Collection Artwork
Zanele Muholi (born Umlazi, South Africa, 1972)
"Makhethi" Sebenzile Ndaba, Constitution Hill, Johannesburg, 2010 [from Faces and Phases]
gelatin silver print
image size: 30 x 20 in.
frame size: 35 1/2 x 23 7/8 x 1 3/4 in.
Tang purchase
Constitution Hill, Daveyton, South Africa, Africa
Signed with monogram in black ink on Yancey Richardson Gallery label, adhered verso

Object Label

The power of naming means to put something into existence.
—Zanele Muholi

Three people stare directly at you, fierce and proud. These black-and-white photographs by visual activist Zanele Muholi, from the artist’s Faces and Phases series, document black lesbian women and transgender men in South Africa. Despite the nation’s liberal constitution, black queer people face severe homophobia and transphobia that lead to “curative” rape, beatings, and murder.

In recognizing the Faces and Phases participants through the camera lens, Muholi, who grew up in South Africa under apartheid, not only bears witness to disenfranchised people but also creates an archive for the future: These people exist(ed). They are human. They are complex. See them.

From the exhibition: Give a damn. (June 30 – September 30, 2018)

Ongoing Research

Research on our collection is ongoing. If you have resources you’d like to share, please contact Associate Curator Rebecca McNamara.
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