Photo/ © Zanele Muholi. Courtesy of STEVENSON, Cape Town/Johannesburg.
Four artists explore their own histories in connection with intimacy, visibility, otherness, and discrimination: Zanele Muholi, Sara Christensen, Ahmed Umar, and Linn Cecilie Ulvin.
“I celebrate my pride, my beauty consciously and creatively. I also continue to document through art/visual activism all the beloved LGBTI individuals who are daring their lives for freedom of many. I urge caring allies, friends, families, lovers, colleagues to commemorate all those we lost along the way of queer struggles. Not forgetting those who are still oppressed in their countries of origin”
Zanele Muholi (b. 1972, South Africa) is the main artist. With her camera, she tells the stories of black lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, trans- and intersexual persons in South Africa. On the one hand, she reveals how brutal discrimination affects the lives of these groups; on the other hand, she focuses on love and intimacy. The last few years Muholi has worked with a series of portraits with the title Somnyama Ngonyama (Hail, the Dark Lioness) that are shown in this exhibition. Zanele Muholi has won several prizes; recently the prestigious Infinity Award for best Documentary and Photojournalism (2016) at the International Center of Photography. She has, among other places, exhibited at the 55th Venice Biennale (2013), dOCUMENTA13 (2012), and the Brooklyn Museum in New York (2015).
“I am influenced by the society I grew up in, where my voice is unheard and my existence is a curse. (…) I make art to tell my stories, to inspire, to survive …”
Ahmed Umar (b. 1988, Sudan) came to Norway in 2008 as a political refugee. His artistic practice is heavily influenced by themes related to growing up, and the experience of living in a society subject to religion. He works with sculpture, printmaking, painting, and performance, with his own life as a starting point. Umar got a degree from Oslo National Academy of the Arts in 2016.
“My works have a humoristic angle, sometimes involving puns or wordplays, but with slightly uncomfortable undertones.”
Sara Christensen (b.1979, Denmark) works with different techniques in different media, such as sculpture, installation, and text. In her work, she examines the universal and existential through the mundane and private. Christensen lives and works in Oslo, and has previously exhibited at, among others, Galleri K (Oslo), Galleri Boa (Oslo), and Kit Schulte Contemporary Art (Berlin).
“I have an insufficient access to language, pictures and corporeality. The connections between them are chaotic and fragmented. Layers and traces cross each other. I systemize, and gather up a WE. I have a renewed need to initiate ways to start with a WE. We-I/I-WE. There has always been a we. There is always a we. There is always us.”
Linn Cecilie Ulvin
Linn Cecilie Ulvin (b. 1969, Norway) is a writer and an artist. In her works she often combines visuals with text and performative elements, in order to explore lines of questioning dealing with power and control, perpetrator and victim. She examines what defines the borders and limitations of sexuality and gender identity, and how language and poetry can be used to both construct and deconstruct dominance.
The exhibition “MINA / MEG – A Feminist, Artist Queer Exhibition” is curated by Lerato Dumse and Henriette Stensdal on behalf of the exhibition producer Kunstplass . Transnational Arts Production is a producer of touring exhibition.