Aaron Samuel Mulenga
Aaron Samuel Mulengaʻs work seeks to interrogate the tensions and overlaps in various representations of transcendence, which have shaped his spirituality. His work does this by questioning how these tensions have featured in Eurocentric Christian iconography and Zambian cultural practices, particularly cultural artifacts used for spiritual flight, housed in Zambian museums. Mulenga also draws from Biblical texts to inform his art practice, focusing on scriptural references that speak to flight through spiritual means in his recent exhibition entitled Icilengwa Lesa: Transcendence Through Flight. The use of Biblical texts stands as a comparative study to explore how Zambian culture and the Christian faith merge and overlap in complex ways.
Mulenga is currently pursuing his PhD at the University of California Santa Cruz, where he seeks to build upon the research he begun in his Masters, exploring the concept of Transcendence through flight. His work is expressed in a number of mediums as a strategy to explore different aspects of a given project such as Transcendence. Mulenga has worked in bronze, photography, painting and drawing. In 2019 he completed his Masters of Fine Art from Rhodes university. In 2017 he participated in a bronze-sculpting residency with the Falconer Foundry. He has also participated in a number of group exhibitions such as And Counting, Johannesburg Art Gallery (2019). Converge, Grahamstown National Arts Festival (2018). Disclosure, SMAC Gallery (2017), Salvage in Port Elizabeth (2017), and Absa L’atalier in Johannesburg (2016).
VIDEO AND INSTALLATION
A multilayered video and object installation that offers an Afroconscious lens to the Last Supper as presented in European art history and to Christianity as a whole. The video presents a take on aspiration to transcendence through flight.