The links that bind. Chikonzero Chazunguza. An Insight into the artThere are links that connect the dots and one can realise that we share the same experiences but just in different places across the globe. Art is really carrying across messages of cultural and urban experiences and result in Global dialogue. Pixels of Ubuntu/Uhnu Zimbabwe at the 56th Venice Biennale 2015.The idea of what seems to be or what appears to be is creatively interwoven into the meaning of the ‘Past and Presence’ series by Chikonzero Chazunguza. Visitors from all corners of the world share a similar concern with Chikonzero Chazunguza. The element of the diaspora is engaged as they have a history that is so unrelated to that of Africa. There are those that have family lineages that existed for many generations in the diaspora and in essence their ancestors are buried there.Some visitors from America posed a question that made me think and view Chazunguza’ s series with fresh perspective. The idea of an uncertain past that either African Americans or those from Brazil and people from many other indigenous ethnic origins feel. They feel as if a past that is not concrete and a past that was created for them through colonial conquest makes them uncertain of the future. The element of the ‘Past and the present’. In most cases the past is not is not in the present as some opt to ignore a past and focus on a future that would be stemming from the ‘Present’.Chazunguza is firm and clear about his stance about engaging elements of history and tradition. An approach that he has been consistent throughout his creative life. In a world with constant social changes and spiritual search.

Chikonzero (Chiko) Chazunguza is a visual artist and provocateur, whose multidisciplinary artworks raise searching questions about the postcolonial condition and about the unstable role and nature of art in its postcolonial context.

Amongst his most compelling works are those that reinstate for the viewer, a sense of ritual order and of life’s deeper mysteries, alongside proffering incisive, yet subtle social and political analysis. Chiko deliberately sets out to re-connect with local modes of fabrication and visuality, exploring their areas of aesthetic overlap with Western traditions to produce new visual forms and new kinds of visual experiences.

Chikonzero Chazunguza. Dialogues with art. More insights into the 56th Venice Biennale 2015 Zimbabwe Pavilion. Pixels of Ubuntu/Unhu. Exploring the social and cultural identities of the 21st century. When works or art are created they take on new meanings that keep the concept growing.Chikonzero Chazunguza has really stuck deep at the heart of most visitors who have experienced a past that was socially and colonially challenging. The past and presence series appeals to people who have countries that have dying indigenous languages. A young man form Ireland could relate to the element of a past that is not necessarily ‘present’. Ireland and many other countries such as Visitors from Brasil and Australia relate passionately about the subject. The loss of language is the first step to losing ones identity and thus assuming a new identity that only has reference to the now.‘Chimanjemanje’ is a piece by Chazunguza that took the level of what we know as print being ink to paper. ‘Chimanjemanje’ has caught the eye of the curious visitor who zooms in closer to assess the work  that there is actually weaving in the print. The print consists of paper interwoven with cans of refleshment drinks and their labels and bar codes being revealed but strategically like basketry. The Idea of ‘Chimanjemanje’ which translates to meaning the ‘the modern’. Most of the 122cm 181cm art work is woven into miniature squares. Above each square is the impression of a head thus each square representing the bust portrait of a person. Gradually you see a network of people in this creation that initially looked like weaving of soft drink brands.  “Pixels? No ?” A visitor asks me as he pointed at the creation by Chazunguza. Like pixels, which is the small individual component of an image.‘Chimanjemanje’ speaks to the new identity that we are now changing into and it is driven by commercial  brands. ‘Chimanjemanje’, the modern people. Being diverted by a quality of life that is fashionable and ignoring ones roots/ origins. 

. In his paintings, prints as well as in his installations he is known for experimenting with a variety of materials, including objects of everyday African life, challenging issues of subtle colonial conditions in Africa on land distribution, food insecurity, degradation of indigenous spirituality, traditional order and rituals.

Credits: Story

Doreen sibanda- Commissioner
Raphael Chikukwa -Chief Curator
Tafadzwa Gwetai - Assistant Curator
Paul Bradley Venice Conultant

Gareth Nyandoro- Artist
Chikonzero Chazunguza - Artist
Masimba Hwati - Artist

Silus Matopa - coordinating team
Fadzai Muchemwa - coordinating team

Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture
The National Gallery of Zimbabwe

Swiss Agency for Development and Coorperation .SDC

Culture Fund

European Union


Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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