New Art Exchange (NAE) is a contemporary arts space in Nottingham that celebrates the region’s cultural richness and diversity. It is the largest gallery in the UK dedicated to culturally diverse arts. The venue presents an ever-changing creative programme including art exhibitions, creative activities for families and young people, film screenings, talks, festival days and live music and performance. It is committed to stimulating new perspectives on the value of diversity within art and society.
For In Another Place NAE will present South African visual activist, Zanele Muholi. The image will be taken from Muholi’s self-portrait series, Somnyama Ngonyama, which means Hail, the Dark Lioness in isiZulu, one of the eleven official languages in South Africa. Through the collection Muholi confronts the politics of race and representation in the visual archive.
Taken primarily in Europe, North America and Africa between 2014 and 2016, each portrait poses critical questions about social justice, human rights and contested representations of the black body. Muholi’s self-reflective and psychologically charged portraits are unapologetic in their artistry as they explore different archetypes / personae and offers visual reflections inspired by personal experiences and socio-political events.
“I’m reclaiming my blackness, which I feel is continuously performed by the privileged ‘other’. My reality is that I do not mimic being black; it is my skin, and the experience of being black is deeply entrenched in me. Just like our ancestors, we live as black people 365 days a year, and we should speak without fear.” Zanele Muholi
Muholi’s bold billboard presentation – located in Nottingham – will contribute to NAE’s mission as an organisation: to stimulate new perspectives on the value of diversity in art and society, to represent ethnically and culturally diverse communities, and to reach new audiences. Muholi’s billboard image will be one of over 80 photographs that will feature in the artist’s corresponding exhibition at NAE which runs until 23 June 2018.