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Phumulani – An Academic Studying Anatomic Specimen

An academic studying anatomic specimen

By Phumulani Ntuli

Ntuli’s work revolves around fictional geographies, simulation, history, and representation. Exploring them in a collision of documentary and fiction, collages, performances, and video installations, his work attempts to map the movement of images as a series of notes, pauses, and undulations that cannot be captured. Through these concerns, he questions the objective-based media format when it comes to narrating historical events and situations within geopolitical imaginaries.

2022 – Mixed media collage, paper transfer & acrylic on canvas

140 x 100 cm | 4.5 x 3.2ft

See the artwork in the following video and enjoy the details

Phumulani Ntuli

Artist Statement

Ntuli’s work figures around fictional geographies, simulations, archives, and representations. He explores these concerns through a collision between documentary and fiction using collages, performance, and video installation. Ntuli’s work lends to essayistic forms, written through a lens and investigating post-lens materiality within the production processes. He attempts to map the movement of images, not as isolated frames, but as a series of notes, pauses, and ripples that cannot be captured. In his artistic practice, motion carries leakages and is often porous and nebulous. Through these concerns, he questions the format of lens-based media in telling historical events and situations within a geopolitical imagination.


Phumulani Ntuli, born in 1986, obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2012 from the University of Johannes- burg, where he majored in sculpture. He holds a Masters of Fine Arts – Arts Public Sphere from (ECAV) Ecole Cantonale D’Art du Valais in Sierre-Switzerland and was awarded Prix-excellence for his ongoing research project Permutations of an event centered around notions of archives and surveillance. His work merges the ambit of artistic research, sculpture, video installations, and performative practices. He consistently engages diverse publics/audiences and attempts to make visible history’s gaps/breaks/silences/ pauses and remnants. As an artist and practitioner, Phumulani has presented and/or contributed work in 59th Venice Biannale 2022, ICA Performance Festival, the Spier Light Art Festival 2021, Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival 2020, Young Congo Biennale 2019, Live Works V6 curated by Simone Frangi and Daniel Blanga Gubbay, Kampala Biennale 2016, Uganda curated by Elise Atangana, the Bone Performance Festival 2016, Bern Switzerland, curated by Valerian Maly and has also performed in the Act Festival 2016 in Geneva, Basel, Sierre and Zurich During the aforementioned year, Ntuli participated in residencies and workshops at the Fondazione Pistoletto in Biella, Italy, and the Alps Art Academy in Chur, Switzerland. This is his third solo exhibition, after two solo performance projects at Alps Art Academy in Chur, Switzerland in 2016 to 2017, Umjondolo at Goethe-Institut, Jo- Johannesburg; Thupelo, Cape Town and Infecting the City, Johannesburg in 2012 to 2014.

Current Exhibitions

2022 Visionary Award Residency Javett-University of Pretoria October 2022/March 2023

2022 Umjondolo

2022 Artist’s Film International 

Crawford Art Gallery 18 August 2022-18 September 2022

GAMec Bergamo 07/13 November 2022


2022 Javett-University of Pretoria Visionary Award.

2017 Prix Excellence HES-O Switzerland.

2016 Wyss Foundation Scholarship. Switzerland 

2011 NRF (National Research Foundation) Block Scholarship, University of Johannesburg.

City Festival for 1ST place for Visual Arts category. Museum Africa Johannesburg.

2013 Goethe Institute Project Grant, Johannesburg.
NEWARC Studio Bursary Award by Africalia and Assemblage.

Exhibitions | Performance Highlights

2022 AFI Artist Film International 

Crawford Art Gallery 18 August 2022-18 September

The Bioscope Independent Cinema Johannesburg.

GAMec Bergamo 07/13 November 2022

Neuer Berliner Kunstverei December 2022

Buffer Zones Javett Art Center University of Pretoria 

Isidleke Sakhiwa Ngezinwele Galeria Nueva Madrid.

59th Venice Biannale_South African Pavilion.

2019 Congo Biennale, Kinshaasa DRC

2017 Access, USEGO Project space, Sierre, Switzerland.

Previous Exhibitions

2022 ICA- Institute for Creative Arts 28 March/31 March

2022 Solo Exhibition Artelier Solar Madrid Spain 31 July

2022 Venice Biennale 23 April/27November Italy Venice

2015 Trento Italy


2016 Material City_Everard Read Gallery, curated by Sandile Radebe, exhibition Catalogue Cape Town, South Africa.

2015 Degrees of separation, exhibition catalogue, ABSA Gallery, Johannesburg South Africa.

2013 Umjondolo/Shack, project catalogue, Johannesburg South Africa.


2013 KKW Foundation Public Sculpture Commission Holland.

Top 5 Finalist for Ferreira Mining Camp Public Sculpture Commission -Johannesburg.

Brainstorm ICT magazine.


Tiroche Deleon Collection 

Iziko Museum Cape Town South Africa

Art Bank: South African

Absa Art Gallery Johannesburg South Africa.

ECAV Library Sierre Switzerland

Workshops & Residency

2019 Artelier Solar, Madrid Spain.

2018 Air Antwerpen, Antwerp Belgium.

2016 Sound, Body, Space UNIDEE Cittadellarte Biella-Italy Fondazione Pistoletto.

Alps Art Acameny-Chur Switzerland. 

Curating the Alps-Creative Villages-Lytron Switzerland.

2014 Open Lab Richmond, Northern Cape.

2012 Thupelo foundation workshop.

France South Africa Season, Digital Arts Interactive Workshop Wits School of Arts.

2011 Arts and Culture Trust Master Classes (Governing Boards for Non-profit Organization).

Other Exhibitions

2020 Fakugesi Digital Arts Festival, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Covered Bioscope, Bag Factory Artists Studios, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Lines and Gestures, curated by Candice Allison.

2016 Bone Performance Festival-Bern Switzerland. 

Seven Hills-Kampala Biennale-Uganda curated by Elise Atangana.

Material City-Everard Read Cape Town-South Africa.

ACT Perform Festival    Sierre, Geneva, Zurich and Basel-Switzerland.

Maxxx project space-Sierre-Switzerland.

2015 21 Years of Democracy-Michigan State University. 

2014 ITC-Infecting the City-Public performance Art Festival Cape Town.

Absa KKNK “Post-Colonial Africa”. Eastern Cape.

2013 ZOO-Exhibition-Nirox projects. JHB.

Reverie heights site specific performance-Dance Ambrella JHB.

Contemporary reading of the seven deadly virtues, Fried Contemporary Gallery.  Pretoria: South Africa.

Raid, Design Indaba, Cape Town Convention Center, South Africa.

GoetheonMain Project Space, Goethe Institute, Johannesburg, South Africa.


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