These oil, ink and earth works on paper are made on old Harare phonebook pages collated together in textile-like manner. Kamudzengerere collects earth from different parts of the country and mixes it with an archival oil medium. He then puts a patch of the mixture in front of him, on a table or the floor, and draws into the patch with a stick or the back of a brush. He then picks up the impression with the phonebook paper. Essentially each portrait is a monotype print.
The artist was intially materially interested in these aged pages. All those names setting individuals in a time and space, but also raising questions about whether the people named still live, whether they can still be found at those numbers and addresses, and whether they still maintain the upper social status once associated with having a working land line and thus being listed in the city’s phonebook.
Later works from this series, made around the time of Robert Mugabe’s fall and subsequent elections, turn towards ideas of polling and voting the use of address and phone numbers as unique identifiers. The works took on names including Voter’s Roll, Operator, and Registrar.
Excerpt from Admire Kamudzengerere during solo exhibition at Catinca Tabacaru Gallery in New York (2019)”
“When you play a chess board, each piece has a position. It belongs to the game, but it doesn’t only belong to the game, it’s mirrored in real life. In Zimbabwe in 2018, each actor played a role – the judges, the military, the politicians, and the voters. It is only during times of elections that brothers turn against brothers.”