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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.
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.
SELECTED PROJECTS & EXHIBITIONS
Participated with Sound Works in Jozi Rhythmanalogue, 2011
Conducted Workshop on Photography Copyright at Buhlebuzile Secondary School for Rubis Mecenat Culture Fund, 2013
Wits/WISER: Taxi Poetry From Fiction to Reality, 2013
A City Reimagined, Parking Gallery, Johannesburg, 2013
Some time In 2012, I used to have re-occurring lucid nightmares about the fall of the city I grew up in. Every time it took place, I was outside the city. I knew that this scenario would not happen, or
rather wished it not to happen, but the nightmares persisted, annoying me. I started photographing the city, looking for tell-tale signs and confirmation that the city was still there.” - Mbali Mdluli
A City Reimagined explores the theme of memory as an attempt to restore, retain, and recall the dream space. Through an exhibition of photographs, videos and collaborative performative work, the
project tackles nostalgia from an imaginative perspective. From the traces of objects and memories, Mdluli created visual documents to a state of interiority.
Unlearning, a group exhibition curated by Francis Burger, Goethe on Main, Johannesburg, 2013
The Indexicality of a Ritual - A group exhibition curated by Sinethemba Twalo, Parking Gallery, 2013
Participated with Sound works in Invisible Cities Pirate Radio – Project by Joao Orreccia, 2013
Unresolved, Solo `Exhibition, ROOM Gallery, 2015
FNB Joburg Art Fair, ROOM Gallery, 2015