Text by Heidi Erdmann
Well known award winning photographer and academic Nomusa Makhubu’s latest series of work, The Flood has received deserved critical acclaim. It marks a departure from her previous work, shifting from the personal to the public. Makhubu has established herself as one of the new generation of lens based artists to explore issues of identity, culture, land, rights, economy and religion. Her work often looks at the history of South Africa and Africa. She uses her work as a means of critiquing the socio-political environment as well as an important means of reflection of the everyday lives of people. She is also concerned with the identities that are constrained politically. In her acclaimed Self-Portrait Project series, Makhubu dealt directly with historically sensitive material which enabled her to explore issues of self-representation by projecting historically sensitive images onto herself. Makhubu’s use of identity in her work is one that continually forces the viewer to challenge notions of representation, particularly in a colonial context.
In November 2013, she was selected as one of fourteen female photographers from around the world invited to participate in Semiha Es – Women Photographers International Symposium, in Istanbul, Turkey. Her paper, The Power and Terror of the Enactment of Collective Memory in Performative Photography commented directly on her own work, particularly the self portrait project series. Makhubu also presented an equally successful paper in Baltimore, USA – both her papers have been requested to be developed into academic articles due for publication in 2014.
In a recent interview Makhubu elaborated on the process of The Flood series explaining that it was shot through the window of a slow moving taxi in Lagos, Nigeria. The taxi was slow moving due to traffic but also due to flash floods along the way that occur during the rainy season in Nigeria. Makhubu continued photographing through the car window until the vehicle in which she travelled was brought to a stop due to flooding inside. The coincidental nature of this series is in stark contrast to her previously staged works.
Nomusa Makhubu is completing her PhD in Art History and Visual culture at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa. She has won multiple awards including Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans 2013 and was nominated for the Vice Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award 2012. She has exhibited her work both locally and internationally.
Makhubu is represented by The Photographers Gallery & Erdmann Contemporary za that is located in Cape Town. Her next solo exhibition will be hosted in Cape Town, South Africa in 2014.
The Photographers Gallery za & Erdmann Contemporary
The Photographers Gallery za & ErdmannContemporary was launched by Heidi Erdmann in 2001 in Cape Town.
This owner run gallery, with an established international reputation is committed to the development of successful and sustainable careers. To this end it has attracted the attention of both local and international collectors, museum directors and curators.
The gallery’s exhibition schedule over the past decade is testimony to its commitment of hosting relevant and content rich exhibitions by both local and selected international artists.