The Past The Present and The In Between

Pavilion of Mozambique | Biennale Arte 2019 Venezia

The National Pavilion of Mozambique aims to show, through a contemporary perspective, the troubled past of the nation and its influences in today’s society. portraying this journey are three artists who grew up in a post-colonial period during which the country was engulfed in a long civil war from 1977 to 1992. 


Heirs of a common historical and cultural background, Gonçalo Mabunda, Mauro Pinto and Filipe Branquinho, are producers of diversified discourses that converge in the way they critically interrogate vectors of power which adversely affect the lives of millions of Mozambicans today. They bring to this exhibition a space for reflection that goes beyond aesthetic-pleasure, provoking a dialogical conversation on violence, corruption and social injustice.

The integration of art in the public sphere is intrinsically linked to Mozambique’s history. During the colonial-era and the decade after independence, renowned Mozambican artists like Malangatana and Alberto Chissano, as well as photographers like Ricardo Rangel, were powerful motivators of critical commentaries about political and social processes through different artistic expressions. The post-war period of the 1990’s and the beginning of a neoliberal era engendered new subjectivities and visual languages. 


Working with different mediums, the three artists in this exhibition give an ironic nod to the experience of human hardship. The result is artwork that investigates contemporary politics and popular culture, underpinned by a poetic and sometimes humorous accent. Extremely attentive to what happens around them, particularly to the deeper dimensions of the human experience, their work speaks to our most empathic feelings.  


Mabunda, Pinto and Branquinho for long have transcended the limits of national art production and circulation, securing worldwide recognition, often representing their country abroad. 

 © 2020 by Lidija Kostic Khachatourian

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