Nandipha Mntambo

Nandipha Mntambo
November 19 - January 21, 2011

"Not only are we tremendously excited to have Nandipha's talent here in Cleveland, but this marks SPACES' first foray into the African continent," states Christopher Lynn, SPACES Executive Director. "Thanks to the generosity of the Cleveland Foundation, I was able to travel to South Africa to meet with artists and curators before selecting Nandipha. We hope to leverage these connections in the future to continue to bring more of Africa's astounding artists to Northeast Ohio."

Mntambo often uses her own body as her subject or as inspiration to bring issues of identity and conflict to the forefront, and she frequently addresses the dynamic tension that exists within the self, the push-pull between libido and mortido, life instinct and death drive. Concepts of powerlessness versus empowerment, the public versus the private selves, or the presentation of unexpected role reversals have arisen in some of her latest bodies of work. She is also very interested in bull mythology throughout various cultures. Her themes and practices range from the rehearsal and photography of the steps of a bullfighter in the abandoned Praça de Touros in Maputo to re-imagining the Greek myth The Rape of Europa. Mntambo has developed a unique aesthetic through the use of cowhide. The artist breaks down, molds and casts the cowhide to create masks, body armor, and adornments allowing for her to organically transform into her characters.

Mntambo currently has work included in the exhibition SPace: Currencies in Contemporary African Art at Museum Africa in Newtown, Johannesburg (May 11 – July 11). This Pan African exhibition is a 2010 FIFA World Cup Host City Johannesburg Event. She has had two solo exhibitions at Michael Stevenson, a contemporary gallery located in Woodstock, Capetown. The artist has shown internationally in group exhibitions in Denmark, Germany, and the UK, among others. She has also presented work in two exhibitions in the United States: Undercover: Performing and Transforming Black Female Identities, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta; and Black Womanhood: Images, Icons, and Ideologies of the African Body, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire. Her work is currently included in the following venues throughout the summer of 2010: The 17th Biennale of Sydney (May 12 – August 12); Dak'Art, the 9th Dakar Biennale (May 7 – June 7); and Ampersand at Daimler Contemporary, Berlin (June 10 – October 10).

To date, 28 artists from countries such as Chile, Poland, Czech Republic, Israel, Hungary, Romania, and across the United States have created new work and conducted multiple public and educational events while visiting Cleveland through SWAP. Each resident has stayed for six to eight weeks in order to get to know the city, its people, and some of the political, economic, and social forces at work in our region. In turn, each artist has shared his or her own culture with Clevelanders. At the end of each residency, an exhibition features the new work and celebrates the many events and people that make SWAP possible.

The funds and support provided through the Cleveland Foundation's Creative Fusion initiative allow a substantial increase in the normal time spent during a residency (from eight weeks to four months), which will enable Mntambo to delve deeper into her project and engage more intensely with the Northeast Ohio community.

This project is made possible through the generous support of The Cleveland Foundation's Creative Fusion Initiative.

Video and Streaming Media

Standard Bank Young Artist Awards 2011: Nandipha Mntambo


Cleveland Foundation National Endowment for the Arts

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This project is a part of the SWAP Program.

The SPACES World Artists Program (SWAP) offers residencies to international, national and local artists who explore and experiment. SWAP supports artists in the creation, presentation and discussion of new work, while facilitating opportunities for them to collaborate with artists and audiences in Northeast Ohio.

Regional Artists, Apply for this Program.

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