Printed Matter is pleased to present Everything is where it is expected, a new exhibition by Nontsikelelo Mutiti developing the artist’s ongoing research into overlapping notions of design, publishing practice and hair braiding. Join us for an opening reception on Friday, May 10, 6-8PM.
For Everything is where it is expected, Mutiti looks to the Hair Braiding Salon of the African diaspora as a communal space and meeting point; a place for discussion, hearsay, experimentation and visual spectacle, and one that can open up new paths for thinking about black histories and futures. Through prints, publications, artwork and objects, Mutiti adapts these spaces of beauty and knowledge production into a bookstore/gallery setting, investigating braiding technique as a process analogous to language-making and as a broader metaphor for identity, migration and global culture.
Across letterpress prints, floor tiles, book-objects, and the artist’s various collections of beauty store supplies, Mutiti explores typographic articulations informed by the box braid and other hair braiding systems. Borrowing from product names found throughout a salon, her work reimagines fonts, letterforms and short phrases with a simple plait patterning as a way to reinforce the established visual language persisting within the African diaspora.