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Untitled (II)
Kudzanai Chiurai
Artwork 2009
Artwork: Kudzanai Chiurai, Untitled (II) (2009). Pigment inks on premium satin photo paper. 83.5 x 112 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Goodman Gallery.
Artist Kudzanai Chiurai Title Untitled (II) Date 2009 Materials Pigment inks on premium satin photo paper Dimensions 83.5 x 112 cm Credit Courtesy of the artist and Goodman Gallery

In an expansive practice that engages artistic, activist and archival strategies, Kudzanai Chiurai considers the continent and its discontents, and asks after the “paradox of virtue” that has come to characterise many ‘post-liberation’ African governments. “I think this has been the fundamental idea, that we are in fact living in post-colonial societies,” Chiurai says. “I doubt that we are in that situation at all. For me, we live in colonial futures. This is what we are grappling with.” His commentary finds form in theatrical photographic and video works, expressionistic paintings, and prints that riff on the declarative language and symbols of political posters. The artist’s criticisms, however, have not been without their price. In 2008, Chiurai was cast an enemy of Mugabe’s government. For a period, he left Zimbabwe for South Africa following repeated threats. This experience, rather than dissuade him, only galvanised his efforts. Mechanisms of political dissent and submission, the corrupting effect of power and the legacy of imperialism remain his guiding themes. “If we could write our history and chart our futures as we please,” Chiurai asks, “who would we be?”