Mukwazhi is currently one of four artists showing on the Zimbabwe Platform at the prestigious Venice Biennale in Italy. This exhibition was curated by Rhodes University MA candidate Fadzai Muchemwa.
Mukwazhi will discuss her artistic practice and will focus on the ways that the female body is a site of power and visual activism.
Kresiah Mukwazhi was born in Harare, Zimbabwe in 1992. She studied photography and visual arts at the Zimbabwean National Gallery School of Visual Art and Design in Harare, as well as the Market Photo Workshop in Johannesburg, South Africa. Upon completing her studies, in 2015 she became a member of the Zimbabwe Association of Female photographers which initiated exhibitions for her early photographic works. She was a resident artist at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in the same year, whilst exhibiting her work at Gallery Delta, First Floor Gallery, and Tsoko gallery. Mukwazhi's practice was furthered by a residency at Village Unhu from 2016 to 2017, where she focused on her research of documenting, responding to, and researching the lives of sex workers at Hopely Farm in Harare. Supported by the Zimbabwe German Society, Mukwazhi was selected to experience the Chale Wote Street Festival in Ghana in 2017. She later returned to participate in the festival with performance pieces at the James Fort Prison in 2018 and 2019.
Mukwazhi also worked as a chef in a local nightclub as a means to sustain her practice, and this resulted in her signature shimmering textiles which were inspired by the long hours and nightlife dress she observed during this experience. As though this was a trial by fire, her time working in the nightclub culminated in her debut solo exhibition, *Bedroom Interview* at Smac Gallery, Cape Town in 2018. She was a resident artist at the Nafasi Art Space in Tanzania and at Katutura Art centre in Windhoek, Namibia, supported by ANT mobility grant, Pro Helvetia. She also performed at Arts Lounge Africa at the National Arts Festival in Makhanda in 2019, supported by the NRF SARChI programme in Geopolitics and the Arts of Africa.
Mukwazhi has participated in various symposia, notably – the Live Art Workshop at the Institute of Creative Arts at the University of Cape Town and The Arts of Africa and Global Souths Arts Lounge Africa programme at Rhodes University. Her work has been included in numerous group exhibitions including Five Bhob – Painting at the End of an Era at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCCA), Mixed Company at Norval Foundation and African Textures in Milan Italy. Recent solo exhibitions include, Zviratidzo at blank projects in Cape Town in 2021, a solo booth at Art Basel in 2022, and Ndakamira Pamukaha at Jan Kaps Gallery in Cologne, Germany in 2022. Mukwazhi is one of the four artists currently representing Zimbabwe at the 2022 Venice Biennale.
Warm regards, Ruth Simbao