Zanele Muholi

Artist talk Zanele Muholi


15. okt



Before the opening, Yasufumi Nakamori, Senior Curator at Tate Modern, will have a talk to Zanele Muholi about their work at 1:30 pm. Please note that the conversation will take place in The House of Collection, Hverfisgata 15. Following the talk, the Icelandic Minister of Culture and Business Affairs, Lilja D. Alfreðsdóttir, opens the exhibition at Fríkirkjuvegur 7.

The National Gallery of Iceland presents this major survey of the work of the internationally recognised South African photographer and visual activist Zanele Muholi (b. 1972).

Muholi‘s powerful images capture the struggle for the rights of black lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and intersex people in the artist‘s home country. Muholi gives a voice to those who have to battle on a daily basis for recognition of their identity.

The exhibition brings together more then one hundred photographs by Zanele Muholi, a South African activist who identifies themself with the personal pronoun “they”. Their work tells the stories of Black LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Agender, Asexual) lives in South Africa and beyond. Their photography raises awareness of injustices and aims to educate, while creating positive visual histories for under and mis-represented communities. Muholi also turns the camera on themself, making self-portraits that address race, history and representation.

During the 1990s, South Africa underwent major social and political change. Apartheid was officially abolished in 1994. This was a political and social system of racial segregation underpinned by white minority rule.

Anyone who was not classified as white was actively oppressed by the regime. Apartheid continued the segregation that had begun under the Dutch and British colonial regimes in the late 19th century.

The apartheid regime also upheld injustice and discrimination based on gender and sexuality. While the 1996 Constitution of the Republic of South Africa was the first in the world to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation, the LGBTQIA+ community remains a target for prejudice, hate crimes and violence.

Sýningarstjórar / Curators:
Yasufumi Nakamori Senior Curator, International Art, Harpa Þórsdóttir Museum Director, Vigdís Rún Jónsdóttir Curator at the National Gallery of Iceland

The exhibition is organised by Tate Modern in collaboration with the National Gallery of Iceland, Bildemuseet at Umeå University and Kunstforeningen GL Strand, Copenhagen.


Ntozakhe II, Parktown, 2016 (hluti úr verkaröðinni Somnyama Ngonyama / part of the series Somnyama Ngonyama)
Ljósmynd, gelatín silfurprent á pappír / Photograph, gelatin silver print on paper
© Zanele Muholi


Treasures of Icelandic Art

The museum is open every day from 10am - 5pm.