Zanele Muholi: Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness

This event is in the past
July 10–Nov 3, 2019
Seattle Art Museum Pike Pine Retail Core (Seattle)
More from Our Arts Guide
Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness consists of around 75 black-and-white self-portraits. Eight of Muholi's portraits are blown up to the size of walls, almost physically involving the viewer in the composition; the others range in size, the smallest being the size of a large hand. The portraits were taken over a three-year period from 2014 to 2016 as Muholi traveled the world, giving guest lectures and participating in residencies in places like Oslo, Norway; Richmond, Virginia; and Mayotte, a French territory off the east coast of Africa. Muholi's work is powerful because it recognizes the multiplicity of blackness and of self. It's a reminder that to be black—as a condition, as a culture—is a complex state of being that's often reduced to a single thing and, therefore, misread. Muholi's personal ties to their queer and black community back in South Africa only deepen the ways in which their self-portraits can be read. Aesthetically, the work is both editorial and DIY, serious and playful. by Jas Keimig

Event Location

Seattle Art Museum

1300 First Ave Seattle, WA 98101 Venue website

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