The Zimbabwe Annual Art Exhibition returns this year, featuring new artworks from emerging, mature and reputable artists within the borders of Zimbabwe and the Diaspora. The theme for this year’s Annual is Blood Relatives. The Zimbabwe Annual Art Exhibition has over the past provided curatorial-based themes in a bid to stimulate the best reinterpretation through a diverse range of media and technique. The Zimbabwe Annual Art Exhibition opens on December 13.

“Blood Relatives” is an intensive examination of social capital and how it has been lost or reclaimed in this heavily globalised habitat; cue Hwati’s series of prints entitled “Urban Totems” wherein the model; an emblematic young African, is bedazzled at the eyes by all sorts of commercial brands, identifies with them and has no footing or homing of the self.  Arguably the aspect of identification or association with something has become a disturbing norm                                                                                          – the rise of the troll on social media and in real life, the shadow of the second life.

The publication of personal experience in the second life, or the interactive one, for example, has largely led to a phenomenon that has led to statements such as “Zimbabweans poke fun at everything”; an unnerving endgame within all this being concise, other people just do not matter!

The combination of any discrediting of matter as nothing would be the main focus for the breakdown in social capital; the rise of the esoteric ministry has led to the abandonment of the most basic gemeinschaft in local culture                                            – the Totem, that which curbed in-breeding and increased blood ties and across tribal lines promoted sorority, fraternity, rooted paternity and enriched maternity.

“Blood Relatives” investigates this fixedly; the usurpation of the intrinsic by extrusive, the implosion of the family structure, the violation of the individual at the hand of shifts in global philosophy. All this shall be exhaustively explored and interpreted in “Blood Relatives”.

The exhibition will be open to the public as from Friday, December 14, running until Monday, February 11, 2019. An Artist Talk will take place on Friday, December 14, 2018 at 2:30pm; while a Curatorial Walkabout will take place on Wednesday, January 9, 2019, and a session of the Harare Conversations focused on the exhibition will wrap up the public programmes on Thursday, January 10, 2019.

About the curator:

Raphael Chikukwa was born in Zimbabwe and worked mainly as an independent curator for many years before joining the National Gallery of Zimbabwe mid-2010 as its Chief Curator.

He is the founding Zimbabwe Pavilion curator in 2010-2011 and curated the first and second Zimbabwe Pavilion in 2011 and 2013 at the 54th and 55th Venice Biennale respectively.



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