want to be counted in South African history. [This means] that I have to write that part of history.”
In her photographs, artist Zanele Muholi faces social injustice head on. Best known for her photographic series Faces and Phases, featuring black members of the LGBTI community, Muholi challenges stereotypes of black female sexual identity through what she calls “visual activism.”
Opening on February 21, the exhibition features an arc of artists who look to the intimate encounters of daily life to imagine present and future possibilities in South Africa. Artists include David Goldblatt, Zanele Muholi, Santu Mofokeng, Athi-Patra Ruga, and William Kentridge.
Photographer Zanele Muholi’s series Faces and Phases gives a history to the black lesbians in her community. While each woman is pictured as an individual, the portraits are meant to be displayed together, celebrating the collective experience of the women. As Muholi says, “We are connected by photography.”
“Hate crimes have become a binding factor for the LGBTI communities. We come together to either give support, or to confirm that somebody has been killed. Then that person becomes a statistic… and what do we do about it? We have to document.” - Zanele Muholi
Disrupting expected images of South Africa, Public Intimacy: Art and Other Ordinary Acts in South Africaexplores the poetics and politics of the everyday. Coinciding with the 20th anniversary of democracy in South Africa, Public Intimacy reveals the nuances of human interaction in a country still undergoing significant change.
The exhibition closes Sunday, June 29.
Staffer Jess B. captured this shot from Bright Tights Day over at at YBCA, which apparently was yesterday. We challenge you to wear even brighter tights to the Public Intimacypreview party on Friday to help celebrate the opening of our newest SFMOMA On the Go collaborative exhibition!