In Contemporary Art Museum – Zeitz MOCAA – in Cape Town, Western Cape, the BMW Atrium stands at the heart of the museum. It provides Zeitz MOCAA with the ability to commission and exhibit monumental interventions on a scale never before seen in a public museum in Africa.
Nicholas Hlobo’s, iimpundulu zonke ziyandilandela, inaugurates the space. This seminal object, originally created for the 54th Venice Biennale (2011), combines rubber inner tubing, multicoloured ribbons, an animal skull, and pink theatre lights. As light streams in from the glass topped atrium, this massive bird hovers over us. Hlobo seduces us with the haunting lullaby he has created for this space.
As oral histories inevitably disappear, Hlobo represents the Xhosa myth of the Lightning Bird or the witch’s servant, manifesting itself as a bird or an attractive man. Hlobo, however, morphs the myth to particular personal concerns taking into account taboos associated with masculinity and violence.
The generosity of Hlobo’s practice allows us to enter a fantastical world not normally accessible to us.
This exhibition was made possible by the generous support of BMW
Nicolas Hlob is the winner of the 2006 Tollman Award for Visual Art, the 2009 Standard Bank Young Artist Award, and a finalist for the Future Generation Art Prize 2010. In 2010, Hlobo was selected as a protégé by mentor Sir Anish Kapoor as part of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative an international philanthropic programme that pairs masters in their disciplines with emerging talents for a year of one-to-one creative exchange.