The ‘Beyond Binaries’ exhibition at the Durban Art Gallery explores polarisation and intolerance


Zemba Luzamba’s Jumper 1.

Running at the Durban Art Gallery until February 19 is the exhibition Beyond Binaries.

Featuring work by 26 artists, the exhibition aims to open up discussion on the current climate of polarisation and intolerance, and the increasing trend towards fixed identities.

Beyond Binaries features works with video, photography, paintings, drawings, sculpture, ceramics, wire and mixed media works on show.

The work of South African-born artists sits alongside that of those from other African countries as well as artists from India, China and Germany.

KwaZulu-Natal is represented by Cedric Nunn (photography), Sfiso ka Mkame, Mthobisi Maphumulo, Mhlonishwa Chiliza, Eugene Hlophe (drawings), Paul Sibisi and Nicole Pletts (paintings), Thembi Nala and Sbonelo Tau Luthuli (pottery), Hlengiwe Dube (wirework), and Kristin NG-Yang (photography and mixed media).


Manfred Zylla’s Who are you?

The exhibition has been curated by Qala!, a fledgling curatorial collective comprising Mario Pissarra, Robin Moodley and Russel Hlongwane, three Durban-born cultural workers.

The artists were selected following a process where 54 artists identified by a curatorial panel were invited to propose works on the theme of the exhibition.

Beyond Binaries was originally commissioned by the City of eThekwini for the Essence Festival Durban, where it was exhibited at the International Convention Centre under the banner of ARTiculate Africa.

It includes several exhibits which address questions concerning race, gender, national identity and heritage. The relationship of people to the natural environment provides another sub-theme.  Several works also bring binaries into vivid focus, whilst others attempt to transcend these to create or suggest hybrid, fluid or emerging notions of identity.

The Durban Art Gallery is open Monday to Saturday from 8.30 am to 3.45 pm and Sundays from 11 am to 3.45 pm. Entry is free.

The gallery is on the second floor of the magnificent Durban City Hall building. Inquiries: 031 311 2264/9.


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