The Smart Museum of Art’s new exhibition, Meleko Mokgosi: Bread, Butter, and Power, features a 20-panel painting installation exploring the theme of feminism in the context of Southern Africa. Join us for a special gallery talk on Tuesday, November 12, at 5:30 p.m. featuring
Hlonipha Mokoena, Associate Professor at WISER (Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research) at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. Mokoena will reflect on Pax Africana: The Southern Question and explore how Mokgosi’s large-scale paintings open up novel histories of Southern Africa’s contested political ideas and traditions.
“Hlonipha Mokoena is precisely the kind of scholar that we hoped would join us for a discussion of Meleko Mokgosi’s Bread, Butter, and Power,” said Leslie Wilson, Curatorial Fellow for Diversity in the Arts at the Smart. “She is an anthropologist who does critical work looking at images, examining, among other subje
cts, Zulu masculinity. She will bring a robust and complex understanding of gender relations in Southern Africa that help to place Mokgosi’s exploration of feminism in context, while speaking with specificity to the national and international dynamics of the region.”
Mokgosi’s collection ties into the Smart’s goals of broadening and diversifying the museum’s exhibit content.
“These incredibly large-scale history paintings do a wonderful job of depicting scenes of life in Botswana,” said Jennifer Carty, Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Smart. “In addition to this exhibit, two of our other exhibits come to mind: Down Time: On the Art of Retreat and Samson Young: Silver Moon or Golden Star, Which Will You Buy of Me? These three shows seem very different but all have global themes and focus on telling stories of different narratives.”
Learn more about Mokoena’s upcoming talk on November 12. Bread, Butter, and Power is on display at the Smart through December 15.