About artHARARE

artHARARE is a new destination to explore contemporary art of Zimbabwe. The art fair brings together selected artworks presented by emerging, mid-career and established contemporary artists, as well as curators, artist collectives, not-for-profit art organisations.


This unique space aims to be a dynamic platform that is engaged in contemporary dialogue and exchange with the African and international art community. 

Zimbabwean artists are among the most internationally celebrated contemporary artists from the continent, with prominent names such as  Kudzanai Chiurai, Duncan Wylie, Wallen Mapondera, Dan Halter, Kresiah Mukwazhi, Portia Zvavahera, Cosmos Shiridzinomwa among the many more.

We take pride in playing our part in expanding the creative economy on the continent.

 

artHARARE 2021 Curatorial Statement

 'I sing No More Roses But Walk Through Harare Mazes'

Art Harare is fast establishing itself as the pre-eminent platform to experience contemporary art from Zimbabwe. Now in its second edition, ArtHarare 2021 invites artists, collectives and creatives at large to engage with Harare as a generative incubator and provocateur inspired by Dambudzo Marechera’s lines ‘I sing No More Roses But Walk Through Harare Mazes.’ Roses and Mazes are a peculiar pairing and departure point to speculate relational aesthetics between art and this booming metropolis, Harare the city that hosts the art fair. The city has its DNA in chief Neharawa who lived in the area with his people prior to the 1890 arrival of the Cecil John Rhodes sponsored pioneer column which marks the transitioning of the settlement into the colonial city Salisbury before its renaming to Harare in 1982, two years after Zimbabwean independence in 1980.

Looking back to look forward, we refer to historian David Beach’s assessment of Harare’s formative urbanistics; “Even urban planning was atrociously bad, the very siting of the city was and is incompetent. It is well known that in 1890 the site was chosen at very short notice, but what is not generally known is that in 1891 the Company did think of resisting it, considering Norton, Mvurwi, Darwendale and even Rusape. The proposal to move the town was rejected. Consequently, the town remained where the city is, upstream of its main water supply, and thus we are condemned to drink our own recycled waste!”

Harare the remix city marches to its own logic and design. It sways to Sungura guitar barbs and the wails of the presidential motorcade. It nods to the word play of Enzo Ishall and Holy Ten then transfixes when the Jacarandas bloom purple. Harare transacts with mobile money and prophesizes in tongues. Harare and it’s love of abstraction. Harare is bio-plus energy and metamorphosis of bodies, materials, language, energy and time. Harare is a pattern na Fantan. Double entendres pepper its chats; kudai-dai | kwese-kwese | mushika-shika|kecheka-cheka | kungwavha- ngwavha | kukiya-kiya | hapana-hapana. Harare is a culture factory with raw materials from Guangzhou, London, Dubai and  the rural interior. Is it true that ‘what’s the rate today’ is a proverb there? Harare is a rhime. Harare and the colours you emit at sunset from Ngomakurira pa Domboshava! Harare nostalgia in these diaspora streets. Harare Paidamoyo, who answers your call?

For 2021, Harare is ground zero, the lab for forms of creative engagements with transitions and continuities in the city and their historicity. We are positioning Harare as a catalyst and incubator for relational aesthetics between art and the city. What if we think of Harare as a social field and catalyst to speculate on alternative futures and significant forms? What necro-politics are exposed from the use of arbitrary found materials by artists invoking ‘the shortening distance between the fragrance of novelty and the odour of the rubbish bin’? But also, resuscitation and extension of life forms and expressions of beauty, pleasure and joy. What Hararean anthropocene and ecology politics speak through Mukuvisi river? What Feminist readings does the Mupedzanhamo market render? What Harare cosmopolitanism can we read through art?

ArtHarare represents an expressive moment for experimenting on social futures through play and imagination, where art connects local practice with global discourse. ‘I sing No More Roses But Walk Through Harare Mazes’ presents an oeuvre of contemporary interdisciplinary art as expressions of ‘wokeness’ in communion with Chief Neharawa’s legendary “Harare” all night vigils of ‘wakefulness.’

 

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