Catalogo Embodied Histories

25 May – 20 July 2024
Marta Czok Foundation Campo Rialto Novo, 544 Venice
Zerial Art Project presents, from 25 May to 20 July 2024 at the Marta Czok Foundation in Venice, the exhibition Embodied Histories curated by Alice Montanini. Under the patronage of the Embassy of the Republic of Zimbabwe, the exhibition brings the work of Zimbabwean artists Peter Musami and Mukudzei Muzondo to Italy for the first time. Through a selection of previously unseen works created especially for the occasion, Embodied Histories explores themes of memory, trauma and cultural heritage in the intricate context of Zimbabwe’s tumultuous history, setting in the context of the 60th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia curated by Adriano Pedrosa Stranieri Ovunque – Foreigners Everywhere.
Richly reminiscent of Shona cultural background, Musami and Muzondo’s artistic visions converge and diverge, forming a poignant discourse on the body as a vessel of trauma, a theatrical landscape of scars, yet simultaneously a spiritual site of healing and reconciliation.

Muzondo’s work is characterised by a striking figurative storytelling embodied with both historical and personal references. Through densely layered compositions, his powerful depiction delves into the struggles and resilience of a scarred nation, while uncovering the intricate interplay between socio-political historical events, memory, and tradition, all shaping Zimbabwe contemporary cultural identity. In his work, lingering echoes of colonialism permeate the cultural confrontation with the oppressive Western capitalist system, where the voices of non-dominant cultures are drowned out by the shadow of a still tangible colonial past.
The complex non-linearity of trauma is portrayed by Musami’s textured large collage works. Intertwined with political undertones, these works evoke an emotional landscape where the past and the present overlap, as if echoing a fragmented psyche dealing with traumatic experiences. A mosaic of layered memories retraces the artistic process of tearing, cutting and subsequently assembling each fragment into a new wounded yet vibrant composition, where the artistic expression is transmuted into a symbolic act of healing.
Through the convergence of Muzondo’s figurative symbolism and Musami’s abstract expressionism, this exhibition invite viewers to navigate a multifaceted contemporary narrative deeply embedded in the scarred history of Zimbabwe.
The exhibition is accompanied by a digital catalogue featuring a critical text by Alice Montanini and unpublished interviews with artists Peter Musami and Mukudzei Muzondo, curated by Valerie Sithole, curator at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Mutare. The publication, richly illustrated, will be in a bilingual format, Italian and English.

Embodied Histories / Musenga Nhoroondo. Peter Musami, Mukudzei Muzondo
curated by Alice Montanini
25 May – 20 July 2024
Marta Czok Foundation
Campo Rialto Novo, 544, 30124 Venice
opening time: Tuesday – Saturday, from 10:30 am to 7:30 pm

vernissage: Saturday, May 25 at 4 pm
in partnership with Tenuta Conte Romano