Zanele Muholi's 'The Politics of Black Silhouettes' exhibit in Paris

A bronze statue of a Black person sitting down on a plain of grass.
© Zanele Muholi, taken from the Paris+ par Art Basel website

Zanele Muholi (they/them) is a South African artist and “visual activist” known for their critically acclaimed photography. Their work mainly focuses on race, sexuality, and gender, partocularly the lives of LGBTQIA South Africans.

In their latest exhibition, The Politics of Black Silhouettes, Muholi taps into that Black queer community with the help of bronze statues:

Part of Paris + par Art Basel, Muholi’s The Politics of Black Silhouettes encompasses a series of figurative works positioned alongside statues by art historical greats like Auguste Rodin and Alberto Giacometti. While the previously installed sculptures are often presented on pedestals in stately positions, Muholi’s rest directly on the ground, exploring notions of value and reverence. One work depicts a figure sleeping softly on their side, while another shows a subject bound to a chair with belt-like restraints, their hands and feet anxious to move. The artist’s intent is corrective and “to rewrite a Black queer and trans visual history of South Africa for the world to know of our resistance and existence at the height of hate crimes in South Africa and beyond.”

via Colossal

The Politics of Black Silhouettes is available to view until 31st October so if you’re in or around Paris for the next couple of weeks or fancy a culture break, here’s some inspiration.

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