Born in Harare, Zimbabwe, in 1982
Antennas and Memes XIV
Assemblage of found objects
218 x 62 x 10 cm
Purchase, Horsley and Annie Townsend Bequest, inv. 2018.126
International Contemporary Art
Hwati is a multidisciplinary artist whose work engages with the legacy of colonialism in contemporary Africa. To make the spears in his Antennas and Memes series, Hwati collected objects – superhero figurines made in China, musical instruments, sports equipment and bone fragments – with multi-layered associative meanings in the realms of history, culture and politics. He juxtaposed those items with a culturally significant African object, the spear, as a way of exploring the exchanges among African, Western and Asian cultures. Understood as a symbol of both attack and defence, in Hwati’s practice the spear decries the dilution of traditional African cultures and interrogates the infiltration of Western and Asian cultures in Africa today.