As exhibitions everywhere have been disrupted over the past 15 months I was determined to get to Zanele Muholi at Tate Britain before it closed. I had seen an exhibition walk-through online but, as ever, you just can’t beat seeing art in reality.
The photos and videos are a key element of Muholi’s activism, coming across as loving and tender while still making a very effective political point.
So many themes are covered in this show: the ongoing prejudices and violence against people of colour and of various gender and sexuality. It could all be overwhelming but Muholi transcends that through their work which is touching as well as formally beautiful.
The portrait wall is an ongoing project with spaces for future images of extraordinary ordinary people.
The self-portraits in the last room of the show included this one below. Ziphelele refers to “necklacing”, a method of execution during apartheid . The angle of one tyre reminds one of a halo and martyrdom.
Muholi uses household objects as props to celebrate the life of their mother, Bester, a domestic worker under the apartheid regime.