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.”

Mohau Modisakeng was born in Soweto in 1986 and lives and works between Johannesburg and Cape Town. He completed his undergraduate degree at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town in 2009 and worked towards his Master’s degree at the same institution. His work engages race, the militarisation of society and the deep divides of post-apartheid South Africa and the post-colonial continent. He interrogates the collective narratives that inform our experience of the world, in particular those that evoke the black body as a site of fragmentation and distortion.

Modisakeng was awarded the Sasol New Signatures Award for 2011. He has exhibited at VOLTA NY, New York (2014); the Saatchi Gallery, London (2012); Dak’Art Biennale, Dakar (2012); Focus 11, Basel (2011); and Stevenson, Cape Town (2010). In 2013 he 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 the Saatchi Gallery, London as well as in significant private collections such as Zeitz MOCAA.

 

UPCOMING 

In their own form, MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHY, Chicago

         EX AFRICA, Mohau Modisakeng at the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil

         The Ministry of Culture and Banco do Brasil, with the support of BBDTVM, present Ex Africa, an                       important exhibition of contemporary African art held in Brazil, perhaps the largest in Brazil.

         At a time when the value of the African heritage to many cultures is in vogue, this exhibition provides a           landscape of Africa’s current artistic production, as well as experiences which make possible to                       recognize and reflect on the effects of those influences on the art being made throughout the world.

         KIN, Mohau Modisakeng at Sabrina Amrani gallery, Spain

         PASSAGE, In the footsteps of the Garden of Eden, Szentendre

 

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2017

Zion, PERFORMA17, New York

Lefa la Ntate, Tatham Art Gallery, Pietermaritzburg

Lefa la Ntate, Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg

Lefa la Ntate, Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery,University of the Free State

Passage - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town

 

2016

Bophirima, Tyburn Gallery, London

ENDABENI, Galerie Ron Mandos, Amsterdam

Lefe La Ntate, Monument Gallery, Grahamstown National Arts Festival, Grahamstown

Mohau Modisakeng, Laumeier Sculpture Park, Saint Louis, Missouri

Lefa La Ntate, IZIKO South African National Gallery, Cape Town

Adam Aronson Fine Arts Center, Laumeier Sculpture Park, St Louis, USA

Lefa La Ntate, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum, Port Elizabeth

2015Ke Kgomo Ya Moshate, Kunstrum, Innsbruck

Mohau Modisakeng, Big Pond Artworks, Munich, Germany

 

2014

VOLTA NY, BRUNDYN+, New York

Loop Barcelona, Hotel Catalonia Ramblas, Barcelona

Ditaola, BRUNDYN+, Cape Town

Mohau Modisakeng, Chavonnes Battery Museum, Cape Town (in partnership with Zeitz MOCAA)

 

2013

Inzilo, Video Art Powered by Samsung Special Project, FNB Joburg Art Fair, Johannesburg

 

2012

Sera, Master of Fine Art Exhibition, Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town

VOLTA NY, BRUNDYN +, New York

Untitled, A solo exhibition in recognition of his Sasol New Signatures Award for 2011, Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria

 

2010

Ibutho, Side Gallery, Stevenson, Gallery, Cape Town

 

2009

Ugufa Unezindaba’, Graduate Exhibition, Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town

 

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2017

EX AFRICA, Belo Horizonte, Brasília, São Paulo Rio de Janeiro

Le Jour Qui Vient, Galerie des Galeries, Paris

Another Antipodes Exhibition: Urban Axis, PS Art Space, Fremantle WA, Australia

The 57th Venice Biennale - The South African Pavilion, Sale d’Armi, Arsenale, Venice

 

2016

Fünf Seen Film Festival, Starnberg, Germany

Re(as)sisting Narratives, Framer Framed, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Prefer Life, Reydan Weiss Collection, The Weserburg, Bremen, Germany

62nd International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Germany

When Tomorrow Comes, Wits Art Museum, Johannesburg / Michaelis Galleries, Cape Town

After the Thrill is Gone, Gwen Frostic School of Art, Michigan

Negative Space - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town

Lagos Photo Festival, Lagos, Nigeria

 

2015

AFIRIperFOMA, Lagos, Nigeria.

2015 Joburg Art Fair - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg

NIROX Winter Sculpture Fair, Nirox Foundation, Johannesburg

DIS/PLACE, MoCADA, Brooklyn, New York

Broken English, Tyburn Gallery, London

What Remains is Tomorrow, South African Pavilion, Venice Bienniale

La Fabrique De L'Homme Moderne, in resonance with Lyon Biennale, La Fabric, Solomon Foundation for Contemporary Art, Annecy

Foreign Bodies - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town

 

2014

Brave New World…20 Years of Democracy, IZIKO South African National Gallery, Cape Town

Loop Art Fair, Silencio Club, Paris

!Kauru 2014: Rerouting Dialogue 1994- 2014, UNISA Gallery, Pretoria

START Art Fair, BRUNDYN+, Saatchi Gallery, London

Art Against the Wall: An Artist Response to Civil Wars, Gallery 72, Atlanta, Georgia

Fearless Renewal, MC Theatre, Amsterdam

FNB Joburg Art Fair, BRUNDYN +, Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg

Anyway, the Wind Blows, BRUNDYN +, Cape Town

Here Today, The Old Sorting Office, London

GIPCA Live Art Festival, City Hall, Cape Town

Performing Portraiture, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

2013

FNB Joburg Art Fair, BRUNDYN +, Johannesburg

Am I not a Man and a Brother? Am I not a Woman and a Sister, James Harris Gallery, Seattle

Personal and Political, 21c Museum, Louisville, Kentucky

Biennale Internationa d’Art Contemporain (BIAC), Fort de France, Martinique

Ceci n’est pas une Summer Show, BRUNDYN+, Cape Town

2012Out of Focus: Photography, Saatchi Gallery, London

Exuberance Project Exhibition, Mandela Rhodes Gallery, Cape Town

Uneveness Exhibition, National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare

NEWSFEED: Anonymity & Social Media in African Revolutions and Beyond, MoCADA, New York

Dak’Art Biennale, Dakar

Material Representation, BRUNDYN +, Cape Town

FNB Joburg Art Fair, BRUNDYN +, Johannesburg

 

2011

Focus 11, Basel

Implemented Environments, BRUNDYN+, Cape Town

Business Day, FNB Joburg Art Fair, Johannesburg

2010A RE FANON, with Lerato Bereng, Blank Projects, Cape Town

 

PERMANENT COLLECTIONS

Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) Johannesburg Art Gallery
IZIKO South African National Gallery
Saatchi Gallery
21C Museum Hotel University of South Africa (UNISA)
New Church Museum
Piet Viljoen Collection
Wendy Fisher Emile Stipp Collection
Manuel de Santaren Salsali Private Museum
The Ekard Collection

Mohau is represented by WHATIFTHEWORLD Gallery (Cape Town) and the Ron Mandos Gallery (Amsterdam).

A list of his upcoming works and exhibitions are available at www.mohaumodisakengstudio.com.