Zimbabwe at the Venice Biennale

Art & Design | By Masimba Hwati, Fine Artist | 07 October 2013
PHOTO: © Baynham Goredema

There have been so many highlights in the Zimbabwean art world.  The biggest which has been the Venice Biennale.  Once again, Zimbabwe managed to send artist to represent the nation in the Venice Biennale and that was a big highlight there are a lot of lessons to be learnt from this highlight.

When I look at the selection of the Venice Biennale, it was interesting because we had three women on board, Virginia Chihota, Portia and Michelle Matherson who is a Zimbabwe living in South Africa.  We had Rashib Jogee and Voti Thebe who are veterans and old timers who have been practicing art since pre-independence.

It was an interesting selection raising a lot of questions, obviously, as to what was the criteria of choosing the artist and did the artist’s work respond to the theme?  Did it do justice?  Did the work represent what Zimbabwe is all about?  Those are questions still to be answered.

But what was interesting was some of the prizes that were won by one of our own Zimbabwean artists, Virginia Chihota.  She won a prize for her drawings and she managed to get herself some good connections to help her along the way.

The reviews were great, they were amazing, we had people writing about The Zimbabwe Pavilion, that was a good response and we are just hoping that; as we go, we learn from our mistakes, we improve and we continue to excel in this thing.