Details

Title

Nini, Cotonou (Benin)

Artist/Maker

Zanele Muholi (South African, born 1972)

Date

2015

Medium

Gelatin silver print

Dimensions

31 1/2 × 27 inches

Credit

Purchase with funds from the Donald and Marilyn Keough Family

Accession #

2017.301

On View

Currently not on view

Visual activist Zanele Muholi, whose personal gender pronoun is they, uses self-portraiture to address the politics of gender and race throughout the history of photography in the ongoing body of work Somnyama Ngonyama (which translates to “Hail, The Dark Lioness” from their mother tongue, Zulu). Muholi poses in locations around the world and incorporates everyday found objects as props, costumes, and set dressing to build images that draw on their personal family history, consumer culture, and art history. In this photograph, Muholi addresses the viewer with a forceful, piercing gaze, claiming their role as an agent in their own representation and challenging the conventional exoticized, othered, and sexualized depictions of Black female bodies.

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