Observer: Kudzanai Chiurai | Artist
What’s your AMMO?
My AMMO recently has been European and American journalist, stating how young African artists have put Africa on the map. We have been on the map from the begin of time; the cradle of mankind is in Africa. Maybe having spent a couple hundred years exploiting Africans we didn’t exist as human beings. That’s My AMMO recently.
What inspired you to pursue art, what is one of your youngest and most vivid memories of a growing relationship with art?
My Uncle buying one of my paintings when I was 12 and going to buy art books and more paint.
What is one of the most important aspects of your creative process?
The most important aspect of my creative process is being patient.
How does it feel being named the first black student to graduate from the University of Pretoria with a degree in Fine Arts?
I feel terrible about it, because that was not supposed to happen, in a country where black people are the majority, it’s not something to celebrate in a post-apartheid South Africa.
Tell us about the film series (Iyeza, Creation, and Moyo). What is the message for each?
The three films deal with birth, sacrifice, and death and explore each aspect of that process, through creation mythology, Christian understanding of sacrifice, juxtaposed against the African sacrifices and rituals. And lastly death, Moyo referring to the soul.
Your film Iyeza was featured in the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Tell us about the reaction it received.
The reaction has been positive, though I didn’t go to the festival, the film was selected for another film festival this year.
You have been compared to artists like Ai Weiwei and Banksy for your politically driven work, how do you think art tells the story of the current conditions of a country almost better than any other medium?
I don’t think art is any better than language in telling a story, they are both mediums of communication.
Where can we see your work next?
The Melbourne Film Festival.
For more on Kudzanai Chiurai visit, www.goodman-gallery.com