Zwelethu Mthethwa’s self-titled photography show is showing in Cape Town until June 29th 2011.

Ardent fans of photography on flights to Cape Town are urged to catch a rare exhibition before it wraps up on June 29th 2011.

For the first time ever on the African continent, new works from one of South Africa’s most influential contemporary artists will be on show at the iArt Galley.

Zwelethu Mthethwa’s self-titled show is made up of work from the series the Brave Ones and The End of an Era.

The Brave Ones is a very specific set of portraits – mainly group portraits – taken of young men from the Shembe Church when on their annual pilgrimage to the sacred mountain of Nhlangakazi in Kwa-Zulu Nata.

In the past Mr Mthethwa has said of this work that it isn’t the church that interests him but the “clash of identities”.

“Where does the bowtie come from, why are they wearing the bowtie during the day…why do their shirts look like women’s blouses with frills? Where do the pith helmets fit in – do they still signify a soldier’s uniform? It’s fascinating.”

The End of An Era sees Mr Mthethwa shift from portraits into still life. Capturing hostel rooms used by male migrant labourers, the images explore perceptions about what a room for such a demographic might look like.

Written by Alex Cochrane

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