Thembinkosi Goniwe

Visiting Scholar 2021

Professor Thembinkosi Goniwe is an art historian, curator, and writer whose work explores contemporary African visual arts. His curatorial projects reflect postcolonial and decolonial criticism in the context of black radical thoughts and Global South discourse. Among his many exhibitions are A Resilient Visionary: Poetic Expressions of David Koloane, Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town (2019); Andrew Tshabangu: Footprints, Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg (2017); Intersections: Negotiating Subjects, Objects and Contexts, University of South Africa Gallery, Pretoria (2015); Where Do I End and You Begin, City Centre, Edinburgh (2014); Desires: Ideal Narratives in Contemporary South African Art, South African Pavilion, 54th Venice Biennale (2011); and SPace: Currencies in Contemporary African Art, Museum Africa, Johannesburg (2010). He has edited a number of publications, including “A Resilient Visionary: Poetic Expressions of David Koloane” (Standard Bank, 2019); Andrew Tshabangu: Footprints (Standard Bank, 2017); Mary Sibande: The Purples Shall Govern (Gallery MoMo, 2014); and Space: Currencies in Contemporary African Art (Unisa Press, 2012).

Goniwe is currently Assistant Professor in Art History and Visual Culture, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa, and a visiting researcher at the Wits School of Arts, Johannesburg. He has previously lectured at several other universities, including the University of Cape Town, University of the Witwatersrand, University of Fort Hare and Vaal University of Technology. He holds an MFA from the University of Cape Town (1999) and an MA and PhD in the History of Art from Cornell University, Ithaca, US (2005 and 2015, respectively). Born in 1971 in Cape Town, he currently lives and works in South Africa.

Goniwe delivered the keynote address “A prolegomenon towards ukuNqakula as an Aesthetic and Political Location” as part of the Other Universals Virtual Institute 2021 inquiry into Aesthetics and Politics.

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