Tafadzwa Gwetai

VISUAL ART: Zimbabwean Art the Venice Biennale

Local Zimbabwean artist Tafadzwa Gwetai a contemporary visual artist, painter, sculptor, and emerging curator took part in the 56th edition of Venice Biennale 2015.

Showcasing a various number of art pieces with fellow Zimbabweans at the Zimbabwean pavilion during the international art event. Gareth Nyandoro, Masimba Hwati, and Chikonzero Chazunguza made up the Zimbabwean creative collective in Venice. The Venice Biennale has for over a century been one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world. Established in 1895, the Biennale has an attendance today of over 370,000 visitors at the Art Exhibition.

The history of the Venice Biennale dates back from 1895 when the first International Art Exhibition was organized. In
the 1930s new festivals were born: Music, Cinema, and Theatre (the Venice Film Festival in 1932 was the first film festival ever organized). In 1980 the first Intl. Architecture Exhibition took place, and in 1999 Dance made its debut at the Venice Biennale.

On January 15, 2004, the Biennale was transformed into a foundation; in February, Davide Croff was appointed as the new president. The 2004 events kicked off with the 2nd Intl. Festival of Contemporary Dance, directed by Karole Armitage, whose two sections ran in June and July. The 36th Intl. Theatre Festival, directed by Massimo Castri, ran September 15 – October 2, and the 48th Intl. Festival of Contemporary Music, directed by Giorgio Battistelli, took place on October 14 to 23. Marco Müller was appointed as the new director of the Cinema section, and the 61st Mostra Int.le d’Arte Cinematografica (Venice Film Festival) ran September 1-11: Mike Leigh’s Vera Drake was awarded the Golden Lion for best film. The 9th Intl. Architecture Exhibition Metamorph, directed by Kurt W. Forster, ran September 12 to November 7 and attracted over 115,000 visitors.

In a post via the blog “zim in venice” the creatives talk of inspiration around every corner the collective derive their inspiration from their experiences and encounters with life and creatively merge their thoughts with the media. Having their work part of the 56th Venice Biennale 2015 is motivation and inspiration enough for me and artists from Zimbabwe that art from Zimbabwe is getting recognition worldwide. Lovers of art, buyers of art, art collectors and writers on art have shown their love and appreciation of the art from Zimbabwe. Venice is an amazing stage to present art as the city is built upon history after history. It is an Honour to have been part of a 120-year-old cultural event of the arts in Venice.

The final visit from a group that has constantly supported the Zimbabwe pavilion throughout the 56th Venice Biennale period. Our new friends from Jerusalem have been one of our best new friends. They arrived for their fourth and last visit to the pavilion. Since August Gilits has been coming through the pavilion with groups of people all the way from Jerusalem who are fascinated with the story of Africa. Gilits is an independent Art lecturer in Israel, and pursuing her Ph.D. research in the Cultural studies program in the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in the field of Museum Studies, and more specific national Museums history.

Thank you for your constant support for the Zimbabwe Pavilion 2015 appointed as new director of the Cinema section, and the 61st Mostra Int.le d’Arte Cinematografica (Venice Film Festival) ran September 1-11: Mike Leigh’s Vera Drake was awarded the Golden Lion for best film. The 9th Intl. Architecture Exhibition Metamorph, directed by Kurt W. Forster, ran September 12 to November 7 and attracted over 115,000 visitors.