A collection of black and white pictures taken from Zanele Muholi‘s ongoing photo project “Faces and Phases” were one of my personal highlights of this year’s Documenta 13, a huge contemporary art exhibition, which takes place every five years in the city of Kassel, Germany. Cape Town based artist Muholi has started the series in 2006 to portrait queer women from South Africa and later decided to expand it into a project, that also expresses the loss that queer and trans* people around the world have experienced due to diseases and hate crimes. “Faces and Phases” was published as a book in 2010 and is shown next to Muholi’s documentary “Difficult Love” from 2010 at the Documenta. Sorry my picutres shown here are a little blurry, it was quite crowded at the exhibition so I had little time to shoot them. All portraits can also be found on the website of Michael Stevenson gallery.
To see the pictures especially moved me, because it reminded me of the fact that Muholi just recently was a victim of a crime: 20 external hard drives containing all the work she produced between 2008 and 2012 were stolen from her apartment in Vredehoek, Cape Town. Since only a few other things are missing it looks like the thieves have targeted the artist in her role as a queer activist. You can still support her by donating money via IndieGogo, where a project was launched to replace her photo equipment.
Picture on top (c) dOCUMENTA (13)
All other pictures by Catch Fire, CC BY-SA 2.0.