The ZAZISE exhibition contains art from across two decades and also offers a view into Muholi's self-portraits from different eras. Muholi's breakthrough work Only Half the Picture is concerned with South African minorities who have been victims of hate crimes. By striving to break away from stereotypical methods of depicting victimhood, Muholi's work provides a broader and more intimate angle into the lives of LGBTQIA+ people. In their self-portrait series Somnyama Ngonyama — "Hail the Dark Lioness" — Muholi investigates racism, exoticism, and sexual politics. The wearable installations and compositions of everyday objects are reminiscent of historical images from the era of colonialism.
Zanele Muholi: Thathu I, The Sails, Durban 2019
Zanele Muholi is a South African LGBTQIA+ activist and among the most influential international photographers working today. ZAZISE means "to make oneself known" or "to gain information". Since the early 2000s, Muholi has documented the lives of black gender and sexual minorities in South Africa and across the globe.
Zanele Muholi (b.1972, South Africa) is working with photography, video, and installation art. Muholi was born in Umlazi, Durban, as the eighth and youngest child of a family in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. They studied photography in Johannesburg and held their first exhibition in 2004. Muholi's activism is centered on issues of race, skin color, gender, and sexuality. They describe themselves as non-binary, saying they rather "identify as human".
Zanele Muholi: Massa and Minah II, 2008
Muholi's work has been exhibited at festivals, galleries, and museums across the world, including Documenta (2012), Amsterdam's Stedelijk Museum (2017), the Venice Biennale (2019), London's Tate Modern (2021), and Gropius Bau in Berlin (2021–2022). They were awarded the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize in 2015 and the International Center of Photography's Infinity Award in 2016.