Mustafa Maluka

Collaborative project
at the UCT Irma Stern Museum
Installation detail

Negro 1998
Ink and acrylic on board
34 x 57cm

Amnesia 1998
Oil on canvas and board
34 x 57cm

Rape Date 1998
Acrylic on board
43 x 46cm

!Xoe site-specific project
Proposal sketch

Hardboard, wood, paint
District Six Sculpture
Festival, October 1997


Mustafa Maluka
(July, 1998)

Modus operandi:

At 21, the youngest artist to be featured in artbio, Mustafa Maluka draws on his upbringing in Bishop Lavis, a tough township on the Cape Flats, on graffiti, and on hip hop music to make his work. His pieces are notable for a sophisticated mixture of graffiti and other text with his own use of words to make deceptively simple and direct statements. His themes: a redressing of past history, and a study of how old attitudes continue to affect the present.

Artist's statement:

"I am trying to rape ignorance. From the background I come from, ignorance is the main weapon that the previous system used to teach people to hate themselves. People are still mental slaves. What I'm doing is challenging all those things you weren't supposed to question."

Most recent projects:

Maluka can be seen in three current projects: a solo show at the AVA's ArtStrip is entitled 'The (Unstoppable) Rapist', referring both to the continuation of the master/slave thinking and, when the word 'Unstoppable' is removed, to himself as 'the-rapist'. Using collage and paint, Maluka traces a linear history of slavery, starting with the 17th century and ending with contemporary advertisements for straight-haired wigs. The work warns against the acceptance of stereotypes.

At the Irma Stern Museum, Maluka is part of the collaborative project, with Gregg Smith, Ice and Sky 1, called 'Childhood' (see listings) in which the artists examine their different upbringings. On surfaces prepared by Smith, the four imprint and paint visual notes from their early years. Where Gregg Smith recalls the prints of paintings of his white suburban upbringing, Maluka records the Niknak man and Wilsons Toffee papers.

And on June 30 Maluka will be present as a participant in the !Xoe project at Nieu Bethesda (see listings). His chosen site is next to the township - "pointing up the stark difference between the huge houses of those that own land and those that don't". His piece was inspired by the story of a local boy who was sent out into the snow by his boss the farmer to recover a lost sheep. The boy never returned. Maluka's piece utilises a sheepskin, a pool of red water symbolising blood and old barn doors with words and phrases relating to the incident.

Before that:

Maluka took part in the District Six Sculpture Festival last year, reclaiming the land, renamed Zonnebloem after the demolition of the area, with a lettered sign, like the famous HOLLYWOOD one.


Maluka studied Graphic Design at the Peninsula Technikon for two years, then had to give up through lack of funds. He has participated in numerous art workshops at Hard Ground Printmakers, the South African National Galley and Thupelo. In June 1997 he spent a month on Robben Island for a residency at the Robben Island Museum.

...ZA@PLAY   MWeb

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