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Errant

A solo print exhibition by Vulindlela Nyoni

5 November 2014

Text by Masa Lemu

In an age where video and multimedia installation are the defining media of artistic expression, linocut and screen-print might be viewed as too anachronistic for tackling topical concerns. Vulindlela “Vuli” Nyoni, a Zimbabwe born artist who attained his MFA from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2006, challenges this narrative with work that pushes the critical boundaries of print media. In his recent solo exhibition Errant, held at GUS (Gallery University Stellenbosch) near Cape Town in late 2014, Nyoni transcended the technical and aesthetic limits of print. Drawing on the technology of installation art he created a show that addressed a variety of topics, ranging from migrancy to sexuality. Nyoni reflected upon the idea of erring or straying as acts of self-assertion and individuation through two pieces, entitled “Murmuration” and “Icarus”.

Displayed in the main exhibition space, a converted old chapel, “Murmuration” consisted of of nine vertically hung cotton fabric strips each measuring one by three metres. Measuring 11 metres in total, the installation was too long to be shown in a straight line, so it was presented in a rectangular format. “Murmuration” departs from traditional printmaking, both in its monumental scale and walk-in display format, and takes on an almost spiritual quality in the sombre context of the repurposed chapel.

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