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Portia Modise, Kagiso, Krugersdorp, 2016
Zanele Muholi
Artwork 2016
Zanele Muholi's photograph 'Portia Modise, Kagiso, Krugersdorp, 2016'.
Artwork: Zanele Muholi, Portia Modise, Kagiso, Krugersdorp, 2016 (2016). Photographic print. 76.5 x 50.5 cm. Courtesy of the artist.
Artist Zanele Muholi Title Portia Modise, Kagiso, Krugersdorp, 2016 Date 2016 Materials Photographic print Dimensions 76.5 x 50.5 cm Credit Courtesy of the artist

From Phokeng Tshepo Setai and Alexander Richards, the curators of Exhibition Match '22:

This image of legendary South African Women’s football player and former captain Portia Modise is part of their ongoing photographic series titled Faces and Phases (2006–ongoing). Muholi bases their practice on the notions of collaboration and participation, ideals which are instrumental components in the dynamics of the game of football.

“My practice as a visual activist,” Zanele Muholi writes, “looks at black resistance – at existence as well as insistence.” Muholi’s photographic projects address the absence in the image archive of black, queer South Africa, which is all but rendered invisible in national histories. Addressing personal experiences, contemporary politics, and social exclusions, their photographs offer an alternative representation of blackness in a country where homosexuality – while legal – is more often deemed ‘un-African’. As a result, South Africa’s black LGBTQIA community suffers not only prejudice and intolerance within their communities, but violent hate crimes. Muholi’s photographic projects respond to such prejudice and that of racism, with the archival act of documenting queer and non-gender conforming individuals in intimate portraits. It is, the activist suggests, a restorative gesture, “marking, mapping, and preserving an often invisible community for prosperity.” Muholi is perhaps best known for Faces and Phases (2006–2011), a series of over two hundred black-and-white photographs of lesbian women – women who exist and persist in a society hostile to their very presence.