There’s been much talk in the art world during the past decade about the rise of the curator as artist, a figure who in her or his most overweening moments seeks to render artist and artwork secondary to the vision — or, at worst, predetermined program — for a particular exhibition. MFAs in curatorial studies are proliferating, and celebrity curators have become as powerful, influential, and famous as artists always have been, as collectors have become, and as critics once were. However fashionable of late, the curator as artist existed decades earlier in the figure of Harald Szeemann, partly as a result of his radical approach to Documenta 5 in 1972, where he initiated a multi- and inter-disciplinary format that continues to this day.
Born in Umlazi, which is south-west of Durban, South Africa, Hyperallergic spoke with Zanele Muholi to get a better understanding of how she views her practice in context to South Africa and the globe, as well as how she deals with exhibiting images of her participants openly in a community where they are potentially susceptible to violent backlash.
The art of Zanele Muholi confronts what it means to be a black queer woman in a country like South Africa, where a certain sector of cultural and social beliefs authorize the “corrective rape” of gay women.
CAPE TOWN — Summertime in South Africa is not only a time for beach, sun and granadilla lollies (a locally-made fruit popsicle), with the influx of tourists it is also a time for survey exhibitions by galleries who want to showcase their stable of artists and give an overview of their wares.