Wycliffe Mundopa - What Makes Us

Written by Black Discourse
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Who: Wycliffe Mundopa

What: What Makes Us

Where: First Floor Gallery, Online

When: 31 October - Ongoing


Via First Floor Gallery:

Entering his second decade as a professional artist, Mundopa is one of Zimbabwe’s most recognised and successful painters. Firmly rooted in and committed to being a present witness and advocate of the country’s turbulent contemporary life.

This long look at the path travelled over the past decade not only projects the robustness of Mundopa’s strength as an artist and the depth of his foundations for an expansive flourishing practice going forward. It is also a counterpoint to the limitations of art market narratives around contemporary African art.   

This is because, despite decades in the making the international art world, contemporary art from the continent is still defined by the discourse of discovery and arrival. This paradigm focused on newness creates a perception frozen in time. Where artists’ practices exist in that singular moment of the encounter with non-African audience. This is a PR driven ahistorical model, which short-changes audiences as much as it precludes the artist from the possibility of growth and development. 

This is particularly and spectacularly significant for young, emerging, who have been the focus of market attention and knowingly or unwittingly, willingly or unwilling have been trapped in a cage of success. While this is also true for non-African emerging artists, the situation for African emerging artists is underscored by historical power inequalities and disempowerment of emerging from underdeveloped art sector infrastructure.

In this context, “What Makes Us” is more than a personal exhibition concept. It stands as a statement of intent by Mundopa to engage with global art history as a peer. It is also an invitation for other African artists to assert themselves in the same way.



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