Mohau Modisakeng | Bagamoyo

Galerie Ron Mandos, Amsterdam

Galerie Ron Mandos proudly presents two special solo exhibitions: Mohau Modisakeng - Bagamoyo and Remy Jungerman – Neap Tide. The work of both artists is informed by the African diaspora, migration and hidden histories; while they work from divergent perspectives, practices and geographies. 

Mohau Modisakeng
In his practice, Mohau Modisakeng confronts collective trauma; geographical displacement; and the socio-political, cultural, economic, and psychological implications of Africa’s violent colonial history. Bagamoyo draws on the history of slavery between East Africa and the Gulf area. The term ‘Bagamoyo’ refers to a town in East Africa that once served as a busy slave port in the East-African/Arab slave trade. The loose translation in Kiswahili means “Lay Down Your Heart”. Modisakeng’s exploration into this history is a biographical response to his own; an attempt to further understand the intricacies of South Africa’s post-Apartheid, post-colonial present.

Additionally, Modisakeng’s movie ZANJ will be included in his upcoming solo-exhibition. ZANJ is a continuation from the performance Land of Zanj, recently commissioned by the Sharjah Biennial. Here, Modisakeng created a choreographed procession as a symbol for the movement of bodies and trade between the Gulf area and the east African coast. This strategy is mimicked in the artist’s latest photographic series, which shows figures cloaked in black moving across a rocky terrain. Who are and were these veiled subjects? Could they have been Africans captured to be pearl-divers, led between home and circumstance? Or could they be deporting migrants, a contemporary relic of the aforementioned history? Modisakeng urges the audience to engage with these figures as poignant markers of this legacy of movement, using invocations of violence as a tool to evoke empathy in the viewer.

Mohau Modisakeng (SA, 1986) is based in Johannesburg and Cape Town, we he received his education at the Michaelis School of Fine Art. He won the SASLO New Signatures Award and the Standard Bank Young Artists Award and represented his country at the Venice Biennale in 2015 and 2017. He has also shown at Volta, New York; Saatchi Gallery, London; Dak’Art Biennale; Sharjah Biennial; PERFORMA17, New York and many more significant international institutions. He recently was commissioned to create a memorial for Nelson Mandela, which will be revealed in Amsterdam Zuidoost’s Nelson Mandelapark in 2020.

Remy Jungerman

Neap Tide
Remy Jungerman presents Neap Tide, his introductory exhibition at Galerie Ron Mandos. In his work, Jungerman weaves references to modernist abstraction with visual languages connected to the African Diaspora. The artist frequently refers to the rich culture of the Surinamese Maroons who escaped enslavement on the plantations to found their own self-governed communities in the Surinamese rain forest. In their culture and in their religion, Winti, many West-African influences are preserved including the prominent use of abstract geometrical patterns—patterns which the Maroons had been using for centuries before Mondriaan embarked upon his famous path to abstraction. Jungerman is interested in the intersecting paths travelled by motifs from Africa, the Surinamese Maroon culture, and 20th century Modernism. By exploring the convergence of patterns and shapes from these seemingly disparate cultural landscapes, he reveals the condensation of time and identity. As art and culture critic Greg Tate has remarked: “Jungerman’s work leaps boldly and adroitly into the epistemological gap between culturally confident Maroon self-knowledge and the Dutch learning curve around all things Jungerman, Afropean and Eurocentric. His installation is trans-ethnically enharmonic and post-colonially universal in the same breath.”

Remy Jungerman (Surinam, 1959) represents the Netherlands at the 2019 Venice Biennale with Iris Kensmil. He attended the Academy for Higher Arts and Cultural Studies, Paramaribo, before moving to Amsterdam to study at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. He has exhibited at institutions including Brooklyn Museum, New York; Prospect 3, New Orleans; Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag and the Havana Biennial, Cuba. He is co-founder and curator of the Wakaman Project, which examines the position of visual artists of Surinamese origin and raises their profile. Jungerman’s international residencies include Art Omi and International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP), New York. In 2008 he received the Fritschy Culture Award and in 2017 he was nominated for the Black Achievement Award. A comprehensive publication of his work will appear this fall.

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Jacquill G. Basdew | (Digital) Marketing & Communications Manager
jacquill@ronmandos.nl | +31 20 320 70 36


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.