Muchemwa appointed NGZ curator of contemporary art

Fadzai Muchemwa

NATIONAL GALLERY OF ZIMBABWE (NGZ) has appointed Fadzai Muchemwa as the curator for contemporary art.

Before her latest appointment, Muchemwa  was a researcher with the Arts of Africa and Global South programme in the fine arts department at Rhodes University, writer and curator operating between Grahamstown, South Africa and Harare.

In a statement on Tuesday NGZ said Muchemwa will be helped by two assistant curators based in Bulawayo and Mutare.

“This new position (curator for contemporary art) has been created in order to streamline the gallery’s curatorial activities across its three branches, and the continuously expanding network,” NGZ said.

“Her (Muchemwa) research explores notions of care in artistic practice, national archival records, social justice, histories of cities, topographies of knowledge production and sites of transition.”

Muchemwa formerly served as curator for education and public programming at the NGZ from 2017 to 2020, and assistant curator from 2016 to 2017, where she co-curated Moulding a Nation: The History of the Ceramics Collection of National Gallery of Zimbabwe (2018 to 2019), Dis(colour)ed Margins (2017), Culture in Communities (2016), and Jazzified: Expressions of Protest (2016).

In addition, she also curated The Unseen: Creatures of Myth and Legend, an exhibition of artworks by Isaac Kalambata at the Lusaka National Museum in 2018.

As visiting curator at the Bag Factory in Johannesburg, South Africa, Muchemwa produced the publication, Curating Johannesburg: Restless, Under Siege/in Transition in 2019.

NGZ executive director Raphael Chikukwa said the arrival of Muchemwa at the gallery launches a new chapter in the Zimbabwean arts sector.

“I welcome Fadzai to the National Gallery of Zimbabwe family and it is my hope that she can add value to our institution, both locally and globally,” he said.

Muchemwa is a 2017 fellow of the International Training Programme at the British Museum who is also a collaborator for Independent Curators International and the Zimbabwe Pavilion at the International Art Exhibition in Venice.

She is a founding member of the Practice Theory Collective.