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Thursday, December 8, 2016


(“Jumper 1” by Zemba Luzamba, Mixed media on fabric on board)

Following months of refurbishment, the Durban Art Gallery reopens to the public on December 11, with a new exhibition throughout all gallery spaces entitled Beyond Binaries.

Beyond Binaries is a curated exhibition featuring work by 26 artists. The exhibition aims to open up discussion on the current climate of polarization and intolerance, and the increasing trend towards fixed, essentialised identities.

Beyond Binaries features works with video, photography, paintings, drawings, sculpture, ceramics, wire and mixed media works on show. South African-born artists are complemented by their peers born in African countries as well as artists born in India, China and Germany. The exhibition has been curated by Qala!, a fledgling curatorial collective comprising three Durban-born cultural workers: Mario Pissarra, Robin Moodley and Russel Hlongwane.

Several exhibits address critical questions concerning race, gender, national identity and heritage. The relationship of people to the natural environment provides another sub-theme that is prominently featured. Several exhibits bring binaries into vivid focus, whilst others attempt to transcend these to create or suggest hybrid, fluid or emerging notions of identity.

KwaZulu-Natal is well represented by a healthy mix of acclaimed and emerging talents: Cedric Nunn (photography), Sfiso ka Mkame, Mthobisi Maphumulo, Mhlonishwa Chiliza, Eugene Hlophe (drawings), Paul Sibisi and Nicole Pletts (paintings), Thembi Nala and Sbonelo Tau Luthuli (pottery), Hlengiwe Dube (wirework), and Kristin NG-Yang (photography and mixed media).

Sister cities to Durban, Bulawayo and Libreville, are represented by Nonhlanhla Mathe (painting) and Nathalie Anguezomo Mba Bikoro (video). The exhibition also features Namibian photographer Julia Hango as well as work by African nationals living in South Africa, namely Lizette Chirrime (Mozambique), Robert Machiri (Zimbabwe), and Zemba Luzamba (DRC).

Also exhibiting are Ayesha Price, Donovan Ward, Garth Erasmus, Jeannette Unite, Jill Joubert, Manfred Zylla, Meghna Singh, Nomusa Makhubu and Thania Petersen.

The artists were selected following a process where 54 artists identified by a curatorial panel were invited to propose works on the theme of the exhibition.

Beyond Binaries was originally commissioned by the City of eThekwini for the recent Essence Festival Durban, where it was exhibited at the International Convention Centre under the banner of ARTiculate Africa.

The exhibition runs until February 19, 2017, at the Durban Art Gallery on the second floor of the magnificent Durban City Hall building; enter opposite the Playhouse in the heart of the city of Durban. DAG is open seven days a week: Monday to Saturday from 08h30 until 15h45 and Sundays from 11h00 until 15h45. Entry is free and all are welcome!

For more information, contact the Gallery on 031 311 2264 / 9 or (weekdays).