ABOUT THE FAIR

Mohau Modisakeng

New York | Pier 94 | Booth 621

Galerie Ron Mandos is proud to present a solo presentation by Mohau Modisakeng (SA 1986) with works from his new series Zion, as well as other recent work. The artist uses material, metaphor and the black body as tools to explore the in uence of South Africa’s violent history that has been ignored in today’s society.
Zion was also part of last year’s Performa 17 in New York City. During Performa the artist choreographed a street procession of a group of twenty performers through known public spaces, which historically relate to the city’s African-American communities. The performers represented individuals in the process of relocating, carrying an array of personal possessions, baggage and furniture. They moved from one place to settle elsewhere, as if driven by invisible forces against their will.
With this project Modisakeng draws parallels between experiences of displacement within the context of South Africa’s history of racial segregation and forced removals with the current global climate of mass migration. The work focuses on visualizing the universal anxiety caused by the resurgence of racist policy and rhetoric in parts of Europe and the United States. At The Armory Show 2018, Galerie Ron Mandos presents a three-channel video installation and photographic work from the new Zion series.
Also on show are works from the Passage series (2017), which was shown at the South-African Pavilion during the 2017 Venice Biennial. ‘Passage’ refers to life as a voyage, as in Setswana language the experience of life is referred to as a ‘passage’. As such, all human beings are referred to as passengers, a word that highlights the fact that life is eeting.

About the artist:
The multi-award winning Mohau Modisakeng uses lm, large-scale photos, installations and performances to explore how we understand our cultural, political and social roles as human beings in post-colonial Africa and in particular post- apartheid South Africa. Modisakeng received his education at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town (SA). In 2015 and 2017, he was selected to represent South Africa at the Venice Biennale. He has exhibited a.o. at the Glass Curtain Gallery, Columbia College Chicago (2018); Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town (2017); and IZIKO South African National Gallery, Cape Town (2016). His work is included in collections such as the Johannesburg Art Gallery Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town; and Saatchi Gallery, London.

ABOUT Mohau Modisakeng

Material, metaphor and the black body are the tools that Mohau Modisakeng uses to explore the influence of South Africa’s violent history that has been ignored in today’s society, on how we understand our cultural, political, and social roles as human beings in post-colonial Africa and in particular post-apartheid South Africa.
Represented through film, large-scale photographic prints, installations and performances, his “work doesn’t start off with an attempt to portray violence but it becomes mesmerising because although we might recognise history as our past, the body is indifferent to social changes, so it remembers.”

Born in Soweto, an epicentre of black urbanity and cosmopolitan culture, the multi-award winning Mohau Modisakeng is a product of Cape Town’s Michaelis School of Fine Art. Mentored by Jane Alexander and predominantly working and training in sculpture, he completed his undergraduate degree in 2009 then completed his Masters degree at the same institution. He was awarded the SASOL New Signatures Award for 2011 and has exhibited at Armory Show, New York (2016); Saatchi Gallery, London (2012); Dak’Art Biennale, Dakar (2012); Focus 11 and Basel (2011). In 2013 Modisakeng produced an ambitious new video work in association with Samsung as a special project for the 2013 FNB Joburg Art Fair. His work is included in public collections such as the Johannesburg Art Gallery, IZIKO South African National Gallery, Cape Town and SAATCHI Gallery, London as well as significant private collections such as Zeitz MOCAA. He currently lives and works between Johannesburg and Cape Town.

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