During the Pink Village project we had a pop up experience that was intended to be wholesomely pastime but we soon realised it was complex to draw a line on the circumstances in which artists meet. The adventure that is Zig Zag started at the 2015 Venice Biennale where the National Gallery of Zimbabwe’s Curator, Raphael Chikukwa met New York Gallerist, Catinca Tabacaru and discussed the possibility of a residency between a number of artists between the vast geographical divide, to take centre stage in Zimbabwe.
By the end of the year 2015, the two galleries had co-ordinated efforts and numerous efforts transpired at Dzimbanhete Art Interactions to such an end that culminated in an experience filled exhibition which opened in New York this February.
The National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) had a brief discussion with two of the artists who are amongst the exhibitors in both the New York and Harare shows, namely Rachel Monosov (RM) from Belgium/ Israel and Admire Kamdzengerere (AK)
NGZ: How did you come to be part of the Zig Zag project?
RM: I was approached by Catinca Tabacaru who invited me to be part of the residency in Zimbabwe. I was exceedingly interested by the invitation as I had heard of many young artists from Zimbabwe who are known in Europe and I decided to come based on the need to learn more about the culture and creative energy that I could draw from the Zimbabwean setting.
NGZ: Are there any particular artists you were familiar with before embarking on the Residency?
RM: I was quite familiar with Admire Kamdzengerere’s work as he had been resident at the Rijksakademie (Amsterdam) and this stoked the intrigue I found in Zimbabwe as he had been part of this international foray. I was interested in working alongside him and many other artists on a basis where we derive the energy of the setting in tandem. I was intrigued by Admire’s video from his time in Amsterdam (Grey Chess) which impressed me in the way it was made, the subtlety and cultural interrogation that it presented through devices such as irony; which I use a lot in my own work. It makes the concept of histories and futures as related to perspectives raised up when I was in Zimbabwe.
NGZ: What did you both draw out of the collaborative effort of the Zig Zag Residency?
AK: I enjoy collaborations and this was a launch pad for an unconventional process that I found very interesting. During the Pink Village project we had a pop up experience that was intended to be wholesomely pastime but we soon realised it was complex to draw a line on the circumstances in which artists meet. When we found the enormity of our complexities we were able to easily map our similarities and effect the creative process.
RM: When we left Zimbabwe we realised that the work was beyond the physical and more based on the intellectual concerns and that has even continued to now. The religious mix that we experienced as participants was inspirational and connected to each culture.
Zig Zag Zim is a collaborative project by the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Dzimbanhete Artist Interaction and Catinca Tabacaru Gallery New York.
It will focus on the resultant relationship with boundaries between tradition and contemporariness, foreign and local, black and white etc,will feature the artists:
Admire Kamudzengerere, Rachel Monosov, Terrence Musekiwa, Gareth Nyandoro, Xavier Robles de Medina, Justin Orvis Steimer, Masimba Hwati, Franklyn Dzingai, Happiness Kamudzengerere, Wallen Mapondera, Option Nyahunzvi, Moffat Takadiwa, and Mavis Tauzeni. The exhibition opens on April 28 2016 at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe