The Goethe-Institut in Johannesburg is exhibiting works by photographer Musa Nxumalo until 31 May 2015.
For In Search of…Nxumalo presents the Alternative Kidz and In/Glorious bodies of work, which, according to the artist, look at the “melting pot that is urban youth culture in Johannesburg.” It has been suggested that the photographs are partial self-portraits, representing a world in which the artist is personally immersed, but they are also enigmatic images that reach far beyond their immediate context.
Musa N. Nxumalo was born in 1986 in Soweto, Johannesburg, where he now lives and works. He studied at the Market Photo Workshop and has participated in a range of group exhibitions both locally and abroad. Nxumalo’s documentary approach is influenced by photographers such as Santu Mofokeng and Ernest Cole who blur the line between researcher or documenter and participant.
“It’s my life. I’m documenting it. I’m expressing it. I’m exploring it. I’m not interested in making photographs that are beautiful,” says Nxumalo.
“I think that the project is informed by the belief that a lot of the issues that keep bringing us back as the youth, particularly from the townships, is the idea of embracing the township so much and keeping ourselves in the townships so much that we close ourselves to the opportunities of seeing or understanding the world at large. For example, I feel like the ghettos all over the world are the same. In South Africa we tend to separate ourselves from the world or imagine that we’re not similar to other parts of the world. It’s only when you open up to that that you realise that we are fighting the same battles as the guy in Manhattan.”
Goethe institute is at 119 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood, Johannesburg.