Ngqwele Dube, Sunday Life Correspondent
NATIONAL Gallery in Bulawayo artist in residence, Andreas Wutz’s exhibition which is based on a long-term research in national and private archives and field researches on original locations in Zimbabwe opened last Thursday.
Wutz’s interest in the country was sparked during his first visit in 2007 when he took part in the Harare International Film Festival and this saw his revisit several times and ultimately led him to apply for a residency at the National Gallery in Bulawayo.
The exhibition titled, “Namuhla yisikhathi esadlulayo” (Today is a long time ago), captures various images over three decades which are juxtaposed with narratives by owners of the pictures, it also has landscape images and a film.
The work comprises the sections, Invisible Landscape, My Object Tells, The Embedded Self.
Wutz said he arrived in Zimbabwe at a time the country was going through a difficult economic period.
“People were welcoming but cried out about the situation because it was difficult for everyone hence I resolved to take it upon myself to research the history as I believe the past is intricately linked to the present,” he said.
The photo project Invisible Landscape interrogates areas that were scenes of violence at one time or another.
One such former place is in the Chimanimani Mountains, where although invisible today and not identified or marked by any sign or traces, it was the scene of a 1964 battle in the early clashes of the Second Chimurenga.
Some of the objects captured include a Renault R4 bought in 1974, a handmade brooch, a 1966 Tonga stool, a Supersonic portable gramophone acquired in the late sixties and a record single of Oliver Mtukudzi’s Ndipeyiwo Zano released in 1978.
Wutz, who has been resident at the Gallery for the past two months, said he has learnt a lot meeting the diverse local artists but realised there was still too much focus on traditional paintings with little multimedia work that covers art forms such as photography and short film.
The exhibition is set to run until 8 May.
Wutz is an independent artist from Munich and based in Bilbao, Spain who graduated in painting and has subsequently focused on photography, installation and audio-visual art.
Recently he has worked on a photographic project in Albacete, Spain, and has been teaching visual art at Instituto Europeo de Diseño in Barcelona and at the University of California in San Diego.