Works by Kudzanai Chiurai, Mikhael Subotzky and Zina Saro-Wiwa.
Composite by Fowler Museum at UCLA
From left: works by Kudzanai Chiurai, Mikhael Subotzky and Zina Saro-Wiwa.

Every generation inherits intangible histories, mores and practices from its predecessors. A new exhibition at the Fowler Museum at UCLA features works by three contemporary African artists who are contending with the political, social and environmental realities of the postcolonial era in their respective home countries.

“Inheritance: Recent Video Art from Africa,” which opens Feb. 17 and will remain on view through July 28, presents post-independence-generation artists Kudzanai Chiurai, who is from Zimbabwe; Zina Saro-Wiwa, from Nigeria; and South African Mikhael Subotzsky, as they look to the past to help define a way forward.

The works on view reflect a process of acknowledging the transmission of trauma and dispossession, not simply triumph and freedom. In addressing the historical complexities of unwanted legacies, the artists aim to dismantle colonial constructions perpetuated by the social and political powers that be.

“‘Inheritance’ provides an opportunity to introduce three young artists whose time-based works offer timely and penetrating views into the ongoing struggles of the postcolonial period in Africa,” said Marla Berns, Shirley & Ralph Shapiro Director of the Fowler Museum. “The museum is committed to presenting the fresh perspectives of these young artists who are disruptors of the status quo and who bravely dramatize through their art very personal and political challenges.”

Read the full news release on the Fowler’s website (PDF).