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01 Apr 2014

Zanele Muholi at Williams College Museum of Art

Mini Mbatha, Durban, Glebelands, Jan. 2010, C-print.
© ZANELE MUHOLI. Courtesy of STEVENSON Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Zanele Muholi
Williams College Museum of Art


Open 10 am-5 pm Closed Wednesdays Exhibition on view through April 27, 2014



Williams College Museum of Art
15 Lawrence Hall Drive Suite 2
Williamstown, MA 01267

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The Williams College Museum of Art is pleased to present the exhibition Zanele Muholi, February 1 to April 27, 2014. Internationally recognized South African photographer and visual activist Zanele Muholi bears witness to the experiences of black lesbian, gay, transgender, and intersex individuals from South Africa and other African countries. The exhibition joins three of her widely acclaimed photographic series, Faces and Phases, Beulahs and Being, with documentary videos created by Ikanyiso, a media collective founded by the artist to broaden the visual representation of black queer life.

Faces and Phases
(2006–) commemorates the lives of female friends and acquaintances of the artist, many of whom have been victims of hate crimes. Beulahs (2006–2010) is comprised mainly of color photographs of young, fashionable transgendered and gay men whose gestures and style of dress blur the lines between masculine and feminine expressions of gender. Muholi's Being series (2007) daringly depicts love and eroticism between women. The videos are Human Rights Watch: Zanele Muholi, 2013 (11 min 10 sec), Intimacy (Being Scene), 2012 (3 min 49 sec), and Ayanda & Nhlanhla's Wedding, 2013 (11 min 50 sec), which documents the November wedding of Faces and Phases participant Ayanda Magaloza and her partner Nhlanhla Moremi. Collectively, the artist's sensual and erotic depictions of same sex intimacy and desires confront normative ideologies and social institutions that privilege heterosexual representations of love.

About the Artist

Zanele Muholi was born in Umlazi, South Africa, in 1972, and lives in Johannesburg. In 2009 she won both the Casa Africa award for best female photographer, a Fanny Ann Eddy accolade from IRN-Africa for her contributions to the study of sexuality in Africa, and was the Ida Ely Rubin Artist-in-Residence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, USA. In 2012 Faces and Phases was shown in Documenta 13. In 2013, she was the winner of the Fine Prize for Carnegie International and honored with the prestigious Prince Claus Award.

The Williams College Museum of Art

The Williams College Museum of Art is located on Main Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. It is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and closed on Wednesdays. The museum is wheelchair accessible and open to the public. Admission is FREE. For more information, contact the museum at 1 (413) 597-2429 or visit