A solo exhibition of new and recent video works & photography by Mbali Mdluli


ROOM Gallery Halls 1 & 2

05.09 - 31.10.2015


Mbali Mdluli,

B&W Power Oude to Poqo (Video Still), 2014

Mbali Mdluli,

Land Reform (Video Still), 2013 - 2015

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UNRESOLVED by Mbali Mdluli is the artist’s first solo showing at ROOM Gallery and will encompass mainly a series of video works, as well as photographs. Mdluli’s approach is distinctly experimental and contends with the materiality and temporality of the photograph. Images of domestic objects, experimenting with video, different lenses and multiple digital and analogue tools such as scanners, toy cameras and expired photo film means that the  artist is in constant search of a new language with which to wrestle with themes of both a personal, public and socio-political nature. Regarding the current scope of her practice, the artist states:


I reference the various effects and broad impact of tools of mass communication. I am interested in different means of digital escapism, presented in the form of social networks and mobile phones. My fascination with these omnipresent technological phenomena lies in the mental states and gaps they create and how these could potentially be harnessed for further creative exploration. I am currently looking at the idea of memory as transient through imagery that is created from a process that combines pixelation, distortion, magnification and playing with colour fields.


In her video work, developed in the last 10 months and provisionally titled “B&W Power Oude to Poqo” the artist explores the spatial, by augmenting footage (captured on an outdated cellphone model) of her travel from home to the city and back. By stripping it of color and reducing it to basic geometric forms  and abstractions, which denote her travels, she simultaneously alludes to history and the spatial segregation in the city she lives in based on race, economy and class.  Time in the work is distorted in that the video work is expanded and stretched often beyond the palpable short visual bites audiences are used to. Always, the intention in Mdluli’s oeuvre is, metaphorically-speaking, to “steal time” by stretching it and here the expansion of time is explored in relation to a personal and more global construct of history– a known past, a lived present and a hyper-anticipated future.




Born in 1977, SA, Mbali Mdluli is a cross-disciplinary artist. She completed her photographic studies at the Market Photo Workshop in 2010. Previous exhibitions and projects include Unlearning, a group exhibition curated by Francis Burger at Goethe on Main, Johannesburg; The Indexicality of a Ritual, a group exhibition curated by Sinethemba Twalo, Parking Gallery, and A City Reimagined, Parking Gallery, Johannesburg, 2013. Currently, Mdluli has a selection of photographs included in REVAMP, a group exhibition presented by the Dead Bunny Society and Priest coffee bar in Rosebank Johannesburg.




The exhibition was made possible with the generous funding of the National Art Council, South Africa. Support was also given by Silvertone Fine Art Printing, ORMS Print Room & Framing & Florida Picture Framers.







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© 2017 ROOM Space & Projects NPC / Selected Images Courtesy & Copyright of the Artists presented