The following video, recorded during the opening held on May 31st, 2013, presents an interview with Michele Mathison and the performance by Voti Thebe, two of the five artists invited to represent the Zimbabwe pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale. Other artists are Portia Zvavahera, Rashid Jorgee and Virginia Chihota.
“The word ‘dudziro’ comes from the verb kukudza – to explain symbolically or metaphorically. The Zimbabwe Pavilion will present artworks that together provide a penetrating glimpse into the complexity that make up the Zimbabwean creative psyche and landscape. The artists were invited to participate on the basis of their most recent bodies of work, which variously explore the unique tension between having a strong belief in something outside of the self while still bringing to bear a strong sense of personal identity.” Doreen Sibanda, exhibition commissioner.
“The Zimbabwe Pavilion seeks to examine the metamorphosis of religious beliefs in our society and the impact this process has had on a culture whose strength is founded on strong ancestral roots. Artists in this exhibition represent the multifaceted landscape of present Zimbabwe through their own interpretations of a society that has continued to redefine its own identity. Globally, the current political landscape is changing the face of religion.” Raphael Chikukwa, exhibition curator.
“The work of some of Zimbabwe’s best artists reflects the rich and complex nature of a culture that has resiliently survived a decade of all but insurmountable challenges. These artists offer the world new ways of seeing creative potential. This edition’s theme, ‘Dudziro’, appropriately seeks to question Zimbabwe’s historical past with the express intention of enabling the country to body map out advances into a more prosperous future.” Farai Mpfunya in the exhibition catalogue.