The Titanium Project
Performance Photography (2018-2020)
Concept & Performance: Nomusa Musa Mtshali
Photography: Thalente Khomo / Lindeka Qampi
About the Titanium Project
My quest is to bring to life Titanium (my pseudo persona) who actively express gender fluidity in ways that remind the society at large the tied of humanity that bind all gender expressions and sexuality.
My quest for belonging and success has brought me against the full force of conservative ideology in South African society. As a queer person of colour I have found it difficult to feel as represented by any single demographic. With my art, I try to quietly and persuasively challenge narrowly-defined concepts like gender and race - with the understanding that no-one fits these boxes perfectly. I believe that gender is defined by experience and I draw on Judith Butler’s concept of gender performativity.
My artworks represent my way of processing the world in which I find myself. I want the gaze of my works to be one of understanding and empathy. That Gender is an expression that can be experienced by each individual as they mature and transition in life.
This quest had guide my art practice to the series titled "In Titanium". In this series, I'm exploring an imaginary escape planet where gender is non-binary. Titaniums (people in Titanium) value the spirit of each person more than the body. With understanding that one body is the vessel enabling the spirit to have a human experience.
Their ethos is "every spirit is able" on Earth the ethos would translate to "every soul is able” This ethos motivates human beings to look beyond the body. To love one's self enough to know yourself your likes as well as dislikes and ability to express one's self without displaying violent and hate. To love one's self enough to know that expressing your gender can’t be limited to two options namely male and female, but can be in various ways.
About the artist
Mtshali is a full-time, contemporary artist based in Durban South Africa. Musa is a mixed media artist with skills varying from painter, sculptor, Installiations and performance. Recently graduated with the Fine Art B-tech at Durban University of Technology. In November 2018 'Musa' joined Amasosha Art Movement, with Amasosha they were Appointed by Red Bull Amaphiko Art Academy in May 2019 to partake in Amaphiko Durban. Earlier in 2019 Musa and Amasosha were commissioned by Prof Zanele Muholi to interpret Muholi's Somnyama Ngonyama photography portfolio. The interpretations were exhibited at KZNSA (KwaZulu Natal Sociaty of Art) the exhibition tittled IKhono laseNatal. Musa curated a pop up exhibition tittled 'Ukuba' by Thalente Khomo and Thembi Mthembu professional, conceptual photographers and visual artist.