POWERPLAY. arebyte Gallery, UK // 16th August - 26th September 2020
POWERPLAY. The National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo, Harare and Mutare // 2020 (date TBC)
arebyte Gallery and The National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo are pleased to announce POWERPLAY, a group exhibition featuring artists working within digital media, moving image and technology. Co-commissioned by London-based arebyte Gallery and the National Gallery Zimbabwe in Bulawayo, with support from the New Art New Audiences grant from the British Council. The first showing of the exhibition will be presented at arebyte Gallery in London, before travelling to the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo. POWERPLAY will be the first exhibition of digital and new media art at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo, Harare and Mutare.
POWERPLAY features works by Mr Color, Bolatito Aderemi Ibitola, Vincent Bezuidenhout, Scumboy, King Debs, Mbakisi Sibanda, Kumbirai Makumbe, and Isaac Kariuki. Virtual Reality iteration by Christopher MacInnes.
POWERPLAY foregrounds the digital arts scene in Africa and presents work by digital artists who are from or based in Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and the UK. Discussing the use of technology in creating a sense of identity and place within a digitised world, the artists in the exhibition look at the relationships of power experienced in varying ways. The works address isolation and alienation; societal bias around gender and race; transformation of being; the politics of borders and migration; dark markets of trade; and communities who work outside of mainstream economy. Taking place both online and offline, the multi-sited exhibition format brings to light the fluidity between the virtual and the real - how is power asserted over our decisions and movements, what are the consequences, and how can we think about control differently?
Through newly commissioned and re-imagined work, POWERPLAY explores the nuances of working with digital media in a digitised world. The exhibition looks into the reproduction and commodification of the self, consent and surveillance online and offline, and the exploitation and censorship of data, ideas and behaviours. Through the use of existing infrastructure within the gallery and around the city, as well as the pseudo-advertisement aesthetics seen in the CGI printed works and the Virtual Reality iteration of the exhibition, the artworks proliferate and infiltrate this system to question our agency and power over surveillance and capitalism.
Photographs courtesy of the artist's, pictured by Max Colson