Nandipha Mntambo

  • Praça de Touros I

    2008
    Pigment print
    111 x 166 cm
    Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg

  • Praça de Touros II

    2008
    Pigment print
    111 x 166 cm
    Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg

  • Praça de Touros III

    2008
    Pigment print
    111 x 166 cm
    Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg

  • Ukungenisa

    2008
    Video still
    2 mins. 30 secs.
    Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg

    In this video, Nandipha Mntambo engages an invisible adversary in the Praça de Touros in Maputo, Mozambique, a now-abandoned bullfighting arena where black Mozambicans once fought as entertainment for the colonial Portuguese. Wearing one of her cowhide sculptures on top of a matador-inspired costume, Mntambo merges the roles of bullfighter, bull and audience, embodying this complex history while defying its traditional roles and narratives.

  • Ukungenisa

    2008
    Video still
    2 mins. 30 secs.
    Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg

    In this video, Nandipha Mntambo engages an invisible adversary in the Praça de Touros in Maputo, Mozambique, a now-abandoned bullfighting arena where black Mozambicans once fought as entertainment for the colonial Portuguese. Wearing one of her cowhide sculptures on top of a matador-inspired costume, Mntambo merges the roles of bullfighter, bull and audience, embodying this complex history while defying its traditional roles and narratives.

  • Ukungenisa

    2008
    Video still
    2 mins. 30 secs.
    Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg

    In this video, Nandipha Mntambo engages an invisible adversary in the Praça de Touros in Maputo, Mozambique, a now-abandoned bullfighting arena where black Mozambicans once fought as entertainment for the colonial Portuguese. Wearing one of her cowhide sculptures on top of a matador-inspired costume, Mntambo merges the roles of bullfighter, bull and audience, embodying this complex history while defying its traditional roles and narratives.

  • Ukungenisa

    2008
    Video still
    2 mins. 30 secs.
    Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg

    In this video, Nandipha Mntambo engages an invisible adversary in the Praça de Touros in Maputo, Mozambique, a now-abandoned bullfighting arena where black Mozambicans once fought as entertainment for the colonial Portuguese. Wearing one of her cowhide sculptures on top of a matador-inspired costume, Mntambo merges the roles of bullfighter, bull and audience, embodying this complex history while defying its traditional roles and narratives.

  • Ukungenisa

    2008
    Video still
    2 mins. 30 secs.
    Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg

    In this video, Nandipha Mntambo engages an invisible adversary in the Praça de Touros in Maputo, Mozambique, a now-abandoned bullfighting arena where black Mozambicans once fought as entertainment for the colonial Portuguese. Wearing one of her cowhide sculptures on top of a matador-inspired costume, Mntambo merges the roles of bullfighter, bull and audience, embodying this complex history while defying its traditional roles and narratives.

  • Ukungenisa

    2008
    Video still
    2 mins. 30 secs.
    Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg

    In this video, Nandipha Mntambo engages an invisible adversary in the Praça de Touros in Maputo, Mozambique, a now-abandoned bullfighting arena where black Mozambicans once fought as entertainment for the colonial Portuguese. Wearing one of her cowhide sculptures on top of a matador-inspired costume, Mntambo merges the roles of bullfighter, bull and audience, embodying this complex history while defying its traditional roles and narratives.

  • Ukungenisa

    2008
    Video still
    2 mins. 30 secs.
    Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg

    In this video, Nandipha Mntambo engages an invisible adversary in the Praça de Touros in Maputo, Mozambique, a now-abandoned bullfighting arena where black Mozambicans once fought as entertainment for the colonial Portuguese. Wearing one of her cowhide sculptures on top of a matador-inspired costume, Mntambo merges the roles of bullfighter, bull and audience, embodying this complex history while defying its traditional roles and narratives.

  • Ukungenisa

    2008
    Video still
    2 mins. 30 secs.
    Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg

    In this video, Nandipha Mntambo engages an invisible adversary in the Praça de Touros in Maputo, Mozambique, a now-abandoned bullfighting arena where black Mozambicans once fought as entertainment for the colonial Portuguese. Wearing one of her cowhide sculptures on top of a matador-inspired costume, Mntambo merges the roles of bullfighter, bull and audience, embodying this complex history while defying its traditional roles and narratives.

  • Ukungenisa

    2008
    Video still
    2 mins. 30 secs.
    Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg

    In this video, Nandipha Mntambo engages an invisible adversary in the Praça de Touros in Maputo, Mozambique, a now-abandoned bullfighting arena where black Mozambicans once fought as entertainment for the colonial Portuguese. Wearing one of her cowhide sculptures on top of a matador-inspired costume, Mntambo merges the roles of bullfighter, bull and audience, embodying this complex history while defying its traditional roles and narratives.

  • Ukungenisa

    2008
    Video (colour, sound)
    2 mins. 30 secs.
    Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg

    In this video, Nandipha Mntambo engages an invisible adversary in the Praça de Touros in Maputo, Mozambique, a now-abandoned bullfighting arena where black Mozambicans once fought as entertainment for the colonial Portuguese. Wearing one of her cowhide sculptures on top of a matador-inspired costume, Mntambo merges the roles of bullfighter, bull and audience, embodying this complex history while defying its traditional roles and narratives.

  • Nftombi Mfana

    2007
    Cowhide including ears, faces and tails, waxed cord
    Height: 165 cm
    Private Collection

    The title of this work, Nftombi Mfana, means “girly boy.” To create this body of work, Nandipha Mntambo imagined being trained as a bullfighter. While interpreting and inhabiting this typically male tradition, she crafted a bullfighter’s jacket from cowhide. By wearing this garment, Mntambo questions the distinctions between animal and human and male and female. The cows’ ears that form the rear of the jacket represent an imaginary crowd watching her perform.

  • Nftombi Mfana

    2007
    Cowhide including ears, faces and tails, waxed cord
    Height: 165 cm
    Private Collection

    The title of this work, Nftombi Mfana, means “girly boy.” To create this body of work, Nandipha Mntambo imagined being trained as a bullfighter. While interpreting and inhabiting this typically male tradition, she crafted a bullfighter’s jacket from cowhide. By wearing this garment, Mntambo questions the distinctions between animal and human and male and female. The cows’ ears that form the rear of the jacket represent an imaginary crowd watching her perform.

  • Inkunzi Emnyama

    2009
    Diptych: inkjet prints
    112 x 85 cm
    Edition of 5 + 2 AP Photo: Tony Meintjies Jochen Zeitz Collection

  • Inkunzi Emnyama

    2009
    Diptych: inkjet prints
    112 x 85 cm
    Edition of 5 + 2 AP Photo: Tony Meintjies Jochen Zeitz Collection

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About Nandipha Mntambo

“I’m interested in uncovering that binary – that in-between space that you can’t always pinpoint or articulate.”

Nandipha Mntambo was born in Swaziland and lives in Johannesburg. She originally trained as a sculptor and then expanded her practice to include photography, performance and video. Her work investigates such dualities as male and female, attraction and repulsion, animal and human, European and African.

Mntambo makes sculptures from cowhide, using her own body to mould the forms. In many of her videos and photographs, she appears wearing her sculptures, suggesting our capacity as individuals to shape the world around us, while also highlighting the forces that form us, including notions of race, gender and history.


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