Brodie/Stevenson is pleased to present two new bodies of work by Lunga Kama. Kama’s new colour self-portrait, titled Ze (Xhosa for ‘nude’), comprises four separate panels and continues the artist’s investigations into imaging black masculinity. Specifically, Kama is interested in how aspects of sexuality and self-reflexivity are made manifest through representations of the physical body. Through these images Kama explores how all modes of subjectivity, including his own, carry within them aspects of the performative.
As with previous self-portraits, the artist works in a studio without any assistance, styling the shots himself and using a self-timer. The resultant images are fragmentary, and there is a sense of the photographic frame fighting to restrict the artist’s moving body. There is a subtle violence: bodies are cut off at the knees, arms and faces are sliced by the edges of the photograph – the seeming result of a struggle against containment of the subject position, the body.
The 12 black and white pinhole images of the Untitled series are taken outside the studio environment. Again Kama works alone, and there is an element of chance to the final images. This unpredictability aside, the artist maintains control of his body and his image throughout. The formal starkness of the black/white and negative/positive juxtapositions reflects his awareness of racially inflected codes of representation.
Kama was born in Cape Town in 1982 and is currently a Master’s student at Stellenbosch University, where he completed his BFA in 2008. Previous exhibitions include Spier Contemporary (2007/8), Greatest Hits, AVA, Cape Town (2007), Disguise: the art of attracting and deflecting attention, Michael Stevenson, Cape Town (2008), an exhibition of South African student photography at Photokina, Cologne (2008), and Self/Not-Self, Brodie/Stevenson, Johannesburg, 2009. In 2008 he was the winner of an ABSA L’Atelier Merit Award.
The exhibition will open on Thursday 5 August 6-8pm. The gallery is open from Tuesday to Friday, 10.30am to 5.30pm, and Saturday from 9.30am to 3pm.