Frequencies of a birthmark – Episode 2

Phumulani Ntuli

Frequencies of a Birthmark is a series of the episode which explores Phumulani Ntuli’s preoccupation with archives and surveillance. In this second iteration presented as a virtual exhibition, the work includes collages and animated videos. Ntuli attempts to revisit an 1895’s image of Godide, the last ruler of the Gaza Empire, located in modern Mozambique. Representation of his fictional figure appear along with anthropological photographic images produced during that time. He uses these archive images diachronically in an attempt to rethink facial recognition, a technological apparatus prevalent at this present moment of uncertainty. He further considers Godides’s pose, audiences, accomplices, and his exile as a departure to ponder re-enactments of historical moments. Through Ntuli’s art-making process which he refers to as ‘premake’, he juxtaposes bodies, the landscape and his pattern motifs within a virtual architectural landscape using the lens of the past in the present. Ntuli’s interest with data and capture reveals the pauses, silence and how technological apparatuses reflect our consumption of images.


Presented as part of Creativate Digital Arts Festival.


Phumulani Ntuli holds a Masters in the Fine Arts- Arts Public Sphere from (ECAV) Ecole Cantonale D’Art du Valais in Sierre-Switzerland and was awarded Prix-excellence for his ongoing research project “Permutations of an event” centred around notions of archives and surveillance. Ntuli’s opus merges the ambit of artistic research, sculpture, video installations and performative practices.

As an artist/ practitioner Ntuli has presented and/ or contributed work within the context of the Congo Biennale 2019, Live Works V6 curated by Simone Frangi and Daniel Blanga Gubbay, 2016 Kampala Biennale in Uganda curated by Elise Atangana, the 2016 Bone Performance Festival in Bern Switzerland, curated by Valerian Maly and also performed in the 2016 Act Festival in Geneva, Basel, Sierre and Zurich. During the aforementioned year, Ntuli participated in residencies/ workshops at the Fondazione Pistoletto in Biella, Italy and the Alps Art Academy in Chur, Switzerland.