Lucia Nhamo

Free Fall

30 November - 9 December 2016

Free Fall presents two works that revolve around the gesture of rolling/kukunguruka. Kukunguruka (I) & (II) are an animation and video recorded treatment of the Chiremba Balancing Rocks, the national monument and iconic symbol of the Zimbabwean currency.


Kukunguruka (I) is a two-channel animation of the 100,000,000,000,000 (one hundred trillion) dollar note, both the last and largest denomination of Zimbabwean currency printed in 2008. The Chiremba Balancing Rocks are transformed into three-dimensional reincarnations that roll and tumble against each other in a closed loop that examines structures of meaning and material presence. Accompanied by audio vignettes which include public service announcements and vendor loudspeakers, the reanimation of the historic site disrupts notions of monument, memory and place.


Kukunguruka (II) is a video piece built around citizen agency, the power or in some cases, lack thereof, which comes with the idea of democracy. Moving around and activating the heritage site, Nhamo in a cumbersome bodysuit attempts to roll back and forth to gain momentum, against gradients and in straight lines, but invariably ends up in haphazard curves accenting the absurdity of her action. Outfitted in what might be seen as a ubiquitous colour during the election period (hot pink voting dye) she explores and questions not only power structures but the monumentalism that upholds it in space. By questioning monumentalism around power, Nhamo questions power itself while addressing her own powerlessness.


“Perhaps the biggest revelation in this work is the two fundamental questions that it elicits, and their relation to the condition of citizenship in the country today: What is going on? What are we doing?”

Lucia Nhamo is a Zimbabwean artist who completed her MFA in Visual Art at Carnegie Mellon University, U.S.A. Through video, printmaking, performance and sculpture, her work explores the idea of the ‘counter-monument’ as a material, and conceptual strategy of alternative representation of citizenship and place. She has exhibited widely in Brazil, Mali, U.S.A, Tunisia, Cuba, Senegal and South Korea. In 2015, Nhamo was awarded the Prix Spécial at the 10th Edition of Rencontres de Bamako. Free Fall at Njelele Art Station marks Nhamo's first solo exhibition. 

Authors: Tawanda Appiah, Tinofireyi Zhou 

© 2013 - 2018 Njelele Art Station 

Lucia Nhamo, Kukunguruka II, 2016

Still image © Lucia Nhamo